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Countdown to Kickoff: Flames Return From Off Day with Better Scrimmage

August 13, 2007
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Wide receiver Brandon Turner quickly gets to the sideline, stopping the clock with minimal time left, during the Flames two-minute drill at the end of Monday’s scrimmage session.

Wide receiver Brandon Turner quickly gets to the sideline, stopping the clock with minimal time left, during the Flames two-minute drill at the end of Monday's scrimmage session.

2007 Countdown to Kickoff Central

After their first day off since opening training camp on Sunday, the Flames spent their entire practice on the turf at Williams Stadium, Monday afternoon, scrimmaging for the second time during the month.

Last Thursday, the Flames opened up play on their new grass practice field adjacent to the Williams Football Operations Center with their first scrimmage of the year.

Head coach Danny Rocco was a bit disappointed with the team's effort during that scrimmage, but he understood because Liberty was completing its seventh-straight day of practices, with most of the sessions in mid 90-degree temperatures.

"I thought today went a little bit better, just in the context that we were able to run all our plays," stated Rocco. During last week's scrimmage, the Flames were scheduled to run 96 plays, but shorted the scrimmage to 70-plus plays due to the sweltering August heat.

"I feel a little better after watching today's practice," continued Rocco. "We stayed on pace and on tempo. I thought the offense got in and out of the huddle quicker, which allowed our defense to play faster. For the most part, we looked pretty sharp."

During today's practice, Liberty's defensive unit showcased some of the skills which allowed them to set eight program records last year. Liberty's defensive backs batted down three passes, and Chuck Duffey picked off a Spencer Landis pass early during the sessions.

The back-up quarterback was also sacked once and the Flames' offense fumbled the ball three times during the work out under intense pressure from the defense.

Rashad Jennings and Zach Terrell each carried the ball 10 times on Monday afternoon, with Jennings racking up 52 yards. Terrell bested his backfield mate by seven yards, including a 20-yard scamper through the middle of the tackles, which would have gone for a touchdown had the play not been whistled dead.

Brock Smith took a majority of the reps under center, completing 31-of-48 pass attempts. Landis finished the afternoon work out by completing 7-of-14 passes, followed by rookie Mike Brown who looked sharp as the freshman was 3-for-4 during his brief time on the field.

Dominic Bolden impressed the coaching staff with his effort on the day as the wide out caught eight passes for 180 yards. His first reception on the day was a beautiful catch over a defender on the far side of the field, where he was able to beat the defensive back for a 70-yard touchdown catch.

"Dominic has got a lot of talent," remarked Rocco. "We just need to keep getting him reps. He is a very skilled wide receiver with a great deal of ability."

For the second-straight scrimmage session, Zac Kolegue handled all the Flames punting duties, with the senior averaging 39.3 yards per attempt over 10 punts.

Liberty opened the second half of the scrimmage by working on its kick off game, including on-side and short yardage kicks. Both Kolegue and Noah Greenbaum equally shared the kicking situation responsibilities.

During the later part of the practice session, Kolegue and Greenbaum traded field goal attempts with the kickers knocking down all six tries (Kolegue was good from 27, 33 and 35 yards and Greenbaum was good from 27, 33 and 40 yards).

Liberty closed out the practice session by running several different two-minute drills. The first drive resulted in a touchdown to Matt Lambos on an outside slant pass from Smith, followed by Greenbaum knocking down a 42-yard field goal to cap off practice.

Tomorrow, the Flames have their third two-a-day practice of the year. During the morning hours, Liberty will practice on the turf at Williams Stadium for two hours, starting at 9 a.m., followed by the afternoon session on the grass practice field, beginning at 3 p.m.

LibertyFlames.com's Countdown to Kickoff coverage will bring you the fourth of 10 scheduled coaching staff interviews on Tuesday. We will sit down with defensive coordinator Tom Clark, who will review last year's switch to the 3-4 defensive scheme and how Liberty's stout defense is looking for the 2007 campaign.

Flames Facility Updates

While the Flames practice at Williams Stadium, the suite installation began around the upper concourse.

A heavy-duty crane helps place one of the suites on the South side of the press box.

Construction also continues on the Flames new ticket booth at the South Gate.