The defense forced three turnovers, returning one for a touchdown, in the University of North Alabama’s 71-play scrimmage at Braly Stadium Saturday afternoon.
The Lions’ offense was sluggish throughout the day, recording just two touchdowns. The UNA quarterbacks were a combined 18-for-33 through the air.
“There is no question that the defense won the day from start to finish,” said UNA head coach Chris Willis. “We wanted to see our defensive backs in a different location and see how they responded with great coverage and two interceptions. Our defense a whole, they showed up, were well prepared and out-performed the offense,”
On the second play of the opening two-minute drill, A.J. Bracey picked off a Christian Lopez pass to set the tone for the defenders.
Devonte Toles then recovered a fumble during the fourth scrimmage period and Lyndon Harris picked off a Rett Files pass on the following series and returned it 75 yards for a touchdown.
The only two touchdowns for the offense came on a free play where the defense jumped offsides and Lopez hit Jack Peavey with a 24-yard TD pass, and the final drive of the day when Ryan Eledge threw a 14-yard TD pass to E.J. Rogers.
“The offense just dragged all day,” Willis said. “They were dragging and nobody was picking them up. On a scale of one to ten, their intensity was a five, except for the final group that drove the ball right down the field. But give the defense credit, they were pressuring and making tackles in open space.”
Willis said he was also disappointed in what he saw from the team’s field goal kickers Saturday.
“I couldn’t tell you who our kicker will be,” he said. “We have three guys with live legs but we missed more than we made today. I think our newcomers were nervous and it showed. “
The Lions will not return to the practice field until 8 p.m. on Monday and will scrimmage again at Braly Stadium on August 17.