In the team’s second spring football scrimmage, Missouri State’s offensive unit accumulated 416 total yards, including 179 on the ground, to make dramatic strides from last week’s performance which was dominated by the defense.
After the defense opened today’s scrimmage with a safety on the first play, quarterback Cody Kirby led the Bears’ offense with some big plays. He connected on a 25-yard strike to Jermaine Saffold and had runs of 19 and 11 yards on the next drive to give the offense the confidence it needed.
From there, MSU’s ball carriers showed needed consistency with Chris Douglas once again leading the way with 12 carries for 42 yards. Jonathan Davis with 36 yards and Stephen Johnston with 32 combined for 25 carries, while sophomore-to-be Mikael Cooper-Falls finished with 7 carries for 21 yards.
The offense finished with 3.0 yards per carry, doubling their average from a week ago, while four different carriers scored short touchdown runs.
“I thought it was a good scrimmage,” said head coach Terry Allen. “I thought there were an awful lot of good things by the offense and defense. We had some good learning situations on the goal line which were good lessons for us to take forward.”
The team’s passing game was also improved from last week’s spring opener. Kirby was sacked just once and was not intercepted in 32 attempts. He had three completions of 20 yards or more, including a dramatic juggling catch by tight end Garrett Wade late in the second half. Kirby finished 17-of-32 for 169 yards and ran for 35 yards and a touchdown.
Backup quarterback Trevor Wooden was 7-for-10 through the air without an interception. He was sacked twice but managed 24 rushing yards in his five other carries and scored a touchdown.
“Our quarterbacks looked good,” Allen said. “We had a lot of drops (by receivers), and that was critical in the two-minute offense at the end, but we are getting there.”
Saffold led all Bears receivers with seven catches for 73 yards, while Ian Starnes collected five for 35 yards. Ten players accounted for the 25 pass receptions in all.
Defensively, Wes Stammers intercepted third-team quarterback Tim Williams to kill a first-half drive. Earlier, a blocked 48 yard field goal attempt nearly led to a defensive touchdown before Derek Miller was dragged down from behind by a speedy Wooden. Joe Day, David Ingram and Ryan Callendar accounted for the team’s three sacks. The defense also broke up a pair of passes.
The Bears will practice twice this week before concluding spring ball with their annual Maroon and White Game next Saturday (April 24) at Plaster Field. Admission for the 1 p.m. game is free.
Story courtesy of missouristatebears.com