Defense Dominates TU's Latest Scrimmage
The Tulsa football team practiced for two hours on Saturday morning and finished the workout with an 83-play scrimmage that saw the defense dominate.
"The head coach liked the scrimmage because our defense answered. The defense had not played very well this week, but they completely dominated today. The offensive side of me was frustrated that the offense didn't get going, but that's why I always ask after practice - who won? Tulsa wins because we slug it back-and-forth and this week has been a pretty good mirror of that," said Tulsa Head Coach Bill Blankenship.
"Going back-and-forth is okay. What you don't want is one side that dominates all the time, because then you don't know how good that side is. Are they really that good, or is the other group that bad? So, if we can get it going back and forth that's really an encouraging thing for the head coach."
"The defensive coaches had their guys running after Thursday's practice, because that practice had been completely dominated by the offense," said Blankenship. "We're getting better. If people just came out today they'd probably not have a very good feeling of how the spring's going."
Today's scrimmage began with an interception on the first play by red-shirt freshman linebacker C.J. Gooden and ended with an interception by sophomore-to-be safety Will Barrow. Red-shirt freshman cornerback Kerwin Thomas added an interception and the Hurricane defense recovered two fumbles and blocked two field goals.
"We've hardly had any turnovers the whole spring, but they were generated today. That was the challenge to the defense - we have to get some takeaways. Offensively, today we had penalties and turnovers - the things that get you beat on offense - and they didn't respond very well. But, again in fairness it has not been like that for the past two weeks," added Blankenship.
"It's interesting Coach Johnson and the offensive coaches challenged the offense after really dominating play on Thursday 'you better come out, because the defense is going to be ready, they're going to bring it,' and we didn't match the defense's intensity with the offensive guys today," said Blankenship. "That's kind of the way spring ball goes."
The highlight for the offense was a 57-yard drive led by freshman Jabe Burgess that resulted in a 40-yard Cole Way field goal. Red-shirt freshman Daelen McClendon had a 38-yard run on the first play from scrimmage, while Burgess completed 3-of-4 passes for 30 yards.
"Again, today was not one of our better days at all on offense, but Dane has had a really solid spring. The whole offense has played very well the last three practices, today was probably their worst day," added Blankenship.
Tulsa will be back on the practice field Tuesday for their 10th practice of the spring.
REMAINING SPRING SCHEDULE
April 8th (Tuesday), 3:30 pm
April 10th (Thursday), 3:30 pm
April 12th (Saturday), 10:00 am
April 15th (Tuesday), 3:30 pm
April 17th (Thursday), 10:00 am
April 19th (Saturday), SPRING GAME, 2:00 pm