Mason puts team through lengthy stadium scrimmage

NASHVILLE – Head coach Derek Mason put his Commodores through an intense scrimmage Saturday in Vanderbilt Stadium that featured more than 100 plays.
The two-hour session provided positives from both sides of the ball, including six offensive touchdowns and more than dozen defensive plays that forced their counterparts backward.
Afterward, Mason was pleased with effort and energy from his team in its first full-contact scrimmage of preseason camp.
“Overall, it was a good day. I saw a lot of positives from all three phases of the game,” Mason said. “Offensively, our ones looked sharp and Kyle (Shurmur) managed the game exactly like I thought he would. We also got some explosive plays that we needed from Donovan (Tennyson) and CJ (Bolar), and the line did a good job of moving the line of scrimmage for our backs who ran really hard.
“On defense, we were solid except for those two explosives. The guys tackled well and were physical, but we have to clean up some alignments and improve the communications. I was also extremely encouraged with what I saw from special teams. Our punters and kickers are doing a great job,” Mason added.
A drive-by-drive summary of the scrimmage follows:
Drive 1  After the offense opened with a quick first down on Kyle Shurmur’s 13-yard pass to wide receiver Kalija Lipscomb, the defense stiffened to force a punting situation. Linebacker Josh Smith registered the biggest defensive play, tackling Khari Blasingame for a 1-yard loss.
Drive 2  The defense produced a three-and-out possession. On first down, linebacker Dimitri Moore broke through the offensive line to stop Ke’Shawn Vaughn for a 6-yard loss. After Shurmur hit wide receiver for C.J. Bolar for eight yards, pressure from outside linebacker Charles Wright forced a third-down incompletion.
Drive 3   Outside linebacker Caleb Peart ended an offensive threat with a third-down sack of quarterback Allan Walters. Running back Jamauri Wakefield impressed on four touches, including a 15-yard catch out of the backfield that resulted in a first down.
Drive 4   The offense tallied its first touchdown on the opening play when Walters hit Bolar in stride running a left sideline pattern. The catch and run resulted in a 70-yard touchdown.
Drive 5   With Shurmur directing the attack, the offense marched into scoring territory behind a 15-yard pass from Shurmur to tight end Jared Pinkney and an impressive 20-yard rush by Wakefield. A tackle for no gain by cornerback Donovan Sheffield and sack by defensive lineman Dare Odeyingbo forced a 35-yard field goal conversion by Javan Rice.
Drive 6   The offense quickly produced its second long touchdown when quarterback Mo Hasan connected with wideout Donaven Tennyson on a deep sideline route. Tennyson out-ran defenders into the end zone another 70-yard score.
Drive 7   Big plays by Hasan, Wakefield and running back Josh Crawford helped the offense cross midfield, but the possession failed to produce points. Crawford gained 15 yards on two carries, while Hasan added first downs on a 12-yard scramble and 9-yard pass to Wakefield. The drive ended on a third-down pass when linebacker Brayden DeVault-Smith pressured Hasan to throw before a receiver came open.
Drives 8-10   The defense, aided by offensive penalties, forced three consecutive three-and-out possessions.  
Drive 11   Shurmur guided the offense inside the 20-yard line, leading to Rice’s conversion of a 35-yard field goal. Wakefield opened the drive with a pair of punishing carries that gained 24 yards. After a Shurmur-to-Pinkney completion gained nine yards, Blasingame and Vaughn followed with powerful inside-the-tackle carries. An apparent touchdown pass – featuring Tennyson’s superb over-the-shoulder catch – is called back due to an offensive penalty.
Drives 12-17  Five consecutive possessions end in quick punting situations. Moore, Dare and Dayo Odeyingbo, Peart, safety Max Worship and defensive lineman Rutger Reitmaier contributed impressive defensive plays during the drives.   
Drive 18   The offense pushed across midfield only to have a poor snap result in the first turnover. Dare Odeyingbo, defensive end Louis Vecchio and Sheffield register tackles for loss. Hasan completes three straight passes, including a 15-yarder to tight end Gavin Schoenwald. The drive ended on 4th-and-2 when linebacker Michael Owusu recovered a fumbled snap.
Drive 19   Shurmur guided the offense to its third touchdown. After Cam Johnson’s 23-yard carry, Shurmur found Lipscomb on a 3rd-and-4 completion for a first down. Two plays later, Blasingame scored on a 21-yard carry off right tackle.
The Commodores ended the scrimmage with 16 plays starting inside the 20-yard line. The offense produced three touchdowns, including Shurmur passes to Bolar for 18 yards and Lipscomb for four yards, and a 2-yard rush from Wakefield.