Spring Football Notebook No. 8
March 31, 2012
GREENVILLE, N.C. - After opening the morning with individual and special teams work in a practice-structured setting at the Cliff Moore Complex Saturday, East Carolina moved to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium for its first intra-squad scrimmage of the spring that was highlighted by a sack-producing defensive unit and a high-percentage passing effort.
The controlled contest, which included game officials and was played in periodic light showers with temperatures in the low-60s, consisted of eight possessions involving all levels of ECU's depth chart.
"We were a little sluggish starting out today in the stadium," head coach Ruffin McNeill said. "I think some of that was due to the time we put in at the practice facility before heading over here, but I like the way we got after it. I continued to stress tempo on offense, having great fundamentals and pad leverage. We will continue to watch film and correct things as necessary."
Four Pirate quarterbacks - senior Brad Wornick, junior Rio Johnson, sophomore Shane Carden and redshirt freshman Cody Keith - each took turns guiding ECU's offense during the abbreviated 54-play scrimmage and combined on a 25-of-33, 189-yard passing performance that netted one score.
Keith topped all passers with a 10-of-11, 104-yard outing that included the game's only touchdown - a 27-yard scoring toss to junior inside receiver Derrick Harris on his first possession. Keith also connected with junior inside receiver Justin Jones for a 23-yarder, thus owning the only two pass completions of 20 yards or more during the game.
While the Pirate defense did not force a turnover, it did apply a high-pressure pass rush that netted six sacks and limited the offense to just a 2-of-11 success rate on third down. Junior defensive end Justin Dixon and junior outside linebacker Derrell Johnson each recorded a pair of quarterbacks drops that resulted in losses of 11 and 10 yards, respectively.
Offensively, Harris (3-45), Jones (2-41) and senior outside receiver Dayon Arrington (3-19) led a pass-catching corps that averaged 7.6 yards per reception. On the ground, redshirt freshman Chris Hairston picked up 27 yards on four carries and junior Michael Dobson added 15 on three attempts, trying to spark a group that managed less than two yards per rush during the morning.
In all, the scrimmage featured eight ball carriers and 13 receivers who averaged a combined 4.1 yards per play. East Carolina was whistled for five penalties, just one on the defensive side of the ball.
The Pirates open their third week of spring work Monday and will follow with practices Wednesday and Friday before conducting their second scrimmage next Saturday.
SPRING NO. 1 SCRIMMAGE STATS
RECEIVING: Derrick Harris (3-45, 1 TD), Justin Jones (2-41), Dayon Arrington (3-19), Gray Mazzone (2-19), Chris Hairston (4-18), Andrew Bodenheimer (2-11), Antonio Cannon (2-10), Justin Hardy (1-9), Brandon Weymann (1-5), Cedric Thompson (1-5), Reese Wiggins (1-3), Reggie Bullock (2-2), Torrance Hunt (1-2). Totals -- 25-189, 1 TD
TACKLES: Terry Williams 6, Lamar Ivey 5, Justin Venable 4, Detric Allen 3, Ty Holmes 3 (TFL/-1 yard), Jacobi Jenkins 3, Chris Baker 2 (sack/-8 yards, TFL/-8 yards), Justin Dixon 2 (2 sacks/-11 yards, 2 TFL/-11 yards), Derrell Johnson 2 (2 sacks/-10 yards, 2 TFL/-10 yards), Damon Magazu 2, Kyle Tudor 2 (PB), Jonathan White 2 (sack/-5 yards, TFL/-5 yards), Brandon Williams 2, Adonis Armstrong 1, Zeek Bigger 1, Michael Brooks 1, Desi Brown 1, Daniel Drake 1, Robert Huckabee 1, Leonard Paulk 1, Lee Pegues 1, Rocco Scarfone 1, Terrell Stanley 1, Godfrey Thompson 1, Joshua Hawkins (PB)
TOTAL OFFENSE/TOTAL DEFENSE: 54-222 (4.1 ypp)
INTERCEPTIONS/RETURN YARDAGE: none
THIRD DOWN CONVERSIONS: 2-11 (18.2%) - Keith (1-2), Carden (1-3), Johnson (0-2), Wornick (0-4)
FOURTH DOWN CONVERSIONS (when attempted): 2-3 (66.7%) - Keith (1-1), Wornick (1-1), Johnson (0-1)
PENALTIES: 5 (4/OFFENSE - 3 holding, 1 delay of game; 1/DEFENSE - 1 holding)
QUARTERBACK FIRST DOWN/SCORING CHART (DRIVES)
EAST CAROLINA'S 2012 SPRING PRACTICE SCHEDULE