Aug 17, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ----- The UAB football team held its first scrimmage of preseason camp Saturday night at Legion Field and head coach Garrick McGee was pleased with what he saw from his team, especially the Blazers' intensity and enthusiasm.
Now two weeks away from their 2013 season opener at Troy (Aug. 31, 6 p.m. CT), the Blazers spent more than two hours under the lights as the coaching staff got its first look at the team in scrimmage action.
"The intensity, the overall effort of the football team, offensively, defensively and special teams (stand out to me)," McGee said. "I'm just really impressed with the enthusiasm and the commitment that the kids have to playing with a certain level of effort. That's what stands out to me.
"We've got a lot of stuff to get cleaned up, but to get out there for the first time and really bang it and play a game situation, I was pretty impressed with them," he said.
Running back Greg Franklin and wide receiver Darius Powell each scored a pair of touchdowns in the scrimmage with Franklin scoring on runs of three and 20 yards. Powell's scoring receptions came on a 26-yard pass from Austin Brown and a 21-yard strike from Mike Miller.
Franklin finished with 41 yards on eight carries. David Calloway led all rushers with 70 yards on only nine attempts.
Brown played with the No. 1 offense and finished with 173 passing yards as he connected on 12-of-23 passes with one touchdown toss. Jonathan Perry also had a solid performance in the scrimmage, hitting 15-of-21 passes for 213 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Perry's touchdown passes came on a 31-yard toss to Dequindre Adams and a four-yard score to tight end Bud Pruitt.
"I thought our freshman, Jordan Howard, ran the ball well, also." Howard finished with 27 yards on seven rushes.
The Blazers had 20 different receivers catch passes in the scrimmage with junior Jamarcus Nelson (48 yards) and freshman Jamari Staples (53 yards) leading the way with four receptions each. Powell had three catches for 62 yards and the two touchdown grabs.
"We've got a lot of receivers. Darius (Powell) is doing a good job, J.J. was back after being out for a couple days. Staples made a couple huge plays out there. Nyiakki Height made some plays on simple crossing routes."
On the defensive side, linebacker Jake Ganus, cornerback Cortez Webb and defensive lineman Shaq Roberson led the way with seven tackles apiece. Roberson also contributed a pair of sacks and a tackle for loss.
Overall, the defense registered nine sacks in the scrimmage. Defensive back Zachary Warren recorded the only interception on the night.
"They got some stops, they flew around, played hard, got their hands on the ball. Our defensive front knocked some passes down. It was a battle. I've been in these scrimmages before where the offense goes up and down the field, but that's not the deal around here anymore. It's back and forth."
Kicker Ty Long was perfect on the night with four field goals, two of those going for 46 and 48 yards. Punter Hunter Mullins had three punts for a 38 yard average but did have one blocked (by Trey Grissett).
With the season opener approaching fast, the Blazers will get back on the field Monday.
"It's a very important week, because now we know who we are. Now, we've got to start wiring in and concentrating on executing our offense, defense and special teams. We've established that we're going to play a certain way and we are better mentally as a football team. Now, we've got to execute."
Scrimmage Stats Leaders
Rushing - Franklin 8-41, 2 TDs; D. Calloway 9-70; Howard 7-27; Arrington 8-22.
Passing - Brown 12-23, 173 yds., 1 TD, 1 INT; Perry 15-21, 213 yds., 2 TDs; Briscoe 3-8, 32 yds.; Miller 6-7, 77 yds., 1 TD.
Receiving - Nelson 4-48; Powell 3-62, 2 TDs; Staples 3-53; Pruitt 2-28, 1 TD; Backman 3-38; D. Adams 2-41, 1 TD; Humphrey 1-36; Morris 1-37.
Tackles - Ganus 7; Webb 7; Roberson 7, 2 sks., 1 TFL; Crews 5, 1 TFL; Watkins 5; 1 sk., 1 TFL.