Keeler Impressed with Intensity as Delaware Football Takes Part in First Scrimmage of Pre-Season
August 16, 2011
Photos Courtesy of Chris Mlynarczyk
NEWARK, Del. -- University of Delaware football head coach K.C. Keeler came away from the first scrimmage of the pre-season Tuesday afternoon at Delaware Stadium impressed with his team’s energy level.
After eight days of practice, including two double sessions, the 2011 Blue Hen football staff finally had the opportunity to see the squad compete under game conditions. The late afternoon scrimmage lasted nearly two hours and included about 100 plays before a sun-splashed crowd of about 250 on-lookers. The Hens also worked on field goal kicking, punt returns, punt protection, and short-yardage situations during the session.
“What I really liked about today was the intensity that these guys showed us,” said Keeler, who will enter his 10th season at the helm of the Blue Hens this fall. “The defense, especially, really raised the bar with their intensity. I thought the offense played hard too, but they need to keep bringing a little more of it. Certainly there are details we need to work on but we got some good work in today and we have a lot of good video to watch and evaluate. I know we will continue to get better.”
Delaware’s three quarterbacks, junior Tim Donnelly, sophomore Trevor Sasek, and redshirt freshman Justin Burns, all received equal playing time throughout the session. The Blue Hens must replace All-American Pat Devlin, a two-year starter who is currently in the Miami Dolphins National Football League camp.
Among the highlights at Tuesday’s scrimmage were short touchdown runs from junior running back David Hayes and sophomore running back Walter Davis (bottom right), an 80-yard interception return for a touchdown from Auburn transfer Jessel Curry, an interception by safety Joey Quigg, and a safety recorded by defensive end Quincy Barr. In addition, Sean Baner got off several booming punts and he and Mike Perry were impressive in field goal situations.
The Hens suffered a blow early in the session when projected starting outside linebacker Kyle Hunte went down with a left knee injury. Among the players who did not see action during the scrimmage due to minor injuries were defensive ends Ethan Clark and Jamaul Christopher, cornerback Marcus Burley, wide receiver Stephen Clark, tight end Colin Naugle, and linebacker Kyle Gayle.
“One of the downsides today was Kyle’s injury,” said Keeler. “He has had a great camp so far and he’s clearly one of our better linebackers. We will have to wait to see what the extent of the injury is. We have developed better depth at linebacker and there are a lot of things we can do depending on how long he is out.”
Delaware will be off on Wednesday, Aug. 17, to take part in Media/Photo Day festivities at Delaware Stadium beginning at 10 a.m. All fans are invited to the free event to talk with the players and coaches, take photographs, and get autographs.
The team will return to practice Thursday with double sessions and will take part in its second scrimmage on Sunday, Aug. 21, at 3 p.m in Delaware Stadium.
The Blue Hens, who were picked No. 5 in The Sports Network pre-season Top 25 poll announced Monday, are coming off a 2010 season that saw the squad post a 12-3 record and advance to the national championship game for the second time in four years.
The season opener is set for Sept. 3 at Navy with the home opener scheduled for Sept. 10 vs. West Chester. Great season ticket packages, discounted ticket packs, and single season tickets are currently available. Go to the “Tickets” banner on the Delaware athletics website at www.bluehens.com for more information on how to order.