The offense came out with a game plan this morning, which they executed nearly flawlessly. In the second full scrimmage of summer practice the offense displayed their full potential, running up and down the field on the defense, seemingly at will. The scrimmage format was the same as last Saturday's with each possession starting from their own 30 yard line and the first string offense going against the first string defense, then second on second, then third on third, and then back to the top.
The first unit started off well by gaining a first down after three consecutive run plays. Nesbitt then scampered for 15 yards after he could not find a receiver open, including a great cutback to elude Jefferson. Nesbitt called his own number on a triple option play, gaining 20 yards to move the ball all the way to the 20-yard line. A toss sweep to Peeples went for 10 yards and another first down before the defense decided that they had taken enough abuse. Jefferson stood Dwyer up for a short gain up the middle followed by another short gain by Nesbitt down to the 5-yard line. Nesbitt rolled to his left on a third and goal passing play, but the play was defended well by the secondary. He eventually ran out of space along the sidelines before accepting a 5-yard loss. Blair came in on fourth down to nail a 27-yard field goal.
The second unit came out with authority after Marcus Wright took a toss sweep around the right side for a tough eight-yard gain. It took nearly three defenders to stop his momentum, but the little guy still would not go down. He finished the play by shouldering Martin Frierson to the ground as if he was saying, "Get off me!" Jaybo followed this up by keeping it on the triple for a seven-yard gain and an easy first down. Quentin Sims dropped an easy pass from Jaybo and some murmuring could be heard amongst the crowd in attendance at Bobby Dodd. Wright then had a nice 12 yard gain on another toss sweep, but the play was negated on a holding call made by ACC referee, Ron "He was giving him the business" Cherry. Jaybo kept it himself on the following play and put a nice little juke move on Jon Lockhart to regain the lost penalty yardage. On 3rd-10, Jaybo dropped back to pass but saw open green ahead of him and quickly tucked it for a 20-yard gain and the first down. Sims dropped another easy pass and then Izaan Cross showed some good lateral quickness to track down the speedster Marcus Wright for only a short gain. Jaybo did a great job selling a screen play on third and seven to Preston Lyons. Lyons did the rest for a 12-yard pick-up down inside the 20. Wright took an inside handoff for 7 yards, but then Steven Sylvester put a nice stick on Lyons for no gain. Jaybo kept the ball on a triple on third- 3 and followed his blockers to walk in the end zone for the first touchdown of the morning.
Anything you can do, I can do better. This was third string's motto as trotted onto the field for the first time and took only two plays to score their first touchdown. Stephen Hill caught a quick lateral pass from Tevin on the first play that went for 9 yards after he stiff-armed the cornerback to the ground for additional yards after contact. Orwin Smith then took quick toss around the right side where he outran the defense to the sidelines. Once there he tight-roped the chalk, squared his body, and then was gone for a 61 yard touchdown run.
Two plays did not satisfy CPJ, so the third string came back out for another possession. This time, the drive was only one play long, which resulted after Tevin was being sacked as he pitched it to the running back. The pitch was not close enough to the A-back and Brandon Watts fell on the ball for the turnover.
Tevin kept it on the triple option for a 26-yard run, where he showed off some of his signature methodical running style to follow his blockers well down the field. Daniel Drummond took one up the middle for a tough, "I can carry the entire defense with me", five-yard gain. Orwin Smith took a pitch for 13 yards and a first down followed by another strong 5 yard run from Drummond. Tevin then tossed a perfect 26-yard touchdown pass to Jamaal Paige, who had a defender draped all over him. Tevin put it in a spot where only Paige could catch the ball and then his momentum allowed him to fall forward onto the pylon for the score.
The onslaught continued as the first team did not want to be left out of the end zone. Anthony Allen went for two yards on a play that looked like it could have gone for much more, but Izaan Cross did a great job to stay at home on the cutback and make the tackle. Dwyer was then punished by a collection of defensive lineman who then drove him backwards and finished the play by slamming him to the ground. The defense finally appeared to be angry, but on third and six, Nesbitt kept the ball on one of those backbreaking runs that will drive a defensive coordinator crazy. It appeared that the defense had Nesbitt contained on the play, but then he showed great vision to bounce the ball outside to get just past the first down marker. Back to back false starts set the offense back, but this did not faze Nesbitt as he dropped back to pass and hit Marcus Wright in stride down the seam. The pass was perfectly delivered and if it were not for Morgan Burnett tracking the play down, it would have went for a touchdown. As it stood, the play went for a 54-yard gain down near the 10-yard line. The defense jumped offside and Dwyer took the next play in for a six-yard touchdown run. Dwyer was wrapped up on the play for no gain by Jefferson but somehow kept his powerful legs moving and bullied his way into the end zone.
