Middle Tennessee got improved play from its defense and no turnovers by the offense during its final scrimmage before the season opener at Purdue on Sept. 3. The 76-play scrimmage was held at Floyd Stadium in what was probably the hottest day of fall camp.
“I thought we got better today,” Head Coach Rick Stockstill said. “Our rhythm was better, our assignments were better, and we tackled well. We only gave up a couple of big plays, one in the two-minute situation, and one on the deep ball to Sancho (McDonald). I thought our protection was pretty good, and again I was pleased with how the quarterbacks played and how they ran the offense. We played a lot of people on defense today, and that was the intention. You never know until you watch the film, but I thought we got better today.”
Offensively, quarterback Logan Kilgore enjoyed another solid day by completing 14 of 17 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns. Kilgore hooked up with Kyle Griswould on a nice 20-yard strike for the first score of the day then came back to hit Sancho McDonald a few possessions later for 40 yards and the second touchdown of the afternoon.
“I’m happy with the way I threw the ball today, but really it’s more of a testimony to the offensive line and receivers,” said Kilgore. “All the skill positions were able to take care of the ball today. We didn’t have any turnovers offensively, and that’s more important to me than a lot of completions. The tempo was better today, and that just comes from clearing everything up. When we are seeing our signals, it is clicking faster in our minds, and that just takes reps, and I feel like in these next two weeks before we step on the field at Purdue, it will increase even more.”
Backup signal-caller Jeff Murphy was 14-for-24 for 164 yards, while freshman Shaun White completed 1 of 2 passes for 8 yards.
Griswould led all receivers with five receptions while McDonald, Andrew Banks, Harold Turner, and Anthony Amos all hauled in three catches. McDonald paced the way with 83 yards. Malcolm Beyah and Tavarres Jefferson collected two passes each.
Sophomore William Pratcher led all rushers with 54 yards on eight carries, including a 36-yard touchdown run during the two-minute offense. Starter Benny Cunningham had just two attempts for nine yards and D.D. Kyles added 11 yards on three carries.
Defensively, the Blue Raiders had 16 tackles for loss, five sacks, and three pass breakups. Sophomore linebacker Corey Carmichael had four stops and two TFLs, while defensive tackle Kendall Dangerfield turned in three tackles, two TFLs, and a pass breakup. DT Jimmy Staten also had a solid day with two tackles, two TFLS, and a sack.
DE Omar McLendon, DT Jimmy Staten, LB Ykeem Wells, LB Roderic Blunt, and DE Jiajuan Fennell accounted for the five sacks. LinebackersJonathan Brooks and Craig Allen each recorded a pass breakup.
The Blue Raiders will not practice on Sunday but will return to the field on Monday with a 3:50 PM practice in the stadium. Monday’s practice is closed to the public.
Kyle Griswould 20 pass from Logan Kilgore
Sancho McDonald 40 pass from Logan Kilgore
Alan Gendreau 42 FG
Alan Gendreau 44 FG
Alan Gendreau 24 FG
William Pratcher 36 run