Defense steps up in second scrimamge

Aug. 15, 2007

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - JU head football coach Kerwin Bell felt that his team needed an extra scrimmage to get a better evaluation of his team.

The coaching staff on both sides of the ball have a lot to look at as the offense showed some flashes late, but only after the defense had forced two turnovers and only allowed three touchdown scoring drives in the second scrimmage of fall camp.

After watching the offense pile up yardage in the first scrimmage on Saturday, the defense stood tall forced two turnovers, with A.J. Land returning an interception 60 yards for a touchdown.

But the hard play didn't stop there as the Dolphins went deep into the darkness with Oklahoma drills, with the defense winning that battle, 15-10.

"I tell these guys all the time that I want them to hit from daylight to dark and we did that today," Bell said. "It was a great scrimmage for our young guys to get some experience and help us see how they can help us. We made a lot of mistakes, but we cut down on the big mistakes that cost you ball games."

The offense put up a similar total in yardage to Saturday, but they had some promising drives fizzle out. The rushing attack stepped up with 200 yards on the ground, led by the two-headed attack of Cecil Coltrane and Bradley Grant. Grant led the team with 13 carries for 79 yards while Coltrane had 12 carries for 73 yards and a touchdown.

Grant showed a lot of potential during the scrimmage, breaking two tackles for a 39-yard run that set up a touchdown and a six-yard run where he plowed through a linebacker for a first down.

The passing didn't look as sharp early as Chris Horton and Erik Stepleton combined to drive the offense down for two field goals. Horton finished the day going 5-of-11 for 38 yards while Stepleton was 5-of-10 for 50 yards.

Their offense's struggles were due in part to a blitzing defense that took advantage of some injuries along the offensive line. The defense recorded four sacks - with Joey Rumph, Kiel Pierce, Sean Davis and Jacob Wright each getting one.

Throw onto that defense pressure some hard hitting, which forced a fumble, as well as enough pressure on the quarterback for Land to nab an interception and take it to the house for a six.

There were also some highlights in the receiving corps. Greg Louissaint and Sam Bell each had three catches, Louissaint going for 29 yards and Bell going for 36 yards. Bryan Jackson had the only receiving touchdown, a nine-yard strike from Jonathan Jones.

Spencer Endsley had one of the more impressive days among the quarterbacks. Endsley completed the day going 5-of-6 passing for 72 yards, but threw the Dolphins only interception.

"We really got after it today and that's what I like to see," Bell said. "We've got a lot of competition for spots and these guys are out here working hard every day to improve."

The scrimmage capped a long day for the Dolphins that began in the morning with a practice in pads and shorts as JU had its second two-a-day practice.

The Dolphins will practice once on Thursday and twice on Friday before the third scrimmage of fall camp on Saturday at 10 a.m.