Vanderbilt held the team’s first scrimmage of preseason camp on Saturday morning inside Vanderbilt Stadium with both the offense and defense taking turns in the spotlight.
The offense opened up the practice sharp in 7-on-7 drills with Kyle Shurmur hitting receivers all over the field. The junior found Jackson Winrow for a nice gain on a curl route before hitting Nathan Marcus down the seam with a nice touch pass for a big gain.
The momentum carried over into the scrimmage as the passing game moved the ball down the field at a steady rate. Shurmur and CJ Duncan worked on the same page much of the day as the two upperclassmen hooked up multiple times. Deuce Wallace was solid in the passing game as well, finding Trey Ellis several times for gains to move the chains.
The defense began to turn the momentum, however, halfway through the scrimmage. Austin Quillen picked off a pass late in team drills before the team moved into different field situations. The defense continued the pressure, turning up the heat on third downs with Charles Wright and Nifae Lealao registering sacks on back-to-back drives. Bryce Lewis stepped in front of a pass to force the second turnover of the day and Elijah Hamilton pounced on a fumble moments later for the defense’s third turnover of the morning.
A move to red zone situations produced a 25-yard touchdown pass from Shurmur to Jared Pinkney as the big tight end made one cut near the goal line to find pay dirt. Josh Crawford also found the end zone, this one on the ground, to cap off a productive day for the junior running back. Jamauri Wakefield muscled one into the end zone as well to punctuate a good day for the running game overall and draw praise for the run-game from head coach Derek Mason following the scrimmage.
Sunday brings the first day off for the Commodores since the beginning of camp on Monday. The Dores are scheduled to return to the practice field on Monday afternoon.