August 11, 2012
Defense Dominates First Football Scrimmage
UAB finished its first official scrimmage of the young football season with mixed results Saturday night. At times the defense looked good. Other times, the offense did well. Bottom line: Head coach Garrick McGee was happy with what he saw, given that the Blazers had only 13 days of practice to get ready. "The fun was to actually play football for the first time," he said.
"Mentally, we've got a long way to go," he added. Still, he was pleased with the overall performance, particularly by the defense. "I like our team a lot," he said. "I was really impressed with the total effort on defense."
The scrimmage involved no punting, with the offense getting the ball at the 50 yard line on each possession. The offense got the ball 26 times, scoring four touchdowns and two field goals. The defense stopped them the other 20 times, using three interceptions (two for touchdowns), a fumble, and three three-and-outs.
Quarterback Jonathan Perry got most of the snaps, but - by his own admission - had a bad game. "I didn't play good at all," he said. Perry completed 11-of-31 passes for 201 yards and one touchdown. However, he also game up an interception that was returned for a touchdown.
Austin Brown got most of the backup work, hitting 9-of-13 passes for 123 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Freshman Ben Craft with four completions in seven tosses for 26 yards.
Jackie Williams led all receivers with 5 catches for 109 yards and one touchdown. The scoring play came late in the scrimmage at the end of three consecutive tosses into the end zone.
Patrick Hearn caught four passes for 75 yards and a TD. Freshman tight end Grant Davis also had four receptions, with a tally of 70 yards. Jamarcus Nelson only caught one pass, but it was a 28-yard touchdown reception.
Bashr Coles was the workhorse of the running corps with 70 yards on 16 carries. Darrin Reaves added 58 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. "It felt good to get this scrimmage under my belt," Reaves said.
Dontavious Jackson was close behind with 54 yards and a pair of scores on 12 carries. Greg Franklin had the best average (8.0 per carry) with 56 yards on eight rushes.
Linebacker Greg Irvin had the defensive highlight of the night, grabbing an interception and returning in 50 yards for a touchdown. Still, he was disappointed with the play of the defense. "Overall, we were inconsistent," he said. "We've got things we need to work on."
Lamarcus Farmer also had a pick-six on an 11-yard return.
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