MONTGOMERY, Ala.—In Alabama State's first scrimmage of the spring the Hornets defense held the offense in check for most of the day during the 81 play scrimmage. The Hornets offense was able to score on three big plays.
The first coming on the third play from scrimmage when Daniel Duhart hit Marcus Gamble on a curl and Gamble made his defender miss and went 76 yards for a score.
A few offensive possessions later, the Hornets used a reverse to Earl Lucas who went 37 yards for the second score.
The third score came on a screen pass from Duhart to Demario Bell who made several defenders miss, then ran back across the field and picked up some blocks to go 60 yards for the final score. It came on a third and 25 play.
Those three plays accounted for 180 yards of the 284 the offense gained as the Hornets defense had 16 stops which resulted in 16 changes of possessions.
The defense also recovered three fumbles and had an interception.
"We want to have big plays and today we had three one with Gamble, the screen with Bell and we had Earl (Lucas) with the reverse," coach Reggie Barlow said.
"We want to have those big plays but there were not enough of them. We didn't sustain any drives at all."
All three quarterbacks played with Duhart leading the way hitting 11 of his 15 pass attempts for 190 yards and the two scores. Arsenio Favor was hit three of his nine attempts for 32 yards and Sam Gibson was seven for 11 for 59 yards.
Gibson also had the lone interception. The Hornets struggled running the ball with Lucas' 37 yard run leading the rushers. Malcolm Cyrus had 19 yards on four carries and Isaiah Crowell carried the ball five times for 14 yards.
Gamble led the receivers with 83 yards on two receptions and Bell's 60 yard catch and run was his lone reception. Cyrus came out of the backfield to catch a game-high four passes for 28 yards.
Leland Baker led the defense with eight tackles, three sacks and a fumble recovery. Demarcus Taylor added seven stops and Willie Roller had three tackles and two sacks. Ray Heningburg came up with the interception and had five stops.
The Hornets defense produced 12 sacks and another 12 plays that resulted in either no gain or lost yardage.
In all, the ASU defense had -123 yards in sacks or tackles for lost yardage.
"Our offense starts with our snaps and when we had our one center in there the snaps were ok, but when we had our backups in there the snaps were all over the place," Barlow said.
"It also has to do with our offensive line, the center and the quarterback. We are an up tempo, fast paced offense and that is what we want to do, but if we're lethargic and the quarterback and center are not running up to the line, getting the play, getting set and snapping it then we are going to struggle.'
"Our defense did a lot of good things. They played aggressive and the defensive line caused a lot of problems up front. Those guys did some good things, but I just didn't like the fight in the offense."
ASU will take Sunday and Monday off and will be back on the practice field Tuesday, April 16 at 11 a.m.