Skyhawk football holds first spring scrimmage


WPSD Sports

MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin football team conducted its first scrimmage of the spring this morning at Hardy Graham Stadium.

The Skyhawks, who posted an OVC-best .727 winning percentage in 2012, officially opened their spring practice slate on March 2 and have 31 days to complete 15 practices.  This morning’s practice was UT Martin’s seventh of the spring.
“We’re almost at the midway point of spring practice and now guys are starting to separate themselves on the depth chart,” Skyhawk head coach Jason Simpson said. “We are through with installation and our next eight practices will be focused more on fundamentals and the things the guys need to work on over the summer.”
Both sides of the ball had its moments in the scrimmage today. Overall the offense gained 485 yards on 72 plays while the defense produced four 3-and-outs, three sacks, a fumble recovery and a safety in the offense’s 20 drives.
The quarterback trio of Jarod Neal, Dylan Favre and Tyler Rice combined for 17 completions for 180 yards and a touchdown. Returning All-OVC Newcomer honoree Jeremy Butler led the wide receivers with five catches – including a 10-yard touchdown strike from Neal.
On the ground, the Skyhawks tallied 55 rushes for 305 yards and three touchdowns. DJ McNeil had 10 carries for 109 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown on the ninth drive of the scrimmage. Trent Garland led the team with 13 carries (including a four-yard touchdown), while Najee Ray (11 rushes), Roland Genesy (nine) and Stevie Bush (six) also received a bulk of the carries. Favre was responsible for the team’s third rushing touchdown, scrambling for an eight-yard score on the 16th drive.
The defense, which will include All-OVC performers Ben Johnson, DJ Roberts and Thad Williams, kept the offense at bay throughout the day. The stingy defensive unit held the offense to three yards or less on 29 plays, including minus yardage on 10 of those snaps.
On special teams, returning All-OVC second team punter James Satterfield tallied two punts for an average of 42.5 yards. Rising sophomore kicker Jackson Redditt made field goals from 20 yards, 27 yards, 32 yards and 37 yards to round out a successful day.
“For our first full scrimmage of the spring, we are about where we need to be,” Simpson said. “I liked the competition and our young guys getting live reps. We have a long way to go but we did some good things and made some strides today.”
UT Martin is scheduled to hold four practices next week. The Skyhawks will practice on Tuesday, April 9 at 4 p.m., Thursday, April 11 at 4 p.m., and Saturday, April 13 at 10 a.m. and Sunday, April 14 at 4 p.m. All times and dates are tentatively scheduled and may be changed because of weather. The practice on Saturday, April 13 will also be a scrimmage and will be the final scrimmage before the spring game takes place on Saturday, April 20.

From: UTM media relations

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