The Vols held their second scrimmage of fall camp on Saturday night, and initial reports suggest the offense got the best of the defense again. From the Knoxville News-Sentinel, Dooley voiced concerns with the defense's inability to create turnovers - only one fumble by Toney Williams late in the action tonight after zero turnovers in the first scrimmage - which is even more curious based on Boise State's habit of creating a ton of turnovers in the Justin Wilcox regime.
But since it's a scrimmage, the flip side of that coin is that the Vol offense isn't turning it over. And tonight, we don't just have to take Dooley's word that the quarterbacks played well - the numbers back it up.
Matt Simms went 11-of-22 for 235 yards and 3 touchdowns, a significant improvement on both the first scrimmage and the Orange & White Game. Tyler Bray followed up with 16-of-28 for 246 yards, though he failed to throw a touchdown. But both QBs had completions of 60+ yards, and neither threw a pick for the second scrimmage in a row.
It was good news for the offense all around: Tauren Poole and David Oku combined for 109 yards rushing on only 15 carries, and the freshmen wide receivers made an impact: Justin Hunter and Da'Rick Rogers were the two leading receivers tonight, and while Rogers' 5 catches for 63 yards are impressive, Hunter was the real star: 5 catches, 128 yards and a touchdown.
You can weigh the positives and negatives with the offense moving the ball so well compared to the defense being unable to stop them - Nick Reveiz, in the KNS piece above, talked about how the defense started poorly and finished strong in the first scrimmage, then started well and finished poorly tonight. The only clear negatives were three dropped interceptions by Savion Frazier, and the kicking game: Daniel Lincoln went 2-4 with misses from 41 and 37 (his longest make was 30), and Michael Palardy was 1-4 with one blocked.
It's just a scrimmage...but it's what we've got right now. The offensive numbers are encouraging, the kicking issues are troubling, and the defense continues to scramble to just find bodies. Malik Jackson started at end tonight with Chris Walker, while Prentiss Waggner continues to lock down the strong safety spot. We'll continue to update with links and info from Dooley and others as they're made available throughout the weekend.