UAB football interim head coach Bryant Vincent got what he wanted – balanced success - from his team's first fall camp scrimmage on Saturday.
"We came out excited," Vincent said. "We had great effort and great energy. I thought our players were focused, and they understood what we were trying to get accomplished. I was excited how we came out and started the scrimmage on both sides of the football. The defense flew to the football and created turnovers. As the scrimmage went on, the offense got in a flow and was able to put the ball in the end zone."
The scrimmage, which came in front of approximately 75 former UAB football players, lasted about two hours. Safeties Will Boler and Jaylen Key had strong days, with Boler contributing a pair of interceptions. Redshirt sophomore cornerback Colby Dempsey continued his strong fall camp play. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Florida native had several pass breakups and some big tackles.
Will Boler - Out. Of. NOWHERE 😮💨😳 pic.twitter.com/i1SK7vTgyi— UAB Football (@UAB_FB) August 13, 2022
Vincent said the defensive line and linebackers had solid days.
"They got pressure in all three groups – A1, A2, Bs," Vincent said. "The defense line and our linebackers created pressure all day. I thought we were physical. I thought we were relentless. I was extremely proud of our defensive line and linebacker groups."
Quarterbacks Dylan Hopkins and Jacob Zeno each divided time between A1 and A2 offenses, and each threw touchdown passes. The running back corps showed its depth despite standouts DeWayne McBride and Jermaine Brown being held out. A.J. Gates and Lee Witherspoon were both impressive, running with the A1s and A2s, and true freshmen Tavern Curry and Lee Beebe also stood out. Gates had a pair of touchdowns. Both freshmen found the end zone, and Witherspoon had some big chunk runs.
Vincent said that Trea Shropshire made some big plays early, one on a perfectly thrown deep ball by Zeno, and the UAB head coach also praised receivers Tejhaun Palmer, T.J. Jones and Samario Rudolph.
Vincent felt his team's depth showed up on Saturday.
"We had guys with the ones, twos and threes make plays on both sides of the ball," Vincent said. "Our depth is in a good spot. But the effort, energy and passion was there today. We can clean up the mistakes. We've got two and a half weeks before we open up, and I really like where we are at right now. We just have to stay the course. We have to continue to grow each day and continue to execute."
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