Defense Leads Way In Tuesday Football Scrimmage
Redshirt freshman defensive back Geno Miller returned an interception for a score for one of only two touchdowns in UNH’s first football scrimmage of the season Tuesday morning.
Sophomore quarterback Chris McCormick got into the end zone very late in the session on a 4-yard scramble to provide the only TD for the offense on a day in which the defense dominated.
“It’s the way the defense has been practicing all camp,” said head coach Sean McDonnell. “They’re running to the ball, getting balls out, knocking balls down. They’re playing with a little bit more of an edge than the offense is right now.”
“I’m not concerned, not frustrated,” McDonnell said. “I’m pleased with the defense. This is the first time in a long time that we’ve had a scrimmage and we’ve not scored a touchdown until we’re doing red zone work late. They’re doing their job.”
Junior quarterback Sean Goldrich and senior left tackle and co-captain Rob Bowman and the rest of the offense took notice.
“It’s a great thing for the defense,” Goldrich said. “We’re excited to see the defense this year. They’ve made major improvements from where they were two seasons ago to where they are now.”
Said Bowman: “I’m going to be real happy to have them on my side during the season.”
In the meantime, the offense will work to move the ball against that defense.
“We had our mistakes today, but we made simple ones that can be corrected,” Goldrich said. “We’re not that far off and we’re getting there. It wasn’t our best day. We’ve had better ones.”
The defensive success started up front with defensive linemen including Matt Kaplan and juniors Rashid Armand and Jullian Turner, backed up by linebackers Shane McNeely, a senior, Akil Anderson, a junior, and sophomore DeVaughn Chollette and their ability to control the run.
Each of them played in all 15 games last year.
“Those guys know what they’re doing, they know the things that can hurt you and they know how to prepare,” McDonnell said.
Miller picked off a pass by sophomore Adam Riese after it was deflected and scored from about 35 yards out to end the third offensive possession of the scrimmage. . . . Running back Trevon Bryant, a redshirt freshman out of St. Augustine, Fla., delivered a few of the offensive highlights of the session with runs that included a 16-yarder and an 18-yarder. “He did a nice job running the football,” McDonnell said. . . . . . . Senior wide receiver R.J. Harris, junior safety Hayden Knudson, sophomore defensive back Casey DeAndrade and sophomore running back Dalton Crossan were among the Wildcats sitting out the scrimmage with assorted injuries. All are expected back for the season opener at Toledo on Saturday, Aug. 30.