USM prepares for Saturday’s scrimmage


Coach Dan Disch teaches his secondary during a practice session on August 12.

Friday’s practice was a rain-wrenched session that saw the defense shut down the offense when pitted up against each other. Towards the end of practice with the offense looking for points, the first-team defense shut down Nick Mullens and his squad forcing him to throw into tight windows and not letting the receivers getting open.

“It definitely was a good day defensively today,” said coach Jay Hopson. “I’m hoping that kind of blends together tomorrow so we’ll see a little both of good on both sides.”

On Saturday, the Golden Eagles will take part in an intra-squad scrimmage as part of Eagle Fanfare. The scrimmage will pit the team against itself and mix and match the first team with the backups to make the teams even.

Again, Wil Freeman has made an immediate impact on the offensive side of the ball by making his impact felt at left tackle. Jacob Fleming still has a chance to take the starting spot and Freeman is by no means a lock for the spot.

The defensive line got after it today, giving guys like Ja’Boree Poole and Darian Yancey a chance to make plays in the offensive backfield. Mullens was not able to set his feet and throw a good ball and the pressure created by the defense put the offensive line on its heels as well.

“You just want to see them do things right,” Hopson said. “Good fundamentals and as head coach, I want to see both sides do well tomorrow.”

Although they may not play this year, freshmen Jacques Turner and Lorenzo Dantzler are both pushing the starters for their jobs. Preferably, the coaching staff would like to redshirt those two defensive linemen studs, but it may not be possible as much as they are pushing the defensive rotation.

For a football team, an intrasquad scrimmage can either show progress on both sides of the ball or show a discrepancy between the teams. Either the offense could score 60 points and make the defense look amateur or the defense could keep the offense at a halt.

Either way, a scrimmage can expose one side of the ball if they can not keep up with the other.

“Tomorrow, we got a scrimmage and as a head coach I’m hoping it’s 50-50 tomorrow,” Hopson said. “Again, it’s just back and forth days.”

Updates will keep coming as fall camp rolls on preparing for the Kentucky opener on September 3.

Defensive line coach Derek Nicholson teaches two of his linemen during practice on August 12.
Defensive line coach Derek Nicholson teaches two of his linemen during practice on August 12.