Camp Notebook: Day three features shoulder pads, full offense versus defense drills

Camp Notebook: Day three features shoulder pads, full offense versus defense drills

By Mike Lehman, Sports Information Coordinator

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Shoulder pads were added to the mix for the Tennessee Tech football team Monday morning, as the Golden Eagle squad continued to make progress towards its first live scrimmage of the season on Saturday, Aug. 9.

What Happened Today: Today marked the first time this fall that the offense and defense faced each other in 11-versus-11 drills. The players also donned shoulder pads for the first time, advancing through more rigourous group and positional drills. The team also saw some live action kicking scenarios, 7-on-7 work and special teams work.

Best Offensive Play of the Day:
Redshirt freshman runningback Trey Burks turned a potential turnover into a touchdown. With a brutally high snap barely touching quarterback Brock McCoin's hands, Burks snagged the slightly loose ball out of the air, burst around the edge of the line and cruised his way 45 yards into the endzone.

Best Defensive Play of the Day:
In 7-versus-7 drills, sophomore safety Senquay Eichelberger broke early on an out-route, jumping in front of a Jared Davis pass with nothing but green in front him. He would have been awarded a 65-yard touchdown had it been a real game.

Honorable Mention:
Receiver Jordan Smith thought he had an easy touchdown grab during 1-on-1 drills, but sophomore cornerback Steven Lillard smacked the ball clean from his hands with an impressive break-up.

They Said It:
"Squish the egg. Plant your foot and twist. You want to squish the egg." - Head coach Watson Brown giving advice on how to cut on a route to the Golden Eagle receivers during group drills.
What's Next:
The punting game will be featured on Tuesday when the Golden Eagles hit the field for a 9 a.m. practice at Tucker Stadium. Along with the normal group and positional drills, the squad will also work on attack drills while, for the second straight day, donning shoulder pads.

The Tech defense was out in full force on Monday, making spectacular plays in 1-on-1, 7-versus-7 and full offense-versus-defense drills. The Golden Eagle unit forced two turnovers and had another brilliant pass break-up in the endzone.

On top of the two Defensive Plays of the Day, Austin Tallant also managed an impressive interception in 1-on-1 drills, jumping in front of an errant pass for the first of two picks by the Tech secondary.

Dropping bombs
The Golden Eagle offense did manage to put up its fair share of impressive plays on the day, scoring three times from 40 yards out or farther in various work outs and drills against the defense.

On the first score, quarterback Trent Thompson hit junior wideout Steve Wilson on a 40-yard bomb in 1-on-1 coverage. Wilson outmuscled his defender before stumbling and still making the catch.

A second 40-yard throw was converted for a touchdown when Jared Davis uncorked a long pass to the back of the endzone. Junior receiver Jordan Smith snagged after beating his defender in 1-on-1 coverage, tip-toeing the back end line for the score.

The offensive play of day came off the 45-yard scamper by back Trey Burks.

Splitting the uprights
The Tech kickers finally got an opportunity at some live game-like action on Monday, taking turns attempting field goals with blockers and rushers all around.

Get your season tickets
The Golden Eagles will host six home football games during the 2014 season, opening against Kentucky Christian on Thursday, Aug. 28. After that, Tech will welcome Murray State on Saturday, Oct. 4 (7 p.m.), Eastern Kentucky on Saturday, Oct. 18 (7 p.m.), Eastern Illinois on Saturday, Nov. 1 (1:30 p.m.), Southeast Missouri for Homecoming on Saturday, Nov. 8 (1:30 p.m.), and Chattanooga on Saturday, Nov. 15 (1:30 p.m.).

For season ticket information, contact the Tennessee Tech Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center or call 931-372-3940. Tickets are also on sale online at

And sign up for this year's Women's Clinic
For the second straight year, Tech football's annual Gathering of Eagles will feature the "Now You Know" Women's Football Clinic. Beginnng at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 16, head coach Watson Brown will host the event for the second season in a row. The women's clinic is free but space is limited. The first 100 participants to sign-up (by calling 931-372-3940) will receive a specially desiged tote bag and an opportunity to tour the TTU athletic facilities.