Jaybo's second drive started out behind the eight ball after Albert Rocker caused a fumble on a reverse play to Stephen Hill, who fell on the ball for a loss of 10 yards. Jaybo took very little time to gain it all back, making a nice read and pitch to Paul Reese who took it for 24 yards. Sims found some super glue on the sidelines and finally caught the ball for an eight-yard gain. Richard Watson picked up the first down on a four-yard gain up the middle, followed by a 13-yard gain by Orwin Smith courtesy of another well-timed pitch from Jaybo. Orwin had the chance to walk out of bounds on the play, but instead went out in style by lowering his head to knock Correy Earls to the ground like a battering ram. Jaybo called his number on three straight plays to eventually get the first down and suddenly the ball was inside of the red zone again. On the first play, however, a silly 15 yard chop block penalty back the offense up. Jaybo then sold another screen pass well, waiting until the last possible second to deliver the ball to Sims who was able to gain the penalty yards back. Unfortunately, Jaybo paid the price on the play and remained down on the field. Tevin came in and got five more yards on a pass to Hill, but then Watson was stuffed for no gain on third down. Tanner came on for a 29-yard field foal attempt, but pushed it right and missed the target by a slim margin.
David Sims entered the scrimmage for the first time and started things off with a 6 yard toss sweep play to Orwin. Brandon Watts made a good play to tackle Jonathan Malone for a loss of two yards and on third down Sims dropped back to pass but could not find Justin Randolph down the field. It would have been a tough pass to complete and Sims did well to get rid of it under pressure, but the ball was delivered a few steps too far.
Sims stayed in for another possession and began the possession with a 10-yard gain on a quick toss to Randolph. Euclid Cummings got good penetration on the next play and tackled Malone for a 6-yard loss. Sims then attempted another pass, but lost his grip on the football to deliver a wobbly pass that went straight up into the air. The wounded duck was shared by two defenders before Michael Peterson padded his stats by stealing the interception away from his teammate.
The first string offense was finally shut down by the first string defense on their third try. Nesbitt made a beautiful read on a passing play to find a wide-open Cox for a gain of 11 yards. Nesbitt then missed the target, followed by a short gain on the quarterback triple option keeper. Sed Griffin blitzed on third down and the play was blown dead before the hard-hitting linebacker could lay the boom on our starting quarterback.
Nesbitt was given a fresh set of downs and this time made the most of what would be his last time on the field. An inside handoff to Wright went for 13 yards followed by a Dwyer run and Nesbitt keeper to set up a 3rd-1. Nesbitt fumbled the snap from center but luckily, center Sean Bedford was able to fall on it. On fourth and two, the offense went for it and Nesbitt picked up the first down on the triple option keeper. Nesbitt started slowly moving to the right on the play but then showed great vision again to cut it back up the middle for a seven-yard gain. Kevin Cone got into the stat book with a nice grab on a ball that was high and outside. Lyons then burst up the middle for a decent gain and suddenly changed direction to bounce it outside with a sick move that nearly allowed him room to score. As it was, the play went for 28 yards and a first and goal at the 2 yard line. After a short gain on first, Marcus Wright made a spectacular play on second down to score the touchdown. He went horizontally airborne on the play and torpedoed his way over the top to break the plane of the end zone.
Tevin brought the second string on for the final time to have their way with the defense. Watson carried for 10 yards up the gut, which Peeples followed up by lowering his shoulder for a tough eight-yard gain. After a few short gains for the first down, Watson gashed the middle of the defense again for 27 yards. Anthony Allen followed excellent blocking by the offensive line and players down the field to weave his way in for an untouched 20-yard touchdown run.
Jim Henry came on for a few snaps on a day where I could have walked on the field and led a touchdown drive. Zach Fisher made a reception for a six-yard gain followed by a 4 yard run by Drummond for the first. Reese then went for 18 yards on an inside handoff which he eventually followed up with a 10 yard gain for the first down on a 3rd-2 play. Sims then came in to finish off the drive started by Henry and after a false start penalty tucked the ball and ran for a 10-yard gain. Sims dropped back to pass on the following play, but was hit from behind as he threw it. The ball again went straight up into the air, but this time was close enough to intended receiver Stephen Hill for him to make a play on the ball. Hill used his superior leaping ability to go up high and grab the pass in front of the defender. The fantastic play left the ball on the one-inch line, which Sims was able to sneak in for the final touchdown of the day.
The defensive bleeding finally ended after a nearly two hour-long scrimmage. The offensive line looked great today and it was a solid all-around blocking performance. The quarterbacks made the correct reads in both the running and passing game and they looked sharp, especially Nesbitt, Jaybo, and Tevin. Penalty yards were kept to a minimum, there was only one fumbled snap on the day, and it did not result in a turnover. The only two turnovers came on a good defensive play and a pass that slipped out of the quarterback's hands. The offensive execution was the best that it has looked thus far.