Defense dominates Bulls scrimmage
Three weeks before the season opener, QB Quinton Flowers says the offense is ready.
It just didn't show it for the better part of Saturday morning's closed situational scrimmage at the Morsani Complex.
"Rough morning," Flowers said following the closed session. "At the end of the day, I've got to get my guys to where -- no matter what time it is, no matter what day it is -- when Coach (Willie Taggart) says come out to practice it's time to practice."
Among the few offensive highlights was the final play (open to reporters), in which freshman QB Chris Oladokun found Newsome High alumnus Donovan Geter behind the secondary on a textbook post route for a 60-yard TD.
Earlier, WR Stanley Clerveaux hauled in a TD pass from backup QB Brett Kean, and backup RB Darius Tice had a couple of short scoring runs. Otherwise, the scrimmage was dominated by the defense, Taggart said.
"I thought our defense played really well," Taggart said. "I thought they did some good things. ... Offensively, we didn't execute well at all. ... We had too many missed assignments, too many dropped balls. Again, in our offense, you drop the ball, it just takes away from the momentum."
Among the standouts was freshman S (and Admiral Farragut alumnus) Craig Watts, who had an interception and pass breakup. Collectively, the No. 1 unit had at least one goal-line stand against the No. 2 offense in red-zone work.
Scrimmage observers said the front four steadily applied pressure throughout the morning.
"We came out, we were prepared, we were ready to go," said MLB Auggie Sanchez, who graded the overall defensive effort a B. "Definitely turning this defensive bus around and it's good to see; a lot of guys having energy, a lot of guys making plays."
GRAY SHIRTS GALORE: Eleven defensive players now are sporting gray "Bull Shark" jerseys, awarded to those who show a consistent practice effort. The latest to earn them are S Devin Abraham, NT Deadrin Senat and DE Kirk Livingstone, whom Taggart continues praising almost daily.
"He's really stood out this entire camp so far," Taggart said.
Others with gray shirts to this point: Sanchez, CB Ronnie Hoggins, S Khalid McGee, S Jaymon Thomas, WLB Nigel Harris, NT Bruce Hector, DT Kevin Bronson and CB Deatrick Nichols.
ODDS AND ENDS: Taggart said Oladokun's TD throw came during a four-minute situation. "Usually you don't go deep (in that scenario), but you never fall asleep out there," Taggart said. "It was great that Chris put it right on the money and Geter finished it off for us." ... Taggart said Wisconsin transfer (and Plant High alumnus) Austin Hudson continues making noticeable progress at free safety. "Every day he's standing out and doing something well," Taggart said. "I think Austin's really starting to get comfortable being back there."
AUDIBLE: "That kid, I think he's gonna be one heck of a football player, and he wants to be good. He had a great scrimmage. He's one of those kids that loves to hit, so when we say we're gonna scrimmage he gets fired up about coming out there and playing football." -- Taggart on Watts