First fall scrimmage features big plays on both sides of the ball

    Dale Lennon's defense only allowed two total first downs in the scrimmage's first six drives.

    Dale Lennon's defense only allowed two total first downs in the scrimmage's first six drives.
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    Aug. 9, 2014

    By John Lock

    CARBONDALE, Ill. - The defense dominated the first half of Saturday's Saluki football scrimmage, but the offense came to life down the stretch led by a physical, downhill running game. The two-hour, 80-play scrimmage was the first of two intra-squad scrimmages during fall camp.

    "For a first scrimmage, I thought the execution phase was, for the most part, encouraging," head coach Dale Lennon said. "We have to build on it. We're not game ready yet, but we're right on track."

    The defense dominated the first six series of the scrimmage, allowing only two first downs and forcing four three-and-outs. Overall, the defense didn't allow a scoring drive of longer than 50 yards and recorded a sack and eight quarterback hurries. Twice, pressure forced Ryan West to underthrow a deep pass, allowing Boo Rodgers and Courtney Richmond to come up with interceptions.

    "As a defensive coach, I like the way we ran around out there with the aggressiveness," Lennon said. "A few big hits were made. We got challenged a few times, and we stepped up with a big play to stop the drives. Naturally, there were some plays we gave up that we'll learn from."

    The offense started the seventh drive at the 50 yard line, and Mark Iannotti threw a perfect strike to Tay Willis on the sideline on the first play. Willis ran away from the defense for the scrimmage's first score.

    Iannotti split reps with the first-team offense with West. Both quarterbacks vying for the starting QB job led two touchdown drives, though West also threw the two interceptions. Shortly after Iannotti's 50-yard touchdown pass to Willis, West threw a 25-yard play action seam to MyCole Pruitt for a touchdown.



    While the two primary SIU quarterbacks combined to go 12-for-27 for 147 yards, the Saluki running game picked up steam as the scrimmage progressed. Malcolm Agnew looked like a featured running back throughout the scrimmage and ended up with 107 yards on just 16 carries (6.7 yards per carry). He capped his morning with a nine-yard touchdown run that pushed him over 100 yards. Mika'il McCall also looked strong from the tailback spot, taking his 10 carries for 45 yards. Of the 80 plays in the scrimmage, 45 were runs (for 194 yards) and 35 were passes (for 152 yards).

    "We were physical. We had a tough time defensively with that, which tells us we're very physical on offense. I like what we have up front. I think we can be a physical defense. For our offense to be able to do that I think bodes well for us having that available during the season."

    The final three drives of the scrimmage were red zone drives for the offense, each starting on the defense's 25-yard line. Iannotti led two drives, which led to a made field goal and Agnew's touchdown run, and West led the final one, which punctuated the scrimmage with a leaping touchdown grab by Josh Sullivan.

    Austin Johnson came in twice on fourth-down plays to kick field goals and went 2-for-2, including nailing a 46-yarder against the wind.

    SIU will scrimmage again next Saturday in the fall's final scrimmage before the August 28 season opener against Taylor.

    "Next Saturday, we have to be game ready," Lennon said. "We have to have every aspect of the game ready to go. A couple times, we had the 40-second clock run out where we would have had a delay of game. We can't have that next week. We just need to shore everything up."

    Malcolm Agnew: 16-for-107, 1 TD
    Mika'il McCall: 10-for-45
    Cameron Walter: 9-for-21
    Tanner Smith: 5-for-9
    Tay Willis: 2-for-8
    Phillip Frangello: 3-for-4
    Ryan West: 1-for-5
    Mark Iannotti: 2-for-minus 5
    TEAM: 1-for-minus 4

    Mark Iannotti: 7-for-15, 91 yards, 1 TD
    Ryan West: 5-for-12, 46 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INT
    Sam Straub: 2-for-3, 15 yards
    Matt DeSomer: 0-for-1

    Tay Willis: 2-for-47, 1 TD
    LaSteven McKinney: 2-for-21
    Kyle Newquist: 2-for-20
    Hans Carmien: 2-for-15
    MyCole Pruitt: 1-for-25, 1 TD
    Michael Aschemann: 1-for-11
    Josh Sullivan: 1-for-9, 1 TD
    Israel Lamprakes: 1-for-7
    John Gardner: 1-for-4
    Connor Iwema: 1-for-minus 7

    Name (ST-AT-TT-TFL[Yds]-Sacks-INT)
    Victor Burnett (3-4-7-0-0)
    Kevin Holmes (4-1-5-.5(1)-0-0)
    Octavion Cooper (3-1-4-0-0-0)
    Anthony Thompson (1-3-4-0-0-0)
    Keith Suggs (2-2-4-1(3)-0-0)
    Adam Brandt (2-2-4-0-0-0)
    Kenny James (3-0-3-1[7]-0-0)
    Blake Miller (2-2-4-0-0-0)
    Leonard Garron (2-1-3-0-0-0)
    Tyler Williamson (1-0-1-0-0-0)
    Raysean Golden (1-1-2-1.0[5]-1.0[5]-0)
    Markese Jackson (1-0-1-0-0-0)
    Courtney Richmond (1-1-2-0-0-1)
    Calvin Belts (1-0-1-0-0-0)
    Tori Millender (1-1-2-0.5[1]-0-0)
    Conner Mayweather (1-0-1-0-0-0)
    Cory Lee (1-1-2-0-0-0)
    Blake Mattson (1-0-1-0-0-0)
    Antony Greenhow (1-1-2-0-0-0)
    Khari Waithe-Alexander (1-1-2-0-0-0)
    Brandon Willingham (1-0-1-0-0-0)
    Jory Cunningham (1-0-1-0-0-0)
    Darrius Spivey-Nunn (1-0-1-0-0-0)
    Darius Merriweather (0-4-4-0.5[1]-0-0)
    Dinnus Harding (0-3-3-0-0-0)
    Ryan Neal (0-1-1-0-0-0)
    Kendric Randolph (0-1-1-0-0-0)
    Charlie Harris (0-1-1-0-0-0)
    Kitray Solomon (0-1-1-0-0-0)
    Mike Cotton (0-1-1-0.5-0-0)
    Brandon Williams (0-1-1-0-0-0)
    TJ Beelen (0-1-1-0-0-0)
    Boo Rodgers (0-0-0-0-0-1)

    Tipped Passes-1