Delaney pleased with overall results in final Griz scrimmage

Ellis Henderson with a 40-yard reception in Saturday's final scrimmage.

Ellis Henderson with a 40-yard reception in Saturday's final scrimmage.

Aug 17, 2013

The second and final scrimmage of fall camp for the University of Montana had a little bit of everything, with mixed results on offense and defense and in the kicking game, but coach Delaney pleased with the overall results.

"We were a little up and down," Delaney said. "I think the defense came out with a little bit of a chip on its shoulders sort-of-speak after last week, and that's the way it should be," Delaney said. "They (the defense) probably had a little more emotion than the offense did, at least at times during the scrimmage. Overall though, I thought we did some good things in all three phases of the game.

"But, on the same hand, the offense had a long drive (65 yards in eight plays), and converted and third-and-10 and a third-and-seven, and ended up scoring on that drive early," Delaney said. "Those are the things that frustrate you as a defensive coach, because we have got to get off the field in third-and-long yardage situations. We will continue to emphasize that. Now, hopefully when we get into the App. (Sic) State game, we will get off the field on third-and-longs."

The number one offense saw limited action, but scored on its first possession of the scrimmage, as quarterback Jordan Johnson led an eight-play, 65-yard drive, capped off by a 2-yard touchdown by Joey Counts. Counts ended up with 10 carries for 31 yards and a TD.

The key play in the only scoring drive of the day was a 40-yard pass from Johnson to Ellis Henderson, which moved the ball to the 4-yard line. That was the only offensive touchdown scored in the scrimmage.

"I think we (the offense) have progressed every day," said Johnson, who was 3-7-1 passing for 64 yards. "We're still installing some stuff every other day. It's all going to be good stuff, but we're still learning. Come game week we will have everything in and be ready to go."



The other scoring on the day was a pair of field goals and a defensive play. Freshman linebacker Tucker Schye (Malta) got the "D" fired up when he licked off a pass and returned the interception 41 yards for a touchdown.

Coach Delaney said putting the number one offense up against the number one defense gives himself and his coaches a good picture of where his team is at and provides good game preparation.

"Our thoughts on that are that we do everything we can with best-on-best," Delaney said. "When we go one-on-one we want our best players going against each other. That just makes them that much better and keeps that competitive drive going play-afer-play. We'll do that some in the fall too, even after we get our weekly prep for our opponents. That's the way you prepare for game speed."

Junior defensive end Zack Wagenmann had a sack, tackle for loss, and a pass deflection, while sophomore end Tyrone Holmes had a sack, a TFL, and a quarterback hurry. The leading tacklers were linebacker Kelsey Lippert and cornerback Sean Murray, with 4 stops each.

"We're taking pride in having a solid front seven," said Wagenmann, a first team all-league selection last season. "We are trying to set the tone up front and hopefully that carries throughout the next two levels as well. We want to be a physical front and play with a high motor.

"We've been working hard as a group, and our defensive line coach Legi (Suiaunoa), in my opinion is the best defensive line coach in the country - he's amazing," Wagenmann said. "He has a ready for game days and for practice, just because of his work ethic, which is the biggest thing that he harps on."

The scrimmage started with work on the field goal kicking aspect of the game, and UM's three kickers had a solid day, going a combined 11-of-14. True freshman Ben Worst (Twin Falls HS, Idaho) showed why he is challenging for the start job, making all six attempts, with a long of 49. Sophomore incumbent Chris Lider made his first four tries, but missed his last two. Redshirt freshman Harrison Greenberg was 1-of-2, and nailed a 48-yarder.

"We spent a lot of time this week team-kicking wise," Delaney said. "When I say kicking, I mean PAT and field goals -our punting has been stellar all along. It was way better today than it was a week ago. That job (PAT, FG) is still open as far as I am concerned. We will continue to let them compete, and we'll have to make a decision pretty soon. I can foresee that being a weekly competition."

Tomorrow (Sunday, Aug. 18) the team will have its first day off in two weeks, and then return to the practice field for a two-a-day session on Monday.

"Our next two weeks have to be focused on getting everybody healthy, and starting mental and physical preparation to play against a very talented Appalachian State team," Delaney said. "We'll put a lot of emphasis on mentally getting ready for our opener, and I think physically we are getting close to where we want to be. We've got a couple of positions with guys still competing for playing time."

"We are a tight group, definitely," said Johnson. "It says it right there on our poster - UNITED. That's kind of our theme. We are brothers, and you'd do anything for the guy standing next to you. I think if we execute like we know that we can on both sides of the football, we all know what we can do this year."


Joey Counts, 2 Run (Chris Lider kick)

Tucker Schye, 41 Interception Return (Harrison Greenberg kick)

Lider, 27 Field Goal

Greenberg, 49 Field Goal



RUSHING: Joey Counts 10-31, Treshawn Favors 7-8, Jordan Canada 9-13, Ellis Henderson 1-14. PASSING: Jordan Johnson 3-7-1 - 64; Shay Smithwick-Hann 0-2-0- 0. RECEIVING: Henderson 1-40, Marq Rogers 1-16, Counts 1-8.


TACKLE LEADERS: Kelsey Lipper: 4; Sean Murray: 4; Brock Coyle: 3; Zach Peevey: 3; Justin Whitted: 3. TACKLES FOR LOSS: Coyle; Tyrone Holmes; J.P Kanongata'a; Jeremiah Kose; Connor Strahm. SACKS: Holmes: 1 and Zack Wagenmann: 1. INTERCEPTIONS: Strahm and Jordan Tripp. BLOCKED PUNTS: Derek Crittenden and Strahm. PASS BREAK-UPS: Ryan McKinley: 1; JR Nelson: 1; Wagenmann: 1. QB HURRIES: Homes: 1; Trevor Rehm: 1; Wagenmann: 1.

FIELD GOALS (Pre-Scrimmage Only): Ben Worst (6-of-6): 35G; 40 G; 41G; 35G; 40G; 49G. Chris Lider (4-of-6): 35G; 40G; 41G; 35G; 48NG; 49 NG. Harrison Greenberg: 40NG and 48G. TOTALS: 11-of-14 (78.6%).

PUNTING: Stephen Shaw 7-45.7 yard average

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