TAMPA — With all eyes focused on the Shavar Manuel vs. Deon Cain matchup, the Tampa Bay Tech Titans played keep away from Manuel and Blake’s defense en route to a 20-6 victory in the preseason opener.
On the first play, the Yellow Jackets shuffled their defensive line before the snap and Manuel finally put his hand in the dirt on the left side. Tech snapped the ball and Cain made a great zone read and darted through a hole on the opposite side — 80 yards later it was 6-0 Tech.
The Titans kept Manuel and the Yellow Jackets guessing much of the night. On the next drive, Cain hit Daquon Green for a 40-yard touchdown. Green later caught a 50-yarder but coughed it up in the end zone to give it back to Blake.
The Yellow Jackets finally got a spark in the second half when Manuel broke into the backfield and stopped Green on a jet sweep for a 5-yard loss. The next play cornerback Donte’ Glover leaped to snare a Cain pass. Glover returned it 35 yards for a score and lit a fire on the Blake sidelines. Blake followed it up with a nice, 70-yard drive, with linebacker Julian Jackson and defensive lineman Marquis Daniel lined up in the backfield to help workhorse Corey Bennett. But Jackson coughed up the ball at the 5 then Tech slammed the door.
Cain broke loose on another big run, a 30-yarder for a score and the Titans turned out the lights defensively. Jaisen Randolph had two interceptions and Sherrod Paige had another. The Titans had three picks and only allowed four completions. The Titans pressured quarterback Sam Oxendine relentlessly and high snaps further complicated his night. Of Blake’s 13 drives, six lost yardage.
“We felt like they weren’t going to be able to handle the pressure, so we were going to go get after them (on defense),” Titans coach Jayson Roberts said.
Tech’s Chalo Judge had six tackles, a sack and a tackle for loss.