CATEGORY: FOC College Football
LOADED RED TEAM BLANKS BLUE SQUAD
By Chris Burrows
OXFORD Since the Red team was comprised of the No. 1 and No. 2 offenses, it was no surprise that the Red defeated the Blue 27-0 Saturday in the Ole Miss spring football game.
The surprises for the Vaught-Hemingway Stadium crowd of 4,500 were provided by the performance of the players and the evaluation of the coaches.
“It was like all spring games, we did some good things and some things that weren’t so good,” said Rebels head coach Tommy Tuberville, whose club will have a final spring scrimmage Tuesday. “Overall, I’m pleased.”
As for the “good things”, running back Artie Moore topped the list with 22 carries for 136 yards and two touchdowns. The highlight run was a 32-yard touchdown scamper in the second period.
“You can see how much tougher a runner he is, especially inside,” Tuberville said. “We also got some good work today from redshirt freshmen (reserve tight end) Tutan Reyes and (wide receiver) Jason Clingan.”
Reyes had three tough grabs for 21 yards, while Clingan, a Pontotoc native, had five catches for 76 yards, including a 38-yard touchdown from No. 2 quarterback Stewart Patridge.
Patridge was 6-of-13 for 104 yards, while No. 1 quarterback Paul Head hit 11-of-24 for 118 yards and one interception (by Nakia Magee).
“We rolled a couple of sevens out there today, especially with Artie,” said offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone. “I know the offensive line didn’t have their best day, but they’ve had a good spring overall.”
The game’s other points came from the kicking game, as Tim Montz and Steve Lindsey had field goals of 36 and 28 yards, respectively. New snapper and holder, Bobby Killion and Randall Green, respectively, were flawless.
“We didn’t compete as well on the offensive line as we have been,” Tuberville said. “They played better early in spring practice, but the defense has come on.”
The No. 1 defensive unit gave up both Moore touchdowns, the finale coming with 2:12 left. It wasn’t a bad performance for a unit that missed defenders Eli Anding, Thurman Thomas and Johnny Desler with injuries.
The bulk of the 469 total yards were surrendered by the No. 2 defensive unit. However, the unit held twice on downs inside the 15-yard line and allowed 13 points.
Defensive tackle David Evans was awarded the Jeff Hamm Memorial Award, given to the most improved player of spring drills.
The game’s biggest defensive force was sophomore defensive end Morris Scott, who finished with seven tackles, including one behind the line of scrimmage and a handful of hurries on Head.
“David and Morris have been outstanding this spring,” said defensive coordinator Art Kaufman. “Throw Tim Strickland in there at cornerback and you’ve got three guys that have proven they can help us a lot this season.”
Clay Short of Tupelo and Seth Joyner, linebackers on the No. 2 unit, had a game-high six tackles apiece. On the No. 1 unit, linebackers Nate Wayne and Broc Krietz had five tackles apiece, including one each behind the line of scrimmage.
“Our defense did a good job of concentrating on assignments and being physical,” Tuberville said. “Considering how many guys we had missing or playing out of position, it was a good job.”