Mike Brown was one of many players who stood out during Saturday afternoon's practice at Williams Stadium.
Audio Interview with Head Coach Danny Rocco
To close out the team's first full week of practice and practice No. 12 of Liberty's August training camp, head coach Danny Rocco held his first scrimmage-orientated practice of the year, Saturday afternoon, at Williams Stadium.
Several returning players spotlighted the day's two-hour plus workout, while two newcomers made their presence known for the first time in a Liberty uniform.
Rocco was pleased with the effort that he saw from his players during the scrimmage. "I thought today was a good go," said Rocco, whose team will open its 2010 season three weeks from today against St. Francis, Pa., at Lynchburg's City Stadium. "We've got a lot of stuff in. Our kids have a lot of recall from the spring and I think they are competing at a high level."
The players were "on the line" at 2:20 p.m., with the scrimmage portion of practice beginning at 3 p.m. During the next 80 minutes of practice several players put up considerable numbers.
Big South Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Mike Brown completed 19-of-28 passing attempts for roughly 229 yards during the controlled portion of the scrimmage. Tyler Brennan shared time with Brown under center, completing 12-of-20 passing attempts for 142 yards.
The top receiver on the day was Chris Summers, who finished with seven receptions for 134 yards. Spotlighting Summers' seven catches on the afternoon was a nice 70-yard passing play, where the junior went over top his defender to haul in a Brown sideline pass before he took off down the home sideline for the scoring run.
B.J. Hayes and Kyle DeArmon followed behind Summers' receiving numbers. Hayes was one behind Summers' total with six receptions for 34 yards, while DeArmon caught four passes for 32 yards. Bellmon Hicks rounded out Liberty's top receivers, reeling in three passes for 41 yards.
The top three running backs on Liberty's running back depth chart coming into camp each had their chance to carry the ball during the afternoon workout, which was run under overcast skies and 80-degree temperatures.
Korrey Davis, who sat out last year after transferring to Liberty from Massachusetts, finished the afternoon with nine rushing attempts for 37 yards. Chase Barnett, who was also on the sideline with Davis last year when the freshman redshirted, ended the workout with eight rushing attempts for 106 yards. Nearly 70 percent of his yardage came on one play, as the running back bounced to the outside and found a seam for a 70-yard scoring run.
When not called upon to throw the football, Mike Brown also did some damage on the ground, as the redshirt junior carried the ball 12 times for 64 yards. Rounding out the top four rushers for Liberty on the day was SirChauncey Holloway, who finished with eight carries for 24 yards.
During the early part of the scrimmage, Liberty's blue-clad defenders certainly dominated the practice. On the third play, defensive end Terry Adams quickly got around the offensive line for what would have been a sack on Brown's first passing attempt of the afternoon.
Less than 10 plays later, Adams' fellow end, Daryl Robertson, got into the backfield to record another "sack" that blew the play dead. The third and final sack during the scrimmage portion of the workout was a shared negative-yardage stop, as Adams and Asa Chapman both got to Brown before he could get a passing attempt out of his hands.
During the final portion of practice, Rocco ran two different "two-minute drill" segments, with both starting at the 30 yard line. Liberty's defenders were able to keep Liberty's potent offensive attack, one that led the nation in scoring offense in 2009, out of the end zone during both drills.
During the first segment, played with Liberty's first team offense against its first team defense, Brown managed to advance the ball inside the opposite 30-yard line; however, Matt Bevins' 42 yard field goal attempt slid just left of the goal post, giving the defenders the victory on the drive.
However, Liberty's second team offense gave Bevins another chance on the next drive. Brennan completed 3-of-4 passing attempts on the drive, including a pair to Hicks, before Holloway got Liberty to the proper hash mark with a nice run up the middle. Bevins was called upon again and this time the consensus All-America kicker was able to convert on a 40-yard field goal attempt on one of the last plays of the afternoon.
Liberty, who has run 12 practices since opening training camp on Aug. 5, will have its first day off on Sunday. The Flames are slated to return for practice No. 13 on Monday afternoon at 2:20 p.m., on the turf at Williams Stadium.
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