Posted by: John Moss, Tulsa's Channel 8 Sports - email
The Tulsa football team ended its first full week of practice with a 98-play scrimmage on Saturday morning at Chapman Stadium with its eighth practice session of preseason camp. Head Coach Bill Blankenship cited dominance by the defensive unit today.
The Tulsa defense stuffed the offense three-and-out on five of the first six possessions, while the sixth offensive drive went just four plays with the offensives initial first down coming on a 35-yard Ja’Terian Douglas run.
“It was certainly good that our defense showed up today. We played very well on defense. The energy was high. They pretty much just dominated the day as far as our first two units are concerned,” said Blankenship.
“I thought it was a very physical scrimmage and that’s what we were trying to accomplish,” said Blankenship. The defense brought a whole lot more energy than our offensive unit did. There’s always a give-and-take when you do intra-squad scrimmages, and today clearly the defense brought it a little better.”
The offensive scoring came from the second and third units. True freshman Ryan Rubley led his team to the first offensive score with a 45-yard toss to sophomore Zach Epps on the eighth offensive possession.
Carl Salazar added a 32-yard field goal later in the scrimmage, and the offense scored on two of its final four possessions, while the other two possessions ended in interceptions, both by red-shirt freshman Darnell Walker Jr.
The two late offensive touchdowns came on a 54-yard pass from Dane Evans to Josh Atkinson, a red-shirt freshmen combination, and a three-yard run by true freshman Rowdy Simon.
“I told them when I gathered the group up, if we play defense like that every day, we’ll have a chance to win a championship. The deal is every day. That’s what you learn about fall camp –– you can’t ebb and flow. You have to learn to get to a level and continue to raise the level of where you are. That’s the tough thing. We keep going back and forth. Defensively, we raised our bar today. Offensively, we took a step back. Now we have to get that back up to where we need it,” added Blankenship.
Tulsa takes off on Sunday and will be back on the practice field Monday morning.
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