Offense roars to life in Football team's second scrimmage

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    April 13, 2012

    By Tom Weber

    CARBONDALE, Ill. - What a difference one week made for the Saluki football team's offense.

    Last Saturday, the offense committed seven turnovers in the team's first scrimmage of the spring. This morning's scrimmage was a complete reversal, as the unit scored eight touchdowns.

    Almost all of the offense came through the air, as four quarterbacks combined to complete 32-of-46 passes for 385 yards and seven TDs. The team's starting quarterback, Kory Faulkner, was 13-of-15 and guided an impressive no-huddle scoring drive of 70 yards that culminated in a six-yard scoring strike to tight end MyCole Pruitt. It was Pruitt's third touchdown reception of the day.

    Offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer said his group was anxious to redeem itself after the first scrimmage's subpar performance.

    "It's the same exact plays that we ran last week, we just executed better," he said. "There better be motivation after last Saturday, and I think our week of practice was more consistent."

    The offense established the short passing game early, softened up the defense, and then hit some big plays later. Midway through the scrimmage, quarterback A.J. Hill connected with receiver John Lantz on a 70-yard touchdown strike on a deep post, and later hit Pruitt on a 50-yard flag route for a score.

    Freshman QBs Matt Lipham and Matt Vincent also made big plays for the offense. Lipham completed a 24-yard touchdown pass to Israel Lamprakes, while Vincent threw a rope across the field to Chris Marshall for a 29-yard gain.



    "We have to have that," DeBoer said. "It's just too tough in our league to grind the ball down the field, play after play. You have to have some explosives."

    Although he didn't catch a touchdown pass, the top receiving threat was LaSteven McKinney, who caught eight passes for 73 yards. The majority of his yardage came after the catch, thanks to his dazzling quickness.

    "Our quarterbacks are more aware of what LA is capable of doing," DeBoer said of the explosive slot receiver. "Why not give him a chance to make a play?"

    Defensive coordinator Bubba Schweigert's unit intercepted two passes on the day, including a pick-six by safety Luke Thuston, but the offense clearly had the upper hand overall.

    "I wasn't very happy with our performance today," he said. "You can't give up big pass plays. We did it out of zone coverage, we did it out of pressure, we did it out of blitzes."

    The only area where the defense dominated was in the running game. The offense combined to rush for just 40 yards on 24 carries.

    "We've been good against the run," Schweigert said. "The frustrating thing is that you (stop the run) to pressure the passer and get big plays on second-and-long and third-and-long. We didn't finish the deal."

    The Salukis will hold their annual Spring Game next Friday at 7 p.m.

    PASSING Faulkner: 13-of-15, 118 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT Lipham: 7-of-14, 48 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT Hill: 7-of-10, 153 yards, 2 TD Vincent: 5-of-7, 66 yards, TD

    RUSHING Strother: 9-for-10 Kalokoh: 6-for-18 McCall: 4-for-2, TD Banks: 2-for-3 Faulkner: 2-for-7 Agnew: 1-for-0

    RECEIVING McKinney: 8-for-73 Pruitt: 6-for-99, 3 TD Lantz: 3-for-89, TD Lamprakes: 3-for-32, TD Fuehne: 2-for-8, TD Kalokoh: 2-for-10 McCall: 2-for-4 Strother: 1-for-1 Standiford: 1-for-5 Hicks: 1-for-4 Sullivan: 1-for-25, TD Cornely: 1-for-6 Marshall: 1-for-29

    INT Thuston, Douglas

    SACKS Hunter

    TFL Skadeland, Hunter, Williamson, Thomas, D. Boatright

    PBU Thomas, Lee

    MULTIPLE TACKLES K. Boatright 5 Cameron 4 Lee 4 Wilson 3 Griffin 3 D. Boatright 3 Thomas 3 Presume 2 Thuston 2 Okon 2 Harding 2 Obiora 2 Hunter 2