August 9, 2008

Saturday scrimmage Blue Raider hot 11

Middle Tennessee held its first scrimmage of fall camp Saturday at Floyd Stadium, providing the first true measuring stick of where the team is after a week of practice.

With position battles in full swing and plenty of newcomers fighting for playing time, it was an important stepping stone on the path toward the season opener.

GoMiddle.com takes a look at the hot 11 performers from Saturday's scrimmage.

SATURDAY SCRIMMAGE BLUE RAIDER HOT 11
Rod Issac

Issac had a solid day in coverage that included a couple of pass breakups and solid tackles. He ran step-for-step with downfield routes and also had a very good defensive play when he won a battle against Chris McClover on a fade pattern into the end zone. Issac continues to show he has all-league potential in his skill set.
Chris McCoy

The junior defensive end had the play of the day and it came during the scrimmage's first series. He retreated into the secondary in pass coverage and snared a spectacular one handed interception by leaping high into the air on a floating pass down the seam. McCoy's day consisted of more than just one good play. He also batted down a pass, pressured the quarterback, and was a consistent disruption on the defensive front.
Alan Gendreau

The freshman kicker may have separated himself from the pack Saturday with an impressive kicking display. The Florida native connected on two 40-yard goals, a 26-yarder, and a 45-yarder. His only miss came on a block by Emmanuel Perez, but that was not Gendreau's fault. Perez burst through a gap left open due to a missed assignment in protection. Gendreau's effort drew praise from Rick Stockstill after the scrimmage, as the coach indicated he is growing more confident in the new Blue Raider.
Phillip Tanner

Tanner enjoyed a very productive afternoon on the ground and he individually dominated one series in particular. He showed excellent burst around the end after taking a pitch and also showed his ability to keep grinding forward after initial contact. His next play featured great body control as he shifted his body twice to avoid tacklers near the left sideline before getting free for about a 40-yard run. From there, he went in untouched for a touchdown to cap his efforts on that series. He netted 70 yards on the ground for the day.
Malcolm Beyah

If you're looking to single out a player that had a true breakout day, Beyah is a good pick. The freshman receiver flashed his big play abilities on multiple occasions. On one play, he took an end around handoff, scooted his way through traffic and shed some arm tackles down the left sideline for a big gain. He also caught several balls, including a slant over the middle for 15 yards and another 25 yarder that was mostly yards after the catch. His only flaw in the scrimmage came on a dropped slant early in the afternoon.
Trevor Jenkins

Jenkins did a good job controlling the line of the scrimmage for the defense and made one huge play on a third down play near the goal line when he solidly batted down a pass from Dwight Dasher. The play drew a big response from his defensive teammates. Jenkins brought steady pressure up the middle as well.
Chris McClover

McClover showed enough bright spots to be in included in this list, though he wasn't as dominant as Beyah. McClover showed good body control by making a couple of catches in traffic and gained good separation on a deep out route on the left sideline. His physical presence can be an asset in short yardage situations, but he lost a one-on-one battle with Issac in a goal line situation.
Emmanuel Perez

Perez had one of the day's highlights when he stormed through the protection to swat away a field goal attempt by Alan Gendreau. The sophomore from Miami played in 11 games last year and should be a dependable backup at defensive end this year.
Hakeem Johnson

Johnson makes the list for his interception of Dwight Dasher late in the afternoon's proceedings. The freshman from Jacksonville appeared to read Dasher's eyes and put himself in position to make the easy interception on a slant route toward the middle.
Joe Craddock

While Craddock didn't have a flawless day, he did a lot of positive things. Other than the interception he threw to McCoy, which he threw a little off of his backfoot, Craddock made good decisions and connected with several different receivers. His reads and throws looked more confident and polished than Dasher's for most of the day, although Stockstill said after the scrimmage he felt like neither QB separated himself. Craddock accounted for the day's first score when he hit tight end Gene Delle Donne over the middle for a 20-yard score.
Wes Hofacker

Hofacker didn't have many standout plays, but he was a big factor in the defensive line controlling the line of scrimmage for much of the day's action. Stockstill mentioned him specifically after the scrimmage as having had a solid effort. The defensive end was in on a couple of stops for losses and made life very difficult for every Blue Raider that lined up at offensive tackle.




 

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