Spring Camp Report 10
finds the end zone
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[April 18, 2012]
NORMAL -- Throughout the
course of spring football camp, both the Illinois State offensive
and defensive units have had strong days and at times gone back and
forth with momentum throughout practice. However, that was not the
case Tuesday, when the defense dominated the offense throughout
practice No. 10 at Hancock Stadium.
Head coach Brock Spack was impressed with what he saw out of his
unit on the field but reminded them that their time to continue to
get better is quickly winding down.
"The defense really got after the offense in that last team session
today and forced some big turnovers," Spack said. "The pressure caused a lot of
problems in the passing game. That happens throughout camp, and I expect the
offense to learn from their mistakes, correct what they see on film and get much
better Thursday. We really only have three full-contact practices left before
the spring game, so time is running out, and we still have a lot of work to do
on both sides of the football."
Momentum began to swing the defense's way at the end of the blitz
drill, as Josh Burch capped off the session with a leaping
interception off a pass from Adam Pittser. The offense bounced back
during the first team session, as quarterback Matt Brown completed
all five of his pass attempts and Darrelynn Dunn had several strong
The 7-on-7 work was next, and Brown stayed consistent, as he completed 10
of his 11 attempts, with two completions each to James O'Shaughnessy,
Donovan Harden and Lechein Neblett. Cameron Meredith was also solid,
completing four of his six attempts with three connections to Milton
Colbert. The defense also had its moments in the drill, with a pass
breakup from Matt Goldsmith and an interception by Adam Rebholz on
the final play.
Following that drill, the second-team session began and the defense
took over. The first-team offense was forced off the field on two
consecutive three-and-out drives by the first team defense, with the
first drive being halted on a sack by Mike Zimmer and the second
ending after a breakup by Goldsmith on third and long.
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The second-team unit did have success, as Meredith led the
offense on a five-play scoring drive that was capped off by a
45-yard touchdown pass to Colbert as he forced several missed
tackles on the way to the end zone.
Not wanting to be shown up, the defense immediately responded on
the first play of the next drive with a touchdown of its own.
Brown's arm was hit by Colton Underwood as he attempted to throw
a pass to the flat, which caused the ball to fall off target and
fall into the hand of Nate Palmer, who returned the interception
41 yards for the touchdown. The first-teamers got another shot
on the next drive, but it started with a sack by Shelby Harris
on the first play and ended on the second play, when Zimmer
pulled down a tipped pass and returned it 36 yards for the
The second-team unit finished the day by forcing another
three-and-out series, after a pair of rushes by Chad Zastrow
gained just 1 yard and a pass from Meredith to Colbert was
The Redbirds will return to the field Thursday at 3:30 p.m. for
practice No. 11 of spring camp.
news release received from Michael Williams, Illinois State