OFFENSE GAINS UPPER HAND IN UTM'S FINAL FOOTBALL SCRIMMAGE OF SPRING SEASON
April 18, 2014
MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin football team closed out its spring practice schedule with a scrimmage this morning at Hardy Graham Stadium.
Today served as the 15th practice and third scrimmage of the spring for the Skyhawks, who began their spring practice slate on March 21.
After the Skyhawk defense limited the offense to 490 combined yards over the first two scrimmages, the UT Martin offense dictated the pace today – gaining 598 yards on 97 plays. The offense set the tone early, as Abou Toure broke free for a 35-yard gain on a third-and-1 situation on the first play of the scrimmage. Once the smoke cleared, the Skyhawks gained 368 yards through the air and 230 yards on the ground today, tallying five total touchdowns.
All in all, the offense had 10 plays of 25-plus yards, with the longest pass of the day going for 54 yards from Jarod Neal to Kevin Anderson. The longest carry of the scrimmage belonged to Najee Ray, who scampered 38 yards on his second touch of the day.
Neal, Dylan Favre and Manny Stocker combined to complete 23 passes with three touchdowns today. Favre connected with William Tanner (44 yards) and Rod Wright (nine yards) for touchdown strikes while newcomer Stocker found fellow newcomer Tyriq Patrick for a 37-yard score.
Ray’s 74 yards on just seven carries led the running backs while Roland Genesy piled up 70 yards on a team-high 12 rushes. Ladevin Fair also added a touchdown from two yards out today.
At wide receiver, Kyle Kerrick hauled in four catches for 98 yards while Tanner recorded three receptions for 85 yards. Anderson (58 yards on three catches) and Matt Stewart (co-high four catches for 22 yards) also had solid performances this morning.
The Skyhawk defense enjoyed its moments today as well, chalking up 10 plays for negative yardage. All in all, the defensive unit combined for seven tackles for loss (including four sacks), two interceptions, a fumble recovery and six quarterback hurries.
Walter Evans and Taino Fears-Perez each had a pick today while Tyler Sweeden was in on two sacks and Tony Bell had a fumble recovery.
On special teams, James Satterfield booted four punts with a long of 51 yards while Jackson Redditt was a perfect 2-for-2 in field goal tries.
Skyhawk head coach Jason Simpson saw the improvement in his team build throughout its allotted 15 practices this spring.
“Our goals in the spring are to try and develop our depth, find out who our playmakers are and have our younger kids take the next step,” Simpson said. “From that standpoint, we definitely accomplished our goals. Our football team certainly got better over 15 practices. Now what we are looking for is for guys to raise their game to an all-conference level and that’s the direction this team has to take over this summer.”
UT Martin kicks off the 2014 campaign on Aug. 30 when it travels to Kentucky out of the Southeastern Conference.