NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State football team held its first scrimmage of the spring season on Saturday at Tommy Owen Stadium on the campus of Montgomery Bell Academy.
“I thought the effort was good,” Tennessee State Head Coach Rod Reed said. “I saw some good things on both sides of the ball. I thought the offense moved the ball on the ground pretty well, which is something that we sorely need. Defensively, I thought when the first teamers were out there, we stood up well against the run. Overall, I was pleased with the effort and pleased with what we got out of the scrimmage today.”
After stretching, the team opened up with 7-on-7 followed by 11-on-11.
TSU’s offense on the day, led by quarterbacks Ronald Butler (Tallahassee, Fla.) and Michael Hughes (Nashville, Tenn.), put together a number of sustained drives. The Tigers’ defense was able to stand up along the way, not allowing a touchdown until the final play of the scrimmage.
Offensively, Patrick Smith (Memphis, Tenn.) came up with an acrobatic catch along the sidelines to open the 7-on-7 action.
Moving to the 11-on-11 portion of the scrimmage, Tyler Black (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) picked up back-to-back positive plays from the running back position. Butler hit Black on the option for a 15 yard run, and on the next play, Black ran up the middle for another 20 yards.
Toward the end of the day, Hughes completed a 15-yard pass to Chris Sanders-McCollum (Fairburn, Ga.) and another to Patrick Hill (Memphis, Tenn.). On the final offensive play of the scrimmage, Hughes scampered in for a two-yard touchdown on a read option play after faking a handoff to the running back.
The first scrimmage of the spring concluded with special teams work including point after tries and field goal attempts from various distances.
Spring practice continues next week as the Tigers continue preparation for the Blue and White Spring Game on April 16 at Hale Stadium.
Tennessee State Head Coach Rod Reed
“If the defense wasn’t a little ahead of the offense at this point, I’d be concerned. I did see one too many big plays in the run. I don’t care what defense is out there, you’re not allowed to let teams run the ball on you like that. We’ll go back and fix some things. A lot of it is alignment and assignment. We’ve got to make sure we get those things corrected, but hats off to the offense for being able to move the ball on the ground like that.”
- On the defense being ahead of the offense
“We’re very pleased. Effort was great. Execution, we knew it wouldn’t be 100 percent, but that’s why you have film. We’ll watch film this afternoon and hopefully get some things corrected.”
- On his overall thoughts on the scrimmage
Tennessee State Wide Receiver Chris Sanders-McCollum
“We kind of shot ourselves in the foot with some of the penalties, but we played physical, played fast. We came out aggressively and with some intensity.”
- On the play of the offense
Tennessee State Quarterback Michael Hughes
“I think we did well as a team. We need to be a little more disciplined on offense. We drove the ball pretty well, but we just need to finish. As a team though, I thought we did pretty well.”
- On moving the ball on offense