On campus in Nashville - The Commodore offense led by quarterback Kyle Shurmur impressed in a full-gear session Tuesday.
The unit was productive during the team's three 11-on-11 drills that featured limited contact. Shurmur connected with an array of receiving targets while backs Ralph Webb, Khari Blasingame and Jamauri Wakefield found frequent running lanes behind the Commodore offensive front.
The Commodores also focused on individual instruction, scheme development and various special teams during the two-hour workout.
Head coach and defensive coordinator Derek Mason expects the intensity and energy to continue as the Commodores move toward the heart of preseason camp.
"These are competitive and spirited practices," Mason said. "There's an ebb and flow to these practices, a little like tug of war. I saw it today with the offense doing some good things.
"We expect all the guys to come right back tomorrow, compete hard, bring great energy and do all they can to win the day. That's our mindset every day," the head coach added.
Shurmur completed 5-of-6 passes during the 11-on-11 segments, none more impressive than a 50-yard bomb to sophomore Kalija Lipscomb, who went high over a defender to make the catch. Shurmur also found senior Trent Sherfield and sophomore Donaven Tennyson for first down gains. He then capped the team drill with a tight spiral to Lipscomb for 15 yards.
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Webb, Blasingame and Wakefield also reeled off carries for first-down yardage, though the defense was restricted from full contact.
Several defenders stepped up with excellent individual plays. Linebacker Charles Wright, defensive tackle Nifae Lealao and defensive end Jonathan Wynn forced incompletions by applying pressure to quarterbacks. Cornerback Joejuan Williams dove to deflect a sideline pass. Late in the session, safety Arnold Tarpley III displayed a burst to track down a ball-carrier for a 4-yard loss.
What's ahead this week
The Commodores will return to the John Rich Practice Complex Wednesday, working toward the team's second scrimmage scheduled later this weekend.
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