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Flames Practice Recap: Saturday (Aug. 20)
After conducting 17 practices over a 19-day period, the Flames officially concluded their 2011 Football Training Camp, Saturday morning, with several spirited scrimmage periods.
The scrimmaging periods that wrapped up the two-hour workout were all about first downs. Head coach Danny Rocco wanted his offense to focus on moving the chains, while he challenged his blue-clad defenders to stop their offensive counterparts.
No drive on the afternoon lasted longer than six plays, as new units were shuffled onto the field once a first down was gained or denied. The only time Rocco allowed his offense to continue to drive the ball was when the practice script called for the drive to start inside the red zone.
Rocco had his first first-team units square off against each other, followed by second and third-team opportunities. Rocco first had his offense try to get off the goal line, by starting the ball on the three-yard line, then moving the ball to the 30-yard line and finally, placing the ball at midfield.
The final segment of practice saw Liberty work inside the red zone, which brought some of the hardest hitting of the afternoon. Both sidelines were urging their units to succeed, with high energy coming from both the players and the coaching staff.
Both sides of the football took turns finding success during the practice. Liberty's speed at running back really shined when the Flames offense was pinned against the goal line.
On consecutive plays, Korrey Davis and Sirchauncey Holloway burst to the outside to pick up significant yardage and ultimately a first down. Davis found a hole on the near side of the field and was only stopped when the whistle blowed after he had crossed midfield.
Holloway almost matched Davis' burst on the other side of the field, but he was chased out of bounds when cornerback Walt Aikens finally caught up to him about 20 yards downfield to save what would have been another end-to-end touchdown.
When the ball was moved downfield, Liberty's defensive backfield started to showcase its ability and speed by breaking up several lengthy pass attempts during third-and-long situations.
The final play of the day belonged to the defense, when linebacker Nick Sigmon got a hand in front of a Mike Brown pass that was intended for B.J. Hayes in the end zone on the final red zone situation of the morning.
The Flames will not return to the practice field until Tuesday afternoon, when they resume their regular in-season practice schedule. The University begins its normal class schedule on Monday and Rocco will once again give his players the day off from practice on the first day of classes.
During today's post practice report, Flames Sports Network reporter Alan York had a chance to talk with Rocco and junior offensive lineman Aaron Lundy. Lundy is one of five team captains for the Flames this season.
However, the Flames will return to Williams Stadium tomorrow afternoon for their annual Media Day event, where members of the local media and fans will have an opportunity to interact with the players. Media Day starts at 2:30 p.m. with the taking of the team photo and is free and open to the public.