Coach Fuente commended the defense for how they responded throughout the scrimmage, starting with a hit by senior safety Cannon Smith on just the second play that resulted in a fumble recovery by Bobby McCain. McCain also had an interception a few plays later. There were only two picks today and linebacker Reggis Ball, who redshirted in 2011 as a true freshman, hauled in the other interception of the day.
"I thought we started off offensively with good tempo and tried to go out there and do the things we are coached to do, and then the defense responded and the offense never got it back," said Fuente. "I am awfully proud of the defense and how they fought back. They had a good play at the start of the scrimmage that caused a fumble and they gave up a few things here and there, but as it went on, they got stronger."
There was good play on the line for the defense with the whistle being blown for a couple of sacks. There were also some nice hits by linebacker Tank Jakes, who transferred to Memphis this spring from Holmes Community College. Ricky Holloway, who is back on defense after working as a tight end in 2011, also made a couple of tackles as did Charles Harris. Harris also tipped a ball at the line of scrimmage.
The offense struggled to get a rhythm, but there were some strong runs of 20-plus yards by Jerrell Rhodes and Artaves Gibson. Carl Harris, who redshirted as a true freshman in 2011, also had a couple of nice scampers and a good catch for some yardage.
Receivers Marcus Rucker and Kevin Wright both made a couple of good grabs for long yardage during the workout. Also showing some promise for the receiving corps were Ryan Byrd and Tevin Jones, who both redshirted in 2011.
"The mark of this team will be how we handle adversity," said Fuente after the scrimmage. "Through the season, in a game, after a game, during the week of preparation, it will be important to see how we will handle ourselves. We are going to face adversity; it is just going to happen. Do we respond and do the right thing, or do we react? Those are the things that we are trying to get across right now."