Georgia State’s defense had a solid performance against the offense in Saturday’s scrimmage, the second of the spring period.
The offense posted three touchdowns and three field goals, but the defense had at least two interceptions, several sacks, consistently stopped the run and numerous tackles for loss as the offense rarely developed consistent drives.
“The biggest thing today, was we gave up two explosive passes, which we want to cut down even more, but if you can stop the run and limit offensive plays teams will have a hard time scoring on us,” defensive coordinator Jesse Minter said.
Georgia State’s defense allowed averages of 43.3 points and 497.1 yards per game during last year’s 1-11 season.
During the spring the coaches have emphasized going back to basics in the schemes and honing the fundamentals of tackling with some changes in techniques that Minter said has helped
Minter thought the work was evident Saturday.
“Guys are understanding what they are doing, playing fast and doing a good job,” Minter said.
The typical starters on the defensive line on Saturday were Mackendy Cheridor, who had at least one sacks, and Shawayne and Jalen Lawrence. The linebackers were Michael Shaw, Joseph Peterson, Kaleb Ringer and Alonzo McGee, whom Minter said had his best day. The safeties were Tarris Batiste and Bryan Williams.
“It looked as if throughout the whole practice they were able to maintain their focus better than the offense,” coach Trent Miles said. “I walk out of here a winner no matter what.
“We are more athletic defensively. We are older. All the defensive linemen are back. Add in all the young guys … it helps. Hopefully, when I watch the film they were in the right gaps and doing the things that they were asked.”
The next and last scrimmage will occur in next Saturday’s Family Day event at Panthersville.
Several players didn’t participate: Linebacker Ed Curney, wide receivers Ari Werts and Donovan Harden, tight ends Joel Ruiz, Keith Rucker and Bill Teknipp, offensive lineman Michael Ivory and Jah-Mai Davidson, safety Bobby Baker and running back Demarcus Kirk. I don’t think nose tackle Julien Laurent played, but he wasn’t in a red jersey.
Here is a recap of the good and bad plays, in chronological order:
- Ringer filled the gap and stuffed a run play;
- Chandon Sullivan broke up a pass;
- James Traylor flushed the quarterback from the pocket and Shawayne Lawrence got the sack;
- Trey Payne had a tackle for loss on a run play;
- Nick Arbuckle hit Glenn Smith for a 70-yard touchdown pass on a crossing route;
- Kight Dallas filled a gap and posted a tackle at the line;
- Emiere Scaife threw a pretty pass to a player whose number isn’t on the roster;
- Wil Lutz hit a 51-yard field goal. He went 3-for-5 on the day;
- Using play action, Arbuckle hit Robert Davis with a fade route;
- Jerome Smith broke up a pass with a pretty dive;
- Jonathan Griffin, a walk-on and former player at South Alabama, had a strong run up the middle;
- Scaife hit Octavious Andrews on a deep corner;
- Griffin scored a touchdown on a short run;
- Cheridor beat Madison Bell to the edge for a sack;
- Cheridor followed that by stuffing the next run play;
- Shaw followed that with a sack;
- Running back Kendrick Dorn, who was having a quiet day, earned a collective “wow” from those on the sidelines when he hurdle safety Dartez Jacobs. Trent Miles said he didn’t teach him how to do that;
- Tevin Jones followed with a sack;
- Carnell Hopson later posted a sack;
- Tanner Strickland posted a sack;
- Robert Dowling intercepted Scaife on an attempted back-shoulder fade near the end zone;
- Batiste followed by intercepting Arbuckle on a corner route;
- Dorn scored on a short run;