Defensive Unit Steps Up for Third Spring Scrimmage
With the final week of spring practice ahead, the Missouri State football Bears have proven they have talent on both sides of the ball. On Saturday, it was the defense's time to shine as the 80-play scrimmage at Plaster Field saw the Bears' defensive unit hold the offense to 2.1 yards per carry and 50 percent completion through the air.
The third scrimmage of the spring season was highlighted by a pair of long touchdown passes from first-string quarterback Trevor Wooden (So., High Springs, Fla.) late in the session. The first TD strike was a 36-yard completion to Willie White (Sr., Kingsland, Ga.) to cap a 50-yard drive, and the second was an impressive 47-yard catch-and-run by Julian Burton (RFr., Cordova, Tenn.).
Those two passing plays accounted for 48 percent of the morning's total passing yards by the offense, which was held to 12 three-and-out series by the defense and collected just 11 first downs.
Wooden finished 11-for-16 for 147 yards and the two touchdown strikes to lead the offense. He also had a team-high 44 yards on 14 carries to finish with 191 yards in total offense. Reserve QB Mitchell Jenkins (RFr., Springfield, Mo.) was 3-for-12 for 21 yards through the air. With fellow backup signal caller Tim Williams still on the shelf, walk-on Kevin Vanegdom (RFr., Liberty, Mo.) played one series and was 1-for-2 for 5 yards.
Austin Witmer (So., Grand Island, Neb.) missed a 38-yard field goal attempt into a strong head wind, but was otherwise sharp in converting a pair of extra points and a 24-yard field goal with the wind at his back.
Vernon Scott (So., Muskogee, Okla.) carried 9 times for 10 total yards, but scored a pair of red-zone touchdowns for the only other scoring plays.
Perhaps one of the best defensive plays of the day came on a key fumble recovery by nose tackle Tevan Ferguson (Jr., Nashville, Tenn.) who pounced on bad pitch in the red zone to kill a long drive by the first team offense and set the pace for the entire morning.
The Bears will practice three times this week before finishing up next Saturday at 1 p.m. with the annual Maroon and White Spring Game at Plaster Field. Admission for the game is free, and basic stadium services will be available.
Scrimmage 3 Final Stats
Rushing (50-106): Trevor Wooden 14-44, Stephen Johnston 4-22; Mikael Cooper-Falls 7-17; Chris Douglas 7-16; Vernon Scott 9-10; Julian Burton 1-9; Kevin Vanegdom 1-2; Mitchell Jenkins 5-(-4); Team 2-(-2);
Passing (30-15-0, 173 yards): Trevor Wooden 16-11-0, 147 yards, 2 TD; Mitchell Jenkins 12-3-0, 21 yards; Kevin Vanegdom 2-1-0, 5 yards.
Receiving: Jermaine Saffold 3-13, Julian Burton 2-54, Cadarrius Dotson 2-29, Dorian Buford 2-17, Matt Thayer 2-17, Willie White 1-36, Ian Starnes 1-5, Stephen Johnston 1-(-2), Vernon Scott 1-(-4).
Kicking: Austin Witmer 1-2 FG (made 24, missed 38), 2-2 PAT; Mason Hutson 1-1 PAT.