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Sat, Dec 20, 2014

Blue Raiders hold 103-play scrimmage

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Middle Tennessee held its first scrimmage of fall camp Saturday as nine different players scored while the defense collected 18 tackles for loss. The 103-play scrimmage was held at Floyd Stadium.

The offense started strong with three scores on its first three possessions with RB Benny Cunningham racing 56 yards on the third play of the scrimmage for the first score. QB Logan Kilgore connected with Sancho McDonald on an 11-yard strike for the second touchdown before RB Drayton Calhoun went around the right side for a 70-yard touchdown run.

"Our offense did some good things early, but it was nothing to come out of here beating your chest about," said Head Coach Rick Stockstill. "We've got a long way to go. The five things that we really believe in, we didn't accomplish four of the five today. We had some individual guys that had some good individual plays, but for the most part, I thought it was just a solid day.

"We put too many balls on the ground, we had too many procedural penalties on the offensive line, and we have to clean that up. We need to go faster. We are not real fast right now, tempo-wise."

The defense stiffened the next two possessions with a stop and an Eric Russell interception. But the offense wasn't done.

Ignited by a 17-yard pass from Jeff Murphy to Malcolm Beyah and a 14-yard run by Calhoun, the offense went 60 yards in 10 plays for a fourth touchdown. RB Jeremiah Bryson completed the drive with a 2-yard run into the end zone.

The offense again went 60 yards in 10 plays on the next possession that ended with a 4-yard touchdown run by Kilgore.

"We played three young guys at quarterback, and we played a lot of running backs," added Stockstill. "Benny (Cunningham) had a nice day. He ran hard, he looked fast, and he was explosive. Drayton (Calhoun) had a long run early, and some of the long runs toward the end came against young guys."

The defense turned things around in the second half by getting stops on four of the next five possessions. The lone offensive score was a 1-yard run by William Pratcher.

The defense allowed just two field goals the next three possessions before the offense went 30 yards in five plays for their seventh touchdown. The offenses final score came on a nice 19-yard pass from freshman Shaun White to WR Richard Drake.

Kilgore ended the scrimmage by completing 13 of 21 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown while Jeff Murphy went 11-of-17 for 87 yards and an interception. Overall, Blue Raider quarterbacks completed 31 of 52 passes for 313 yards.

Calhoun led all rushers with 80 yards on nine carries while Cunningham added 66 yards on just two attempts. Pratcher added 58 yards on 10 carries and Bryson collected 51 yards on 10 rushes.

Andrew Banks and Calhoun led the team with five receptions each while Tavarres Jefferson and Harold Turner added three grabs. Drake finished with two catches.

"We came out with good intensity and we had some big plays," said Kilgore. "Then it was exciting to see how the defense responded. They definitely got it going after a couple of series.

"The offensive line did a great job protecting, and so did the running backs. I think we are definitely on the right path and I'm excited at the direction we are headed."

Defensively, the Blue Raiders had 18 TFLs, an interception, six sacks, and four pass breakups.

The Blue Raiders will not practice on Sunday as the program will hold its annual Fan Day beginning at 2 PM in Murphy Center.

Scrimmage Scoring Plays
Benny Cunningham 56 run
Sancho McDonald 11 pass from Logan Kilgore
Drayton Calhoun 70 run
Jeremiah Bryson 2 run
Logan Kilgore 4 run
William Pratcher 1 run
Alan Gendreau 43 FG
Alan Gendreau 42 FG
Kyle Griswould 2 run
Richard Drake 19 pass from Shaun White

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