Special to The Sun
Getting a glimpse at the multitude of young players on the roster was the main objective of Central Oklahoma’s first intrasquad scrimmage of the pre-season Sunday night at Wantland Stadium.
The Bronchos, who have 70 underclassmen on their 92-player roster, spent time on special teams and ran 44 plays during the evening skirmish that was directed by assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Russ Pickett. Head coach Nick Bobeck is out of town attending the funeral of his grandmother.
“Tonight was about our young kids,” Pickett said. “We wanted to see what kind of potential they have and we saw some good things from a couple of guys.
“We came out a little flat and I think a lot of that had to do with it being the end of a pretty long week. We had hit-and-miss moments on both sides of the ball.”
Four quarterbacks took snaps and UCO went through several rotations of offensive and defensive players during the scrimmage, which was officiated by a crew of Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association referees.
Three touchdowns were scored, the longest coming on a 63-yard pass from T.J. Eckert to Isaac Whitney during a third-and-short drill. Two scores came during red zone work, with Adrian Nelson hitting Marquez Clark from 13 yards out and Donovan Roberts going in from five yards away.
Seth Hiddink ended one red zone possession with a 34-yard field goal.
Defensively, the Bronchos got big stops from Antonio Jenkins, Adrian Mack and Rezahn Clayton, while Garrett Baker had a sack on a fourth-and-one quarterback roll-out to stop a drive.
“We weren’t emotional enough on the defensive side and the coaches really had to work to get ‘em going,” Pickett said. “I thought the offense did a nice job at the end in a tough situation just outside the goal line, executing and making plays.”
Central Oklahoma will take be off Monday with the start of the fall semester before starting their regular season practice schedule Tuesday afternoon.
The Bronchos open the 2013 campaign Sept. 5 at Missouri Southern.