Offense Steps Up in 3rd Scrimmage of Spring

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MEMPHIS – The offense showed marked improvement from the previous week as the Memphis Tigers scrimmaged on Saturday to culminate the third full week of spring camp.

Memphis’ third scrimmage of the spring featured situational work such as play in the red zone and starting from the long side of the field to series with a running clock.

“I thought the offense executed better than they have. I was proud of them for that,” said Memphis head coach Justin Fuente. “I think offensively we have to learn to finish and we didn’t do the things we needed to do at the end of practice – end of the game drills and two-minute drill. The biggest thing I thought was they executed.

“Obviously defensively, we were not as sharp as we have been at times,” Fuente said. “I was disappointed with how they played today from an assignment perspective to a tackling and physical perspective.”

Rising senior running back Jai Steib rushed for over 100 yards during Saturday’s scrimmage. He had a 40-yard run in addition to a pair of rushing touchdowns.

“Running behind the offensive line, they did a great job today and so did (tight end) Alan Cross, they did a pretty good job blocking and the rest was on me,” Steib said. “They took care of their job and I had to follow through.”

Steib spoke about the offense taking action following last Saturday’s scrimmage.

“It’s all about responding,” he said. “That’s what makes each side better. One side can’t excel if one side is in the can. It has to be complete competitiveness all around the ball. We just have to step it up, believe in ourselves and go out there and know that we are able to do the things we are able to do.”

Memphis will practice next Tuesday and Thursday before holding its annual Blue-Gray Spring Game next Saturday at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. The game is slated for a 12 noon kickoff but pregame festivities begin on Tiger Lane at 10 a.m.

Following the game, the team will hold a clinic for children in eighth grade and under. The clinic is presented by fred’s Super Dollar. There will be an autograph and photo session with the Tiger team following the clinic.

Admission and parking at next week’s spring game is free.

In 2013, the Tigers begin play in the soon to be renamed and rebounded Big East Conference. Memphis will open the season at home Sept. 7 when the squad plays host to Duke.