The Skyhawks of UT Martin held their blue/white spring game today at Hardy M. Grahman Stadium showing the public the progress the team had made during spring practices. With the Skyhawks looking to replace multiple positions, the practices allowed head coach Jason Simpson the opportunity to see who would step up and take over the positions.
While the defense according to Simpson had been getting the best out of the offense during the spring, it was the offense racking up 9 touchdowns and not committing a turnover to rout the defense. The fireworks came from the most notable position battle for the Skyhawks, the quarterback.
When asked if spring practice had narrowed down the candidates for the open QB role “No, as a matter of fact they have made it very difficult,” Simpson said. The battle between juniors Jarrod Neal, Trey Phipps and Dylan Favre has been this spring very interesting to say the least. “Going into the spring Neal was the clear cut starter. But over the last five practices Favre really started grasping things and making plays and Trey Rice has probably been the most improved on this team.”
In the spring game it was Rice leading the way,completing 12 of his 14 attempts for 211 yards and 4 touchdowns. “Coming from a redshirt freshmen with no playing time, he has put himself in the mix to compete for the fall.”
Neal who started the game with the first team offense went 9 of 18 on his throws, gaining 153 yards while tossing 3 touchdowns. Favre went 8 of 15 for 125 yards and a touchdown.
At the game multiple people were very impressed with Rice and Neal as they managed they stood in the pocket checking multiple routes and made accurate throws. For Favre who was mostly quiet for most of the game, it was his ability during two busted plays that had the new Skyhawk in the conversation for QB as he showed his dual threat ability.
On the receiving end of the game it was 5th year senior Malik Generett making the something out of nothing, finishing with 2 touchdowns. One on a corner fade to the far pylon and another on a streak route. Chris Thompson was the leading receiver for the game catching 6 balls for 148 yards and 2 touchdowns.