RB Malcolm Agnew tries to escape LB Tyler Williamson during Saturday's scrimmage.
Aug. 10, 2013
CARBONDALE, Ill. - The defense was a step ahead of the offense in the Southern Illinois football team's first fall scrimmage of the year on a cool, cloudy Saturday morning at Saluki Stadium.
The offense lost yards on 13 of the day's 84 plays, but Coach Dale Lennon was not disheartened by the offensive struggles considering it was only the team's third day in pads this season.
"Thursday was the first day we put pads on so I knew there'd be times offensively we might be a little sloppy," Lennon said. "I knew the defense probably had the upper hand, but at the same time we know what we need to work on now."
The first team offense had difficulty moving the ball with consistency. QB Kory Faulkner completed nine of his 21 attempts and was not helped by a few dropped passes as well.
The offense shuffled in five running backs. Starter Mika'il McCall, the only returning player of the group, was held to three yards on eight carries. Malcolm Agnew had the best line with 38 yards on six carries. Outside of Agnew, the SIU running backs totaled 48 yards and averaged of 1.6 yards per attempt.
Lennon spotted a correctable problem with the running game that stems from the limited amount of hitting in practice to this point in the season.
"We have four very good running backs," Lennon said. "I think we might have picked up a few bad habits where we're looking to make the big play all the time in practice, whereas in scrimmages, you sometimes just need to lower the shoulder and get what you need to get."
For the most part, the defense was able to make big plays in the red zone. CB Chris Davis and S D.J. Cameron each picked off a pass from reserve QB Matt Vincent in the end zone. The defense also stopped McCall on three straight runs inside the 5-yard line to force a field goal.
"That tells you a little about the defensive mentality there," Lennon said of the red zone stops. "When they really needed to make a play, they were able to step up and make a play."
The offense finished on a high note when A.J. Hill completed a screen pass to RB Ken Malcolme that developed perfectly into a 20-yard touchdown. It was the final play of the day and the only touchdown of the scrimmage.
Placekickers Thomas Kinney and Austin Johnson combined to hit all five of their field goal attempts, three of them from 40 yards or more. Coupled with senior P Austin Pucylowski, the specialists could be a strength for SIU this season.
"We have capabilities from the 35-yard line in to be very confident that when we go for a field goal, the expectation is to make it," Lennon said. "We've stepped up that level of play. I think Pucylowski is punting the ball as well as he's punted it. Even with our kickoff game, we have leg strength where I think that's going to be a good weapon for us."
Several players did not participate in today's scrimmage due to minor injuries -- DE Blake Miller, LB Taylon Hunter, S Boo Rodgers and G Jake Notario. Head coach Dale Lennon also announced that WR Shawn Mitchell has been suspended for the 2013 season due to a violation of team rules.
Kyle Newquist: 3-for-39
John Lantz: 3-for-27
LaSteven McKinney: 3-for-23
Ken Malcome: 2-for-31, 1 TD
MyCole Pruitt: 2-for-22
Josh Skadeland: 1-for-59
Tay Willis: 1-for-14
Dalton Morgan: 1-for-14
Adam Fuehne: 1-for-8
Garrett Pougnet: 1-for-2
Houston Walker: 4.0 tackles (2 solo, 4 assisted), 1 sack, 2.0 TFL (14 yards)
Kitray Solomon: 3.5 tackles (2 solo, 3 assisted), 1.5 TFL (9 yards)
Tyler Williamson: 3.5 tackles (2 solo, 3 assisted), .5 TFL (5 yards)
Anthony Thompson: 3.5 tackles (2 solo, 3 assisted)
Hans Carmien: 2.5 tackles (2 solo, 1 assisted), 1.5 TFL (8 yards)
Victor Burnett: 2.5 tackles (2 solo, 2 assisted), .5 TFL (5 yards)
Jory Cunningham: 2.5 tackles (2 solo, 1 assisted), .5 TFL (5 yards), 2 Pass Breakups
Luke Thuston: 2.5 tackles (5 assisted), Pass Breakup
Courtney Richmond: 2 solo tackles
Jordan Poole: 2 solo tackles
TJ Beelen: 2.0 tackles (1 solo, 2 assisted), 1.0 TFL (2 assisted, 8 yards)
Bryan Presume: 2.0 tackles (1 solo, 2 assisted), 1 sack, 1 TFL (6 yards)
Khari Waithe-Alexander: 2.0 tackles (1 solo, 2 assisted), 1 TFL (3 yards)
D.J. Cameron: 2.0 tackles (1 solo, 2 assisted), INT
Cory Lee: 2.0 tackles (1 solo, 2 assisted)
Chase Allen: 2.0 tackles (4 assisted), .5 TFL (4 yards)
Leonard Garron: 2.0 tackles (1 solo, 2 assisted)
Brandon Willingham: 1.5 tackles (1 solo, 1 assisted), .5 TFL (1 yard)
Raysean Golden: 1.5 (1 solo, 1 assisted)
Blake Mattson: 1.5 tackles (1 solo, 1 assisted)
Chris Davis: 1 solo tackle, INT (TD)
Brandon Minor: 1.0 tackle (2 assisted), 1.0 TFL (2 yards)
Bobby Thompson: 1 solo tackle
Dakota Upchurch: 1 solo tackle
Terrell Wilson: 1 solo tackle
Adam Brandt: 1.0 tackle (2 assisted)
Cameron James: .5 tackle, .5 TFL (1 yard)
Brandon Williams: .5
Dinnus Harding: .5 tackle, Pass Breakup
Markese Jackson: .5 tackle
David Boatright: .5 tackle, QBH
Calvin Belts: .5 tackle, Pass Breakup
Carl Bivens: QBH
Offense: Four penalties for 20 yards (all false starts)
Defense: One penalty for 10 yards (defensive holding)