Scrimmages mark halfway point of Fall practice
MEMPHIS, TENN. The University of Memphis concluded the second week of fall camp on Saturday with a pair of scrimmages. A morning session marked the lone time this preseason the team will work live on all phases of its special teams. The Tigers came back for an afternoon session pitting offense verses defense for a scrimmage which covered 120+ plays.
“We have to get a lot better at technique,” said Memphis head coach Justin Fuente following the afternoon practice. “There were a lot of good things that happened out there today on both sides of the ball, but we have to make improvement on the little things if we want to make the strides we talk about. Sooner or later the kids are going to have to bear down and focus on them.”
Saturday afternoon’s scrimmage included goal-line work with both the offense going toward the end zone from inside the five-yard line as well as plays run from inside the five going out. The team also worked on red zone and series that began at the 35-yard line. The final segments of the scrimmage included clock and field management series as well as two-minute drills.
Highlights Saturday included a Reggis Ball interception while Donald Pennington’s quarterback sack during two minute work disrupted a drive. Offensively, quarterback Brayden Scott had a 12-yard touchdown run during the clock management portion of the scrimmage.
The day began with the team going through all phases of its special teams during an early morning kicking scrimmage.
Fuente said he was pleased with the team’s effort during the morning workout.
“That scrimmage is brief but intense,” he said of the special teams’ work. “We got great looks from the scouts and I think we have great teaching film of what we saw today.”
Both scrimmages were called by an American Athletic Conference officiating crew.
On Friday evening, the crew met with the team and explained the new rules for the 2014 season as well as the points of emphasis for the year. The American Athletic Conference is one of several leagues which will use an eight-official crew this season and Saturday’s scrimmages saw that implementation.
Memphis will return to the practice field Monday afternoon and will hold its final scrimmage of camp on Wednesday. The team will go through a mock game next Saturday to culminate FanFest at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. FanFest is set to run from 9 to 11 a.m. at Tiger Lane with the mock game to follow at 11. A brief autograph session will be held following the game on the field.
Memphis opens the season in just two weeks, playing host to Austin Peay on Saturday, Aug. 30 at 6 p.m.