SATURDAY, AUGUST 11, 2007
Offense and Defense show signs of promise in first scrimmage
Aug. 11, 2007
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - For their first day in pads, the Jacksonville football team showed a lot of potential in their first scrimmage of fall camp on Saturday morning.
The offense racked up 424 yards and four touchdowns, while the defense showed potential in turning away nine drives, forcing one turnover. The highly-touted offense showed a lot of balance, throwing for 238 yards and rushing for 186.
"I'm excited with how we performed today," said JU head coach Kerwin Bell. "We're consistently getting better. Offensively, we stayed away from the mistakes that we were making at the beginning of the week, but we've got to become more consistent on defense and special teams."
The scrimmage saw every healthy player in camp getting work as the Dolphins wrapped up their first week of fall camp. The backups got a lot of action as the coaches begin to evaluate who they can put in the places that best help the team.
"These first five days were hectic, but we've got our system in place, now we've got to put the right pieces in the best place to succeed," Bell said. "Today we were able to get a lot of our young guys action and the competition from them is pushing our veterans to get better.
"I also like what I'm seeing off the field as the team is starting to bond. They are hanging out with each other and our veterans are taking a leadership role, which is helping our young guys make the transition into the program."
The first string offense was impressive in its two drives, marching 65 yards for a touchdown on both possessions. The first drive saw Ron Harris run in from 10 yards out with quarterback Chris Horton hooking up Greg Louissaint on 20-yard touchdown pass to wrap up the second drive.
The touchdown pass wrapped up an impressive day for Horton. The senior was 5-of-7 for 60 yards and a touchdown.
The second string offense didn't do too shabby either, putting up a touchdown and driving into scoring position twice, only to have two field goal attempts go by the wayside on bad snaps.
Erik Stepleton directed one touchdown drive, an impressive 11-play drive that covered 65 yards and ended in a seven yard touchdown pass to Bryan Jackson. Stepleton ended the day going 7-of-12 for 83 yards and one touchdown.
While there was a lot of throwing, there was also a fair share of running. Freshman Rudell Small gained a team-high 68 yards on 13 carries, with Harris right behind with 55 yards on five carries.
Harris had the highlight run of the day, breaking two tackles and then reversing field for a 31-yard gain and a first down.
The Dolphins had 16 different players come away with a reception, with tight end Timothy Kraemer coming up with longest reception of the day - a 38-yards touchdown pass from freshman Spencer Endsley.
Louissaint was right behind him in yards, getting two catches for 35 yards.
Defensively, the Dolphins forced just one turnover but had six three-and-outs. The defense racked up three sacks - one each by Nixon Maitre, Austin Knipp and Kiel Pierce. James Mills forced the only turnover with an interception.
The three-way battle for the kicker role saw all three kickers convert an extra point attempt, while missing two field goals - Donovan Curry from 51 (wide left) and Josh Hostetler from 26 (wide right). Jamie Martin's lone attempt was voided as the snap was low and he was unable to get a kick off.
The Dolphins will return to the practice field on Monday for their first two-a-day, starting at 9 a.m. The team will have its second scrimmage on Aug. 18.