The first-team offensive unit, led by senior quarterback Matt Brown,
wasted little time getting on the scoreboard to start the scrimmage.
Starting from his own 25-yard line, Brown led the Redbirds on a
quick seven-play scoring drive that brought the fans in attendance
to their feet.
An early 10-yard completion to Donovan Harden got things going,
but the big play came via a 51-yard connection from Brown to
preseason all-American wide receiver Tyrone Walker that put the ball
all the way to the 4-yard line. On the next play, Brown found
transfer wideout Phil Dudley in the corner of the end zone for the
touchdown. In limited action, Brown was 6 for 7 for 78 yards with
the touchdown, and Walker finished with 52 yards receiving.
The defense recovered quickly and started by shutting down the
Redbird running attack. Senior Darrelynn Dunn was able to gain only
nine yards on four carries, while Cameron Hunt rushed for 45 yards
on eight rushes. True freshman running back Marshaun Coprich was
able to have some success, as he led all rushers with 51 yards on 11
carries, mostly with the third-team unit.
Redbird defenders racked up a total of six sacks and nine
tackles-for-loss, with redshirt freshman defensive end Zack
Marshall’s 3.5 sacks, 4.5 tackles-for-loss and five tackles leading
all ISU defensive players. Senior middle linebacker Mike Zimmer was
right behind with four stops, and two of Rickey Simpson’s three
tackles were for a loss.
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The highlight of the day for the defense came in the middle
of the scrimmage, when freshman Kalium Ewing picked off a Blake
Winkler pass and returned it 45 yards for the touchdown. It was
the second interception return for a touchdown for a Redbird
defender in the scrimmages, a welcome statistic for a team that
recorded just two interceptions in 2011.
After several series of back-and-forth play, the offense rounded
out the day with another impressive scoring drive. Winkler led the
Redbirds on a six-play drive that spanned 70 yards and was capped
off with a 47-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Milton
Colbert. Colbert, who led all receivers with three grabs for 68
yards, was injured on the play and had to be carted off the field.
The Redbirds will have two weeks of preparation left before the
season opener Sept. 1 at home against Dayton. Kickoff is scheduled
for 1 p.m. at Hancock Stadium.
news release received from Illinois State University]