Monday, April 21, 2014
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ISU Spring Camp Report: Points Plentiful In The Red Zone

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[April 21, 2014]  NORMAL With a veteran offensive line, a sophomore quarterback with a full year of experience, and added firepower at the receiver position, many believe the Illinois State offense could be potent in 2014. If the team's performance on Thursday means anything, Redbird fans will see a lot of points put up on the new scoreboard at Hancock Stadium.

Once again, head coach Brock Spack flipped the script literally and went directly into the team series in the red zone up on the grass practice field before ending practice with 7-on-7 and pass rush work. The offense came out on fire, scoring touchdowns on three of its first four series. A fade route to the corner of the end zone from Blake Winkler to Cameron Meredith got things started, and Marshaun Coprich followed that with a 12-yard touchdown run, which forced him to duck and dive his way through the defense. Collin Keoshian capped off the fourth series with a 2-yard punishing run to put seven more points on the board.

The defense then forced a couple of stops, as the offense gave up negative plays on tackles for loss by David Perkins and Patrick Dougherty which Spack, as he talked to the offense after practice, emphasized that they absolutely could not do in the red zone. A connection from Winkler to Scott Kuehn two series later got the offense back on the right track, and a rushing touchdown on a bootleg by Winkler put an end to the drill.

Spack then backed the team up and tasked them to drive in from the 30-yard line. The defense stiffened, as tackles for loss by Dalton Keane and Zack Marshall and a sack and TFL by Brent Spack put a stop to a pair of offensive drives. Marshall also added a sack in the team blitz section, and Billy Knust added a sack as well to swing a bit of the momentum the defense's way.

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In the final drill of the day, Winkler and Trevor Rea split reps in the red zone. Winkler finished the session 8-for-12, with touchdown passes to Lechein Neblett and Jon-Marc Anderson. He also completed a pair of passes each to James O'Shaughnessy and Anthony Warrum. Rea was 7-for-9, with a pair of touchdowns to O'Shaughnessy and two completions to Jamal Towns.

Another intrasquad scrimmage awaits the Redbirds on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Just like last Saturday, it will be closed to the public, with the official scrimmage taking place at 1 p.m.

[Text from news release received from Illinois State University]

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