Urbana University’s offense scored on the first play during Friday’s scrimmage at UU Stadium, as things finally clicked on that side of the ball. According to head coach Tyler Haines, the defense had dominated the previous two practices and he was very pleased with the improved production on offense.
“Prior to this scrimmage, the defense had really gotten the best of the offense for two consecutive days,” Haines, who also calls the plays on offense, said. “They held us out of the end zone and made good plays and created turnovers. Today was the offense’s day, all three quarterbacks at times made plays, running backs ran the ball well, and obviously up front we were able to establish the run with those big guys. Overall, we remained healthy and it was a successful day.”
Several players stood out during the scrimmage, including wide receiver Camryn Snow who caught two touchdowns. The redshirt-freshman grabbed his first score on a fourth-and-a-long play, beating his man down the middle seam for a 30-yard strike from Tajuan Green. Snow also scored later on with another catch over the middle from Marcus Graham.
All three quarterbacks battling for the starting nod played well on Friday. Highlights included a 56-yard completion on Graham’s first play to set up a field goal, while Green found redshirt-sophomore Shemar Hooks for a touchdown shortly after.
All-MEC performer Trevon Saunders scored the first touchdown of the day.
“First off, we had no turnovers,” Haines said. “We didn’t throw an interception all day. The ball did hit on the ground one time with a running back, but we were able to recover it. We talk about turnovers all the time, that’s a point of emphasis from last year to this year.”
Additionally, both the first and second team units on the offensive line impressed.
The young group of running backs had holes to run through and the quarterbacks had time to make plays. The group up front has been practicing up to a half hour before the start of every practice, and that extra time is paying off with vast improvement under the leadership of assistant coach Kevin Turco.
With a solid showing on Friday, Haines made it clear that plenty of work remains for the Blue Knights and there will be no time off.
“We have two more days to work this weekend. We’re not giving them any days off, we’re still in camp mode so (today) and Sunday will be heavy practice days.”
UU opens the season at Glenville State in the MEC Game of the Week on Thursday, Sept. 1. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. and will air on MetroNews.