By John Antonik for MSNsportsNET.com
April 5, 2008
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Bill Stewart wanted to see what Brandon Hogan and Jock Sanders could do in West Virginia's first scrimmage of the spring. He saw what he wanted to see. Hogan and Sanders accounted for all four offensive touchdowns during Saturday’s 80-play officiated scrimmage at Milan Puskar Stadium.
Hogan finished with a scrimmage-best six catches for 67 yards and ran for one touchdown while Sanders accumulated 59 all-purpose yards including a pair of rushing touchdowns.
Hogan’s pretty 23-yard catch on a post-corner-route pass from Jarrett Brown set up the first offensive touchdown of the scrimmage.
“Jarrett didn’t know if he hit it right on target and Brandon looks up and makes a catch that not many people could have made or would have made,” Stewart said. “That was impressive to see. That’s a route we have been working on and that’s a route that we haven’t done well with in the past and to see that happen was really special.”
Hogan’s scores came on a 17-yard screen pass from quarterback Brad Starks with the second group and a pretty 8-yard run off a flanker option with the first group. In addition to running for 29 yards, Sanders also caught three passes for 30 yards with TD runs of 1 and 8 yards.
By design, No. 1 tailback Noel Devine played just briefly during the scrimmage.
“Early he got some things done and then we gave some of the other guys a chance,” Stewart said. “I wanted to see Jock Sanders (at running back) and he ran the ball well. He was behind his pads and he did a good job.”
Only three penalties were called by the Big East officiating crew during the 80-play scrimmage, something Stewart was pleased with.
“We had one alignment penalty where a left tackle didn’t get line up on the line, we had one guard jump and we had one holding. That’s three offensive mistakes today in 80 snaps,” Stewart said. “I don’t have a calculator with me but that’s pretty good.”
Converted tight end Will Johnson made a nice catch and run out in the flat for 26 yards and finished the scrimmage with three catches for 43 yards. Johnson made the move to tight end two days ago and Associate Head Coach Doc Holliday spent a good portion of the scrimmage helping Johnson get lined up properly.
“It was very nice to see Will Johnson … we put him in at fullback and he made a tremendous catch down there and I was very pleased to see that,” Stewart said.
Pat McAfee kicked field goals of 24 and 25 yards and Chris Glenn booted a 37-yarder with the second group to wrap up the scoring.
Defensively, safety Boogie Allen picked off a Patrick White pass with the first group, safety Charles Pugh had an interception during goal line work at the end of the scrimmage and he made a nice play batting down a screen pass out in the flat as well.
JT Thomas sacked Patrick White in the end zone to record a safety for the first defense. Quarterbacks wore yellow jerseys and were not allowed to be hit.
Brown finished 9 of 12 for 88 yards quarterbacking both the first and second groups. Starks completed 5 of 7 passes for 53 yards with the second unit.
“We got 43 plays for the ones and 37 plays for the twos. That equals somewhere near 80 and I was really pleased to get that,” Stewart said. “We started out on the 25 and had a couple of nice series there. From minus two we were able to change field position and from the 50 yard line we had a couple of touchdowns. That was good see.”
Zac Cooper, Ryan Stanchek and Scooter Berry were held out of the scrimmage for precautionary reasons but Stewart expects all three to return next week. Defensive tackle Chris Nield also went down at one point during the scrimmage but was eventually able to walk off the field without any help.
“That was as fine a scrimmage at this early stage. I was really pleased with the way they flew around and got after each other,” Stewart said.
UNOFFICIAL SCRIMMAGE STATISTICS
RUSHING: Sanders 8-29, Brown 6-24, Poitier 9-21, McCloskey 5-17, Hogan 4-15, White 5-10, Starks 2-5, Crow 1-4, Devine 2-2, Arnett 1-minus 5, Total 43-122
PASSING: Brown 9-12-0-88-0, Starks 5-7-0-53-1, White 6-15-1-38-0, Total 20-34-1-179-1
RECEIVING: Hogan 6-67, Johnson 3-43, Sanders 3-30, Crow 4-20, Devine 1-12, Lyons 1-7, Poitier 1-1, Gonzalez 1-minus 1, Total 20-179
1st Defense – Safety (White sack by Pugh in end zone)
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