Monday, April 02, 2012
Sports News

Spring Camp Report 3:
The sounds of football

Send a link to a friend

[April 02, 2012]  NORMAL -- When the pads come on for the first time in the spring, the Illinois State football team and everyone watching are reminded of the sweet sounds of football. Those sounds echoed at Hancock Stadium Saturday morning as the Redbirds went through their third practice of spring camp.

"The first three days of camp have been good, and we have seen a lot of positives out here," said ISU head coach Brock Spack. "There's still a lot of things we need to work on and we are a ways away, but September is a long way away and we are much more advanced at this stage than we have been in years past."

The first day of pads also brought the first team blitz session, in which the defense blitzes the offense on every play. Defensive ends Colton Underwood and Nate Palmer combined for an early sack on quarterback Matt Brown, before Cameron Meredith came in and completed three straight passes, including a long pass over the middle to Chick Chatham. Later in the drill, Mike Zimmer picked off his first pass of the spring and returned it for a touchdown from his middle linebacker position.

"Offensively, it's going to take them a little time, because even with experience coming back, it's all about finding your timing again," Spack said. "We are also trying to put together a new offensive line, but I think we have some talented players at that position, and once we get it solidified we should be fine."

From there, the action moved into the 7-on-7 drill, which saw the offense drive the field, starting at the 30-yard line. Brown led the first-teamers on an efficient drive, with a big first-down completion to Tyrone Walker and a couple of nice connections for first downs to Chatham. Brown went for a big strike from the opposing 30-yard line, but the fade route to Walker was broken up in the corner of the end zone by Josh Burch. The drive eventually ended when a pass from Brown skipped off Chatham's hands in the end zone and Zimmer corralled it for his second interception of the day.

[to top of second column]

Meredith was greeted with an interception as well, when Adam Rebholz picked off a pass in the secondary on the first play of the drive. Brown then came back and fought through a couple of pass deflections by Burch and Tevin Allen, before finding his groove and leading the team on a seven-play scoring drive that was capped off by an acrobatic one-handed grab by Walker in the corner of the end zone for the touchdown.

Meredith was much more efficient on his second drive, as he completed all six of his passes, with two each to Joe Farmer and Jonathon Miller before the drill concluded with a pass to Chatham. The hitting then ramped up during the team drill, with the defense commanding early with a pair of sacks by Palmer and one from Will Davis. The offense quelled the momentum with a strong rushing attack, led by Darrelynn Dunn, who had a pair of carries over 20 yards before the practice ended with an interception by Ezra Thompson off a deep pass that was tipped by Walker.

"Defensively, it's nice to go into an offseason where you are doing the same things and working off the same system," Spack said. "We are able to teach the guys better because they comprehend the system better from their experiences from a year ago. The carry-over from last year has been very good."

The Redbirds will have the rest of the weekend off, before returning to the field Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.  for practice No. 4.

[Text from file received from Illinois State]

< Sports index

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor