The Tuesday morning full pads scrimmage began as another defensive crush job. But the first team offense eventually got its licks in and earned a split in the two-minute drill and the four-minute drill.
Those were two of the three situations coaches created that were derived directly from last year. For the two-minute drills, they used the situation from the loss to Louisiana-Lafayette (Lou-La prefers to be called just "Louisiana" so we will): down 36-31, ball on the FIU 21. In the game, Jake Medlock, playing his third quarter of college action, missed a fourth and 3 from the FIU 41 when he eschewed a clear running path to the first down and overthrew Wayne Times on the run. Tuesday, Medlock directed a scoring drive that ended when, he said, "Wayne Times turned a 20-yard pass into, I think, a 60-yard touchdown."
For the four-minute, exhaust-the-clock drills, they used the situation from Western Kentucky: up 9-7, 3:31 left, ball on the FIU 11. In the game, FIU went three and out, Wesley Carroll holding onto the ball until he took a 13-yard sack on third and 3 from the 18. Western kicker Casey Tinius punched through a 34-yard field goal as time ran out. Tuesday, the offense successfully killed the time once.
Also, Mario Cristobal said, some players got used out of their usual spots to see if they could get FIU through in a pinch "Playing Kenny Dillard at mike linebacker. He did a great job. Putting (safeties Demarkus) Perkins and Chuck Grace in there for extended play. Chuck's been a fixture in our defense, but giving them a starting role and letting them run the whole way through. (Cornerback) Sam Miller played a couple of different positions as well. And limited some guys, like (safety Johnathan) Cyprien and Tourek (Williams). We want to see how well we can maintain that level that the 1s maintain with certain guys in the game. Like Giovani Francois, he took the bulk of the reps with the 1s."
Cristobal didn't say, but it's not hard to see where that let's-be-prepared came from. As referenced often on this blog by me and some of you, the two games after Grace went down last year saw disorganization in an inexperienced secondary that was inexpertly guided. Louisiana and Duke strafed FIU in those losses.
Freshman defensive tackle Darrian Dyson, the 6-3, 315-pound Lousiana land mass with legs, got some time with the elder group, as did freshman cornerback Jeremiah McKinnon out of Southridge; wide receiver Nick England; linebacker Leroy Owens; and wide receiver Raymond Jackson.
Cristobal called the No. 2 quarterback competition still too close to call, but he'd decide by the end of the week. From the plays I saw, freshman E.J. Hilliard was working more with the second team and Lorenzo Hammonds with the third team.