|Red edges White, 14-7 in Red-White Scrimmage|
|Written by Todd Marver, Daily Vidette Senior Staff|
|Sunday, 19 August 2012 17:11|
After a long summer featuring months of practices, workouts and scrimmages closed to the public, ISU took the field Saturday afternoon for the Red-White Scrimmage in its first event in front of a crowd at Hancock Stadium since the spring scrimmage on April 28. The Red squad emerged victorious, 14-7.
“It’s always great to get in front of your hometown fans,” senior quarterback Matt Brown said. “Whenever you play at home, it’s always a different type of atmosphere for us. We definitely felt like it was a lot of fun just to come out here in front of the crowd and be able to show them what we are going to do this season. Today it was good just to come out here and go wide to let everybody see what we have in store for the season.”
The Red team was the offense, while the White squad was the defense for the duration of the scrimmage. The contest was played in four, 10-minute running clock quarters.
A 75-yard, seven-play opening drive orchestrated by the first-team offense put the Red team up 7-0. A 51-yard pass from Brown to senior wide receiver Tyrone Walker brought the ball into the red zone before the senior quarterback connected with junior wideout Phil Dudley in the endzone from four yards out for the touchdown.
The White squad tallied its lone score of the contest in the second half and tied the score, 7-7 when freshman Kalium Ewing intercepted freshman quarterback Blake Winkler’s pass and returned it 45 yards for the touchdown. Winkler’s 47-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Milton Colbert in the fourth quarter rounded out the day’s scoring. Colbert was injured on the play and had to be carried off the field on a stretcher. Spack is hoping for no more injuries before the team’s season opener.
“We need to stay healthy until we get to our first game,” he said. “That’s key.”
The Red team had an additional scoring opportunity during the game, but freshman kicker Brandon White missed a 37-yard field goal. Spack was disappointed that this chance could not be converted.
“We’re a little sloppy in a couple things we do with the kicking game,” he said. “We missed a field goal there and we can’t miss those field goals. That’s the hardest thing to practice live, though.”
Freshman running back Marshaun Coprich headed ISU’s rushing attack with 51 yards on 11 carries and Brown finished 6 of 7 with 78 yards passing. Freshman defensive end Zach Marshall led the Redbird defense with five tackles and 3.5 sacks.
“I think our running game is in pretty good shape so far and I’ve been happy with it,” Spack said. “I like Marshaun Coprich, a freshman that can help us this year. Obviously I like the way we throw the football. Our quarterback is a good player and we have some depth at receiver. Our defense has been solid. We’ve developed some depth there and I think we’re improved in the secondary.”
Developing the offensive line has been a point of focus as ISU graduated all five starters on the line from last season’s team, but Spack has been pleased with the unit’s performance.
“I think the offensive line has done a great job and has gotten better and better and better,” he said.
With 12 days remaining before the team’s first game Sept. 1 against Dayton at Hancock Stadium, the Redbirds are in the process of working out their final kinks.
“We are definitely looking to expand what we do in upcoming weeks,” Brown said. “Hopefully we can just keep on the road to progress, just work on some of the small things, get our teams right especially on offense and whoever can add blocking up front. We are just working on making the little things count, especially personally getting in the right checks and looks against certain defenses. All of that combines into what we need to work on and we’ll take it day by day.”