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Skyhawk football plays annual orange-blue game

By MaryLynn Williams
On April 17, 2012

This past Saturday, April 14, was the annual Blue and Orange Spring Game at Hardy M. Graham Stadium. There was a positive atmosphere at the scrimmage Saturday as a number of family and friends came out to watch the Skyhawks in action.  

The final score Saturday was a two-way tie at 26 points between the Blue and Orange.  When asked about the scrimmage UT Martin Head Football Coach Jason Simpson said he, "liked the enthusiasm."  

But the Head Coach is still cautious.  

Last season the Skyhawks lost four games by 16 points, and Simpson does not want a repeat.  

There were many newcomers on the field this past Saturday.  One of the fresh faces was Middle Tennessee State University transfer student Trent Garland.  

The 5-9, 180 pound runningback saw several snaps, as well as the back of the end zone, scoring a 31-yard touchdown in Saturday's scrimmage.  

Garland was not the only new face on the field.  

Back in February, on National Signing Day, UT Martin signed 26 new student-athletes, 11 offensive and 14 defensive.  

Garland was not the only player to make it to the end zone.  

Wide Receivers Rodrigues Wright, Corey Jordan, Dylan Davis all scored for their teams.

 Although there were multiple connections in the back of the end zone from quarterbacks to wide receivers it was obvious that there is still some work to be done.  

Many of the passes through out the scrimmage were over thrown or ill-timed.  

Only time and practice will tell if the wide receivers and quarterbacks can become more in-sync by the fall.  

But you cannot put all the blame on the quarterbacks.  

There were multiple occasions when an open field pass was dropped by an offensive player.  

Defense looked promising, making several strong tackles Saturday afternoon.  

New to the sidelines were new Defensive Coordinator Jeff Byrd and Quarterbacks Coach Eric Stuedemann.  

Byrd formerly served as the Defensive Coordinator at Arkansas Tech University and Stuedemann is a former graduate assistant for offensive quality control at Mississippi State University.  

Head Coach Simpson wants to improve off of the 6-5 record from the 2011 season.  Simpson, "We have to focus on things that make a difference."  The Skyhawks have a strong upcoming 2012 season starting at the University of Memphis on September 1.

 


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