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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Football

Defense remains opportunistic during annual spring game


The Cougars buckled up their chin straps and put on their pads as they took the field for the annual red and white spring football game.

Last year, the Cougars’ defense led the nation in takeaways and it continued its thieving ways in the spring game. Sophomore defensive back Steven Aikens intercepted a pass thrown by junior college transfer quarterback Hunter McCoy.

Aikens said defensive coordinator David Gibbs’ system is simple and that participants just have to do their job.

“Every day in practice the (defensive backs) try to strip the ball out,” Aikens said. “We always are looking to strip the ball from the offensive players. We look to get a turnover every play.”

The defensive line won the line of scrimmage in today’s spring game and caused the quarterbacks to struggle to throw the ball while forcing 10 sacks

“You have to be relentless,” senior defensive lineman Joey Mbu said. “Don’t let anyone block you, especially one on one. (Defensive line coach Ricky Logo) preaches that to us every day.”

The offense managed to score only two touchdowns. Senior quarterback Billy Cosh tossed a 6-yard touchdown to Kelechi Ejekam and an 11 yard scramble by McCoy.

For now the defense has the bragging rights until August when summer practice begins.

“We will make sure to tell them what the final score is,” Mbu said.

Head coach Tony Levine had one goal in mind for the spring game: remaining healthy. Twenty five student athletes didn’t participate because of nagging injuries, and certain players were held out because the coach staff already knows what they can do.

“We have a long way to go,” Levine said. “I just told our guys that August will be here quicker than you know it — so stay focused.”

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