Offense Bounces Back On Fourth Day Of Preseason Camp
Aug. 7, 2012
AMHERST, Mass. - After a tough Sunday practice, the offense bounced back on Monday led by the run game in the fourth pre-season practice for the UMass football team. Head coach Charley Molnar said the offense met the challenge issued to them following Sunday. For the second day in a row, Molnar also said he was pleased with a great effort from the defensive unit as well.
"I think two days in a row we've had really good practices from the defensive side of the ball. As a coach, you are excited to see a unit have back-to-back good practices," said Molnar. "The offense definitely stepped it up today and met the challenge that we issued to them about coming back and being more intense. We ran the ball well in periods, Mike Wegzyn was better today and the receivers attacked the ball better. It was just a better day all around offensively."
The ground game was a highlight of the short-yardage Red Zone period thanks part to the offensive line. Guard Stephane Milhim had a tremendous block on one play that paved a wide lane for Jordan Broadnax to cruise into the endzone from 10 yards out. Mike Cox also added a rushing touchdown with a tough, physical run over the left side of the line.
"The offensive line was challenged after Sunday. We watched some of the film from yesterday and they were determined to better today and they did," said Molnar.
That prep worked paid dividends as the coaching staff worked with the team prior to Monday's practice.
"We had two meetings following Sunday and I think the offense learned from it and the defense will make sure it doesn't happen to them."
In the 11-on-11 period, the offense looked sharp with positive yardage on the first five plays. Broadnax had a nice 10-yard run over the left hand side of the offensive line eluding a tackler for the pick-up, while Cox add another couple of power runs in the period. Receiver Marken Michel was also a highlight throughout the day with several nice catches.
"Marken had another good practice. He's just a solid football player. Mike Cox had a good day running the ball as well. Defensively, Perry McIntyre, Darren Thellen and Christian Birt were all solid today. Those guys come to play each and every day."
Tuesday will mark the first day the team is in full pads with the level of contact soon to rise.
"Guys are always for the first full day in pads," said Molnar. "We'll do some physical drills to get them ready to go. It's a long camp and we're not going to beat them up on the first day in full pads, but certainly we'll do some things to start developing that toughness that will carry over through the course of the season."