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April 16, 2011

Defense shines in abbreviated spring game

Mother Nature held off long enough to get a full half of the Kay Yow Spring Game in at Carter-Finley Stadium Saturday afternoon, but with a line of severe thunderstorms that have prompted several tornado warnings in its path approaching, officials stopped the scrimmage with 4:17 left in the third quarter, giving the Red squad a 13-3 win in front of 13,439 fans.

"I want to thank the fans for showing up, it was a great effort on their part to be here," head coach Tom O'Brien said. "Certainly we got a competitive game out here.

"Defense made some plays which is good, it shows their experience and that they've grown up a little bit. I think we still have some things to work out on offense, but we can solve those problems. It looks like we have a chance to be a very competitive team again next year."

Both offenses aired it out, attempting 63 passes compared to 31 rushing attempts, seven of which were sacks that count as runs. The spotlight was on redshirt sophomore Mike Glennon, who completed 21 of 40 passes for 182 yards with two interceptions for the White squad.

"I think he threw the ball well," O'Brien said. "The ball's there. He had a couple of drops. He had a bounced-off interception and a bounced-off interception, but those things happen. Guys make plays. Michael is going to be fine.

"Michael Glennon wasn't going to throw for 400 yards this spring against that defense. It's a little different defense. That's because of guys playing with experience and there are guys competing for a job and it makes them for a job. "

Glennon's first interception was tipped by a blitzing sophomore linebacker D.J. Green and caught off the deflection by redshirt junior Terrell Manning, who raced 53 yards for the touchdown to give the Red team a 6-0 lead after Ellis Flint missed the extra point.

"Somebody was in front of me and there was no way I could let that ball hit the ground," Manning said. "It would be a missed opportunity and I couldn't let that happen. I wasn't going to let anybody catch me."

"He couldn't have made that play a year ago, but he can make it now because he's a lot more confident," O'Brien added.

On the next White possession, Glennon had another tipped pass intercepted, this time by fifth-year senior middle linebacker Audie Cole, who returned it to the White 28. That set up the lone offensive touchdown of the afternoon.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Tyler Brosius connected on a 19-yard pass with fifth-year senior Steven Howard to the White 11 on a third down and 12 play. After a pair of rushes from redshirt freshman Tony Creecy netted 10 yards, Brosius connected with sophomore walk-on fullback Tyler Purvis for a one-yard score.

Brosius completed 11 of 17 passes for 95 yards and the score, and Purvis had three catches for 45 yards and a touchdown. Creecy led the way for the Red squad rushing with nine carries for 41 yards.

Junior running back James Washington paced the White team with seven carries for 47 yards and six receptions for an additional 32 yards.

Defensively, redshirt junior corner C.J. Wilson had an interception for the White team and also broke up a pass. Redshirt sophomore safety Donald Coleman and fifth-year senior defensive back Justin Byers tied for a team-high five tackles on White. Senior linebacker Dwayne Maddox had a pair of sacks while redshirt freshman defensive tackle Thomas Teal added one.

The Red team defense was led by fifth year senior defensive linemen Jeff Rieskamp and J.R. Sweezy, who both had five tackles, including a sack. Sophomore corner David Amerson had five tackles as well and broke up a pair of passes.


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