Rebels On The Defensive
Aug. 16, 2008
REBEL CAMP 2008 - Defense was the theme of the day during UNLV football's first full scrimmage of fall camp, with several big plays highlighting the nearly two-hour scrum.
The scrimmage was live except for the quarterbacks, who wore their usual green jerseys and were called down by touch.
Junior linebacker Jason Beauchamp (San Diego, CA/Steele Canyon HS) was one of eight different Rebels who recorded quarterback sacks as part of a defense that swarmed to the ball and created havoc. His play Saturday continued what has been a strong camp for Beauchamp, who was the recipient of the Black Jersey yesterday.
"The defense flew around today and everyone was going full speed," Beauchamp said. "There were a couple times though that the offense converted on third-and-long, and we need to do a better job of finishing the stop and getting offenses off the field."
Sophomore defensive back David Biggs (Moreno Valley, CA/Rancho Verde HS) turned in a solid performance, coming up with the day's only interception while also notching a sack. Sophomore defensive lineman Malo Taumua (Honolulu, HI/Aiea HS) had three tackles and a sack and freshman safety Chris Jones (Las Vegas, NV/Shadow Ridge HS) had a pair of tackles and an impressive pass break up.
"Our defense rose up, played well and really limited the offense," UNLV head coach Mike Sanford said. "There are two ways to look at it. One is that our defense really played well, and the other is our offense needs to play better. We need to run the ball better and do a better job of executing."
The scrimmage was not without offensive highlights, the big one a 16-yard scoring strike from sophomore starting quarterback Omar Clayton (Normal, IL/Normal Community HS) to senior tight end Ryan Worthen (Las Vegas, NV/Palo Verde HS). Clayton looked right and then came back to the left side of the field to find Worthen, who caught the ball and rumbled down the sideline for the score.
Clayton was efficient in the scrimmage, going 8-for-12 for 92 yards and a touchdown while also carrying the ball three times for another 21 yards on the ground. Freshman Mike Clausen (Riverside, CA/John W. North HS) was 4-for-18 for 37 yards and an interception and Dack Ishii (Huntington Beach, CA/Tennessee) went 6-for-12 for 59 yards. Ten different Rebels caught passes for the Rebel offense.
"We had some success today but we could have run the ball better," Clayton said. "The offense can do a better job and we know we have a lot to work to do."
Sophomore running back Channing Trotter (Mesa, AZ/Red Mountain HS) picked up the only other touchdown of the scrimmage, plowing in from a yard out to reach pay dirt. Trotter is battling junior Chris Brogdon (Phoenix, AZ/Desert Vista HS) and freshman tailbacks C.J. Cox (Garland, TX/North Garland HS) and Imari Thompson (DeSoto, TX/Cedar Hill HS) for the backup spot. Thompson led the running backs today, gaining 61 yards on just six carries, while Cox picked up 34 yards on eight attempts.
"I think we have four running backs who can really play," Sanford said. "The competition is really close for the two-three-four spots on the depth chart. It is a great problem to have."
Starting running back Frank `The Tank' Summers (Oakland, CA/Laney College) saw limited action, carrying the ball once to go with a couple receptions, as Sanford pulled a lot of starters early.
The Rebels will hold an afternoon practice on Sunday beginning at 4:00 p.m., and UNLV will continue to practice off campus until returning to Las Vegas on Aug. 19.
Passing Clayton 8-12, 92 yards, 1 TD Clausen 4-18, 37 yards, 1 Int. Ishii 6-12, 69 yards
TACKLES: Brence 4, Kravetz 4, Carter 3, Taumua 3, Barnes 3, K. Johnson 3, Purvis 3, Fa'avae 2, Biggs 2, Orth 2, Hales 2, Brooks 2, Jones 2, Mundy 2, Mafi 1, Martin 1, Beauchamp 1, Aaitui 1, Fuimaono 1, Taiese 1, Blair 1, Rouzard 1, Dixon 1, Fletcher 1, Kuklinski 1, Rusty Worthen 1, Tillman 1, Howard 1, Paulo 1, Trickey 1, Bosley 1.