Valdosta, GA -- Below is a look at Valdosta State's second scrimmage of the 2011 season, which was held Saturday morning at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium.
DEAN SEES IMPROVEMENT: While he acknowledged there was still work to be done, Blazer Head Coach David Dean said he did see improvement from last Sunday's scrimmage Saturday morning. Both sides of the ball showed great effort during the scrimmage and, after a rough week of practice, the offense showed glimpses of what is expected out of the unit in the upcoming schedule.
Specifically, Dean pointed to the reduction in missed tackles and the offense's ability to score in the red zone as two improvements over last week. The offense found the end zone on two of its five red zone attempts as well as both of its goal line situations while also scoring on one length of the field drive and one two-minute drill.
Dean was particularly pleased with what he saw considering the physicality of the past week, which caused three offensive starters miss Saturday scrimmage. He called the past week the most physical his squad has had in some years and noted that in the coming days, he and the coaches will start to back the players down from the hitting to get everyone healthy for the season opener on September 3.
PLAY OF THE DAY: The play of the day for the Valdosta State offense came when Sedrick Johnson hauled in a pass from Brett Whitmire on the first two-minute drill of the scrimmage and raced 60 yards for a touchdown. Johnson was sprung from the grasps of the defense by great blocks by Clifford Pettiford, Mesh Wokomaty and Cam Short and out-raced the secondary for the score.
FROM THE HEAD COACH: "I saw some good things on both sides of the ball. We're still making a lot of mistakes that we don't need to make, but for the most part our effort was there. We got after each other and it was a very intense scrimmage considering how physical a week we had this past week. We're making some plays, but we're still making some busts.
"Our defense is flying around and making plays. They are flying to the football and cut down on the number of missed tackles from last Sunday. Our wide outs aren't making the catches they have to right now. They are making all of the hard catches, but not the easy ones and they have to start doing that.
"I thought the offense made some big plays. We had the long touchdown pass and made some good plays throwing the ball down the field. We looked good in the two-minute drill and moved the ball until we got in the red zone. We looked good from the first drive of the day, when we got down the field and then just threw a poor pass that was intercepted. Our offense stepped up a little and that's good. They just have to keep fighting.
"We had three starters out on the offense today. We'll start backing off a little now and start getting our self in ready for game week. We'll hit for another couple of days, but then it will be more mental reps. We won't be beating on each other as much."
PASSING THE EYE TEST: Ryan Smith, who had a couple of sacks and broke up a pair of passes looked good on Saturday, as did Harrison Dreiling, who intercepted a pass in the end zone on the first drive of the day. Japree Miles was a disruptive force in the back field while Sedrick Johnson and Seantavious Jones both were impressive catching the ball.