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Catamount Football Fall Report #3: August 7

Running back Shaun Warren (22) is pulled down by defensive lineman Rainey Ala (90) during Tuesday's scrimmage session. (Photo by Mark Haskett)

Aug. 7, 2012

Cullowhee, N.C. - Mother Nature continued her misdirection offense on Tuesday afternoon as Western Carolina continued its preseason practice, taking to the turf at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field for the first time in full pads.

Anticipating evening showers, the squad suited up 30 minutes sooner than originally scheduled only to be chased from the field by a passing thunderstorm out the outset of practice which delayed things back to what would have been the original starting time.

Looking over his practice plan, first-year head coach Mark Speir then called his first audible of the year. Speir shook up the schedule by moving the planned scrimmage session towards the beginning of the practice to avoid what was expected to be a rainy evening. WCU conducted nearly a two and a half hour session on-campus, its fifth preseason workout of 2012.

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"It was great to be out here in full pads today," said Speir following the spirited two and a half hour practice session. "I thought both sides had their moments today; there were times the offense really looked good and I felt like the defense did some good things during this practice. Our five day acclimation process is over and we've got to get ready now for our first two-a-day on Wednesday morning."

Tuesday's practice included two separate scrimmage sessions, as well as the first live hitting drills of the fall with the "Oklahoma." The team also worked through various special teams work including punt and kickoff assignments.

Western Carolina will conduct its first two-a-day drill on Wednesday morning, hitting the turf in full pads at 8:30 am before returning for a special teams oriented afternoon session around 4:00 pm.

Highlights from Scrimmage Scenarios:
* Defensive lineman Eric Banford recorded a quarterback sack

* Senior WR Jacoby Mitchell caught what could have been a touchdown pass on an out route to the near sideline, but was chased down by Randy Pressley on a play that was eventually blown dead;

* All three quarterbacks - Eddie Sullivan, Jawan Simmons and Troy Mitchell - rattled off big runs as a part of the spread offense read option;

* The defense also came up with an interception off a deflected ball as freshman Sertonuse Harris snared the ball after it bounced off a receiver and defender.