Defense Shines in Modified Scrimmage

March 28, 2014

Sturdy defense was the theme of roughly the first 90 percent of Friday afternoon's scrimmage as the Owls made several goal line stands, prevented a number of first downs and generally limited the offense's ability to make big plays.

The tide changed at the end of the day's workout as Luke Turner broke off a 64-yard run from scrimmage to set up an easy one-yard touchdown. On the ensuing possession, Driphus Jackson hit Mario Hull in stride for a 65-yard score.

Despite having just seven offensive linemen available, the Owls worked through several possessions in the 70-minute scrimmage. To compensate for the lack of bodies in the trenches, head coach David Bailiff modified the traditional format and even included some 7-on-7 drills in the middle. The coach expects the return of some more linemen from injury next week.

Bailiff said, "I was really pleased with the effort and really pleased with the progress. We know a lot of what the veterans can do and I'm really pleased to see some of the younger guys stepping up and making plays. At receiver, Temi Alaka has really grown so much. When we throw him the ball, he continues to impress and he's going to play a big role in this offense next season."

"I thought we ran the ball effectively today, especially (Luke) Turner and Darik Dillard. Darik really shined today. We tackled a lot better this week and in the scrimmage defensively. We played more to focus on fundamentals and technique."

Dillard showed off his elusiveness with a six-yard touchdown run up the middle. Another highlight of the day was J.T. Blasingame's third down pass break-up in the end zone.

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