Although we the media only got to see eight plays of Saturday night's opening scrimmage of the fall (rapper Luther Campbell and about 300 other guests got to see it all), Randy Shannon and his players shared some of the highlights from it with us after it was over (CLICK HERE FOR THE AUDIO).
> Shannon said the team had a situational scrimmage focusing on the two-minute drill and said he rested a lot of his veteran guys. "We treated it like it was a preseason game," Shannon said.
"The quarterbacks looked good," Shannon said. "They didn't turn the ball over. So, that was good. When you don't turn the ball over you have an opportunity to win the game. Those guys did a good job with that and we're excited about that."
Offensive tackle Jason Fox said the quarterbacks didn't show any timidness. "They've always seemed comfortable since camp started," Fox said. "I haven't seen any timidness. They don't act scared at all."
Fox said there were several presnap penalties, though, in the red zone that killed offensive drives.
"We had I think two jumps before the snaps and a couple of other penalties, where we had receivers lined up on the line or tight ends, I don't know the exact call, but they pushed us pack," receiver Kayne Farquharson said.
> Shannon said running backs Javarris James and Graig Cooper didn't participate in more than 5 to 10 plays, giving senior Derron Thomas most of the work.
"Derron Thomas did a lot of good things tonight. He ran the ball well, caught the ball well, protected well, he's the guy that stood up in the run game," Shannon said.
> The offense scored two touchdowns and made two of three field goal attempts according to coaches and players. Shannon praised the play of the tight ends, estimating that they made about five catches.
> Freshman receiver Davon Johnson had the highlight of the night, going skyward and pulling in a touchdown pass over two defenders on about a 20-yard pass by Robert Marve. "My job was to block the safety and get about two steps in front of him and about two steps up the field," Johnson explained of his touchdown catch. "Robert Marve threw the ball and then I made a big play. It was like a jump ball and I took it off one of the defenders heads and took two steps into the end zone."
> Chris Zellner scored the other touchdown on a short pass from Jacory Harris.
> Shannon said the receivers "caught the ball well pretty decent, not well." And he estimated about two drops including a big play in which tight end Richard Gordon was stripped of the ball by safety Ryan Hill. Gordon supposedly made up for it with a nice 15-20-yard catch down field. "It was unbelievable," Shannon said.
> Defensively, the Canes didn't create any turnovers, but Shannon said there were about four sacks. Players told us redshirt freshman Adewale Ojomo (READ HIS STORY) had two of them. Freshman defensive tackle Micanor Regis and sophomore Joe Joseph also supposedly had a sack.
Fox said the offensive line did a good job but that "we need to focus on picking up run blitzes better." He said Orlando Franklin replaced the injured Chris Barney with the first team. "But I know A.J. Trump got some reps there in the too," Fox said. "They were trying some guys at new positions. Matt Pipho even played some left tackle today. And he did real well from what I've seen. Coach Stoutland is just trying to get a feel for everybody is at."
> Shannon told reporters defensive tackles Marcus Forston and Antonio Dixon and safety Anthony Reddick will be back at practice Monday. "The other guys are still rehabbing and stuff like that," Shannon said, likely referring to defensive ends Eric Moncur and Allen Bailey. "When they come back they won't be full go. Eric will probably do some things Monday, but he won't be all the way to toe. He'll be eased back into it."
> Kicker Matt Bosher said he connected on a field goal within 35 yards and attempted and missed a 54-yard field goal. Walkon Alex Uribe also connected on a 38-yard field goal. Jake Wieclaw made an extra point.
"I just kept it out a little bit left and it didn't come back in for me," Bosher said of the miss.
> Cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke said he thought he had a good day with a few tackles and a pass breakup. He talked about Hill's strip on Gordon and a tackle made by Carlos Armour on Daniel Adderley. "I think our secondary is getting real physical," DVD said of the DBs.
DeMarcus said he was with the ones and twos along with Bruce Johnson, Chavez Grant and Brandon Harris. The safeties were Randy Phillips, Joseph Nicholas, Ryan Hill and Lovon Ponder.