The first scrimmage of fall camp for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Golden Lions football was held Saturday and, for the most part, Head Coach Cedric Thomas was content with the condition the players are in at this point.
Though it was a lot of situational football, the offense scored 10 total touchdowns. The defense piled up a number of stops to offset some of those touchdowns by the offense as they were put in tough predicaments time after time by Thomas.
"The biggest thing is conditioning, and I thought we looked pretty good," Thomas said. "We got in over 150 snaps in some pretty decent heat. I thought they flew around, they're getting in football shape, and that's the biggest thing."
The offensive line came to play as they opened up plenty of holes for the UAPB running backs to work through. UAPB running backs Tryvarious Cole, Jamal Gladden and Taylor Porter all punched it in for touchdowns.
The quarterbacks split reps with junior college transfer Shannon Patrick getting the majority of the time with the first-team offense. Patrick threw four touchdowns. Roger Totten and Syler Perry got about the same amount of snaps and each connected on a touchdown pass.
On defense, the secondary dropped a number of interceptions, and up front, they made too many pre-snap penalties for Thomas' liking. However, they bailed themselves out of some of the tough situations they were in. For instance, towards the end of practice, Thomas placed the ball on the 12 going in and it was up to the defense to keep them out of the end zone.
Defensive end Jalen Steward caused havoc throughout the scrimmage as he stayed in the backfield to disrupt plays before they could develop. Je'Kevin Carter was back in the rotation with the ones on defense, and Thomas liked the energy he brought from the linebacker spot. The secondary gave up some big plays down the field, but they also came up with an interception and a few key pass breakups.
It was a scrimmage where both sides of the ball and special teams got better according to Thomas. However, they're still making the small mental mistakes they have to iron out.
"Too many snaps on the ground, too many offsides penalties, too many neutral zone penalties, too many big plays given up, and too many drops," Thomas said. "We have to clean all that up. We have time to do it and it's all correctable. This week since there are no classes we have time to just hone in on the football aspect and get better from our scrimmage today."