First Scrimmage Gives Inexperienced Eagles Field Time
STATESBORO, Ga. - It was a good news/bad news scrimmage for the Georgia Southern Football team this morning. The good news was that the Eagle offense didn't have a single turnover during the session, the bad news was that by the end of the scrimmage, there was only one quarterback available to take snaps.
Freshman quarterback Jerick McKinnon donned a red jersey late in the scrimmage and led the No. 1 and No. 2 offenses until the end of the practice. Freshman Ezayi "Izzy" Youyoute made it through the first play of the scrimmage before being relegated to the exercise bike. Sophomore Russell DeMasi went to the locker room with the trainers after the momentum of the rushing play drove him and his tackler out of bounds.
"Typically we have gone live on the quarterbacks and that just gets them to play at the speed that we want them to," said Eagles Head Coach Jeff Monken. "If they are in a red jersey, they know they are going to get tagged off on and a lot of times they are not trying to make the guys miss in the open field or they are easing off. It's unfortunate that we got two of them hurt and that's why we put Jerick in red there at the end to make sure he didn't get hurt too so we could finish the scrimmage. We'll see how they are and hopefully we can get those guys back."
The Eagles ran more than 90 plays in the Saturday scrimmage with the No. 1 offense squaring off against the No. 1 defense and the twos and threes following suit. The field goal units had the opportunity to finish drives.
"Both sides made some plays at times, both sides did some things that would have hurt us at times," Monken said. "There were some long plays on offense, running the football, and that's concerning, I'd like to see our defense do a better job of stopping the run. We also had some negative yardage plays running the football and getting the ball pitched out there and not getting everybody blocked. There were some guys who made some plays on both sides, and really the film will tell more of the tale."
Dissecting the film from Saturday's scrimmage will help the coaches evaluate both individual players and their performances. These cut-ups are used as a teaching tool so players can see where both progress is being made and mistakes need to be corrected.
"When you can rewind and look at the play over and over again, you see all the little details, particularly the effort and who is showing up," Monken said. "When you scrimmage, you are so anxious to get the next play in there and get the right people in position. You can't coach everybody when you are on the field, you have to continue to get reps. The film allows us to evaluate and then coach the guys both in their effort and their performance."
Monken remarked on some of the areas where the team still has some learning to do. More reps on the field and time spent watching the cut-ups will help that process.
"We struggled getting lined up some times, we had some issues on offense just getting in the right formation and on defense getting lined up like we are supposed to and like we needed to to play the best defense. Those things will come. We have a lot of young guys playing who are still learning and we'll improve here in the next couple of weeks."
The sidelines have plenty of Eagles who are spending this spring healing injuries which puts less experienced players on the field. While this seems like bad news now, the good news is that these younger players will benefit from being involved in live action now.
"They may find themselves in the football game and they need to be ready to go, they need to know the speed and the tempo and the physical nature of it," Monken said about the less-experienced Eagles who are shoring up the depth chart this spring. "We are inexperienced in our depth. We have some experienced guys who hopefully will be healthy and be back in the fall, but we have some inexperienced backups and that is a litte scary. We are doing the best we can to get those guys prepared and it is going to take a lot of work on our part and a lot of improvement for us to have a chance to be a good football team. We are not right now and we have to do a lot of work to come together."
The Eagles will practice next on Tuesday, April 5th.
SPRING FOOTBALL PRACTICE SCHEDULE
Saturday's scrimmage at Paulson Stadium is open to the public but any filming, recording or photography is limited to members of the media only.
2011 SPRING PRACTICE DATES
Tuesday, April 5
Thursday, April 7
Saturday, April 9 (scrimmage - Paulson Stadium)
Tuesday, April 12
Thursday, April 14
Friday, April 15 (Spring Game), 7 p.m.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
The annual Blue-White game will have a different look as it will be played on Friday, April 15th at 7 p.m. as the final scrimmage of the spring. Admission is free. Special events leading up to the game include a tailgate in support of the ADA "Kiss a Pig" fundraising campaign for the Statesboro/Bulloch County team of Bubba Hunt and Coach Monken, a Little Eagles Football Skills Clinic from 5-6 p.m. and the Blue-White Eagle Rally immediately following the clinic.
EFFA REVERSE RAFFLE & AUCTION
The fourth annual Eagle Football Assistance Association (EFAA) Reverse Raffle and Auction is scheduled for Saturday, April 16th, the night after the Blue-White Spring Game. The evening of great live entertainment, food and opportunity to spend time with the Georgia Southern Football coaching staff and former Eagle players also features the opportunity to win $10,000.
The social hour, ticket check-in and silent auction begins at 6 p.m. at the Gene Bishop Field House. Items for the silent auction include Georgia Southern game day experiences, memorabilia, a round of golf with former Eagle football legends and other packages.
Reverse Raffle tickets can be purchased from the Georgia Southern Athletic Foundation for $100 each and each ticket covers food, beverages for the ticket purchaser and a guest. Reverse Raffle ticket purchasers need not be present at the event to win the grand prize.
Created to assist former Eagles in need of financial help, the EFAA invites all former football players, coaches and athletics staff to support the association through annual membership and fundraising efforts. Proceeds from the Reverse Raffle event benefit perennial EFAA projects including the Erk Russell Memorial Scholarship, the Eagle Fund, the GSU Athletic Foundation and Georgia Southern Football.
For more information about the event or to purchase tickets for the Reverse Raffle, contact the Georgia Southern University Athletic Foundation at (912) 478-5520.
- Category: Football
- Published on Saturday, 02 April 2011 20:51