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August 11, 2012

TU offense dominates scrimmage

Tulsa football held a 111-play scrimmage at Chapman Stadium on Saturday morning, and the offense set the tone early, taking their first possession 70 yards for a score. While the defense ended well, the offense definitely won the day.

"I like where we are," said TU head coach Bill Blankenship. "Every time we come off the field, one group or the other is not very happy, and that's the nature of the offense and defense competing. Today, the defense isn't happy. The offense got the better of them, but as a team, we're really getting better.

"What we intended for this scrimmage was to put our first units under some stress, get a lot more plays back-to-back, sometimes putting them back right after they came off the field. From that standpoint I thought we accomplished doing that."

The Golden Hurricane offense started things off well and then maintained their momentum throughout the scrimmage.

"The offense responded better initially," said Blankenship. "I thought Cody (Green) managed the game really well. I get excited so I have to go back and look at the film, but I know we had some very effective passing early. Trey Watts looked to be strong in both running and receiving, and then as the scrimmage wore on I thought the defense finally started responding at the end and really made some plays and hopefully give them something to build on."

The TU quarterbacks combined for 395 yards passing and five touchdowns. Cody Green completed 9-of-13 passes for 115 yards and two scores. His first touchdown throw was an eight-yarder to senior Bryan Burnham, followed by a short toss to Watts, who took it 59 yards for another score.

"We set the tone early with that very first play," said Green. "We always talk about getting the first completion and getting the first first-down, and then your offense starts moving. Lucky enough for us, we came out firing on all cylinders and had the defense on its heels all day."

True freshman Dane Evans was also impressive, throwing a four-yard touchdown pass to another true freshman, wideout Josh Atkinson. The offensive unit also scored on an eight-yard run from redshirt freshman Zack Langer and a two-yard carry by true freshman James Flanders.

Flanders led the TU ground game with 55 yards on 13 carries, followed by junior Ja'Terian Douglas, who rushed seven times for 51 yards. Trey Watts led the squad in receiving with 121 yards and a score on four receptions. Josh Atkinson was next with four catches for 64 yards.

"The offensive line had a good day," Blankenship described. "When you see backs running, typically they're at least getting bodies on bodies up front. If you do that, our backs are pretty good, so we'll have a chance to get them out there.

"I thought we had some really exciting stuff from the number twos. I thought Zack Langer showed some real flashes at running back. That's easy to see, but I also want to see who was blocking for him as we try to build depth offensively and defensively."

While the defense didn't have its best day, it got a spark when junior linebacker Donnell Hawkins intercepted a tipped pass and took it 33 yards for a touchdown.

"I'm relatively pleased were we are at this point in practice," Blankenship added. "I think there is still a lot of work to do. We're still not getting the consistency I'm looking for overall, we have to get where we can play four quarters."



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