Aug. 14, 2012
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina conducted its 14th preseason practice on Tuesday morning, a nearly two and a half hour session in full pads on the turf at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field. Fall-like temperatures greeted the team during the early portions of the practice session with the sun peeking through near the end of the morning workout.
Tuesday morning's 15-period practice was broken up into individual and unit drills with special teams work between punting and kickoffs mixed in between drills. The squad also held a nearly 25-minute long, offense-vs.-defense scrimmage session.
WCU continues to work through preseason injuries as by count, eight players were held out of Tuesday morning's session. Defensive linemen John McBeth, Helva Matungulu, Pete Balthrop Jr., and Andre Shishkin were out. On offense, running backs Michael Johnson and Darius Ramsey, quarterback Jawan Simmons and wide receiver Gary Green missed the practice.
Western Carolina will go through a series of walk through periods on Tuesday afternoon before returning to the practice field on Wednesday with the fourth two-a-day practice of the preseason. The squad will reverse its set-up from the first three dual practice days going lighter in the morning with just helmets before holding another scrimmage session on Wednesday afternoon beginning around 4:00 pm.
Highlights of Tuesday's Scrimmage Session:
- Three quarterbacks - Eddie Sullivan
, Troy Mitchell
and Jonah Duggan
- all took reps with the first team unit during the scrimmage;
- The offense drove the field for back-to-back scores before the defensive unit scored two consecutive stops on three-and-out ... Michael Vaughn scored on a 25-yard rush from scrimmage to cap the opening possession ... Converted wide receiver Michael Helms Jr., hauled in a 16-yard pass, bouncing off and dragging would-be tacklers inside the five-yard line to set up C.J. Goodman on a two-yard scoring rush;
- Headlining the back-to-back defensive stops was a quarterback sack credited to Bevans Robbs and defensive line counterpart Brian Johnson batting down the football on a would-be screen pass;
- Running back Shaun Warren reeled off rushes of both 20 and 35 yards during the scrimmage ... Also, quarterback Jonah Duggan rushed for 35 yards on a designed run around the right side;
- Michael Vaughn posted two big runs on a third scoring drive for the offense ... Trevor Taylor came up with a touchdown-saving stop on the first play inside the five yard line on a big hit, pushing Duggan back before Vaughn eventually plowed into the end zone;
- Following the third scoring drive for the offense, the defensive unit again stiffened led by inspired play up front and Brian Johnson ... WCU's defense came up with three-consecutive stops behind the line of scrimmage including sacks by Johnson.