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SHSU Orange-White game Saturday at 11 a.m.
Sam Houston State will pit the offense against the defense in the Bearkats’ Orange-White football game that annually brings to a close spring gridiron practice.
Normally, head coach Todd Whitten and his staff split the squad into two equal teams for the competition but several injuries in key positions have forced a change in plans.
The Bearkats are down to one quarterback, two running backs and have a handful of other guys wearing street clothes. Instead, the offense will be the White team and defense the Orange with the defense able to earn points for interceptions, fumble recoveries, holding the offense without a first down, etc.
“We’ve had some unfortunate breaks this spring,” Whitten said. “We lost Jeff Welch to an injury. We are down to one quarterback now. We have two freshman coming in, but we will probably add a couple of more guys into the mix between now and the fall. We are down to (James) Aston and Will Clay in the backfield, so we are just really, really thin. We are going to have to be careful with what we do on Saturday.
“We obviously can’t play the spring game the way we normally do because we don’t have enough to split into two teams,” the coach added. “With the defense able to get points for turnovers, stops and three-and-outs, it will be fun and we can still get a lot out of the game.”
Sam Houston has held two previous game condition scrimmages during their month of spring work.
The offense picked apart the defense in the first scrimmage, as quarterback Bryan Randolph threw for more than 240 yards and three touchdowns. James Aston and Torian Wilkins combined to rush for 130 yards as the defense was struggling to learn the new schemes brought in by defensive coordinator Scott Stoker.
“I think Bryan Randolph has had a really good spring,” Whitten said. “With Aston and (Chris) Poullard, we are going to be solid in the backfield. The offensive line has really done a good job. I would like to see them continue to do well on Saturday. We have some spots still up for grabs and we want to evaluate the young guys.”
The shoe was on the other foot last Sunday. After failing to intercept a pass in the first scrimmage, the Bearkats had two in the second, including one which was returned 32 yards for a touchdown by linebacker Luke McCall.
Stoker’s defense is very aggressive with a ton of different blitz packages and the Kats got to the quarterbacks six times Sunday.
“We have had a real physical spring. It wasn’t perfect, but it has been productive,” Whitten said. “We have a new defensive scheme in and I think the guys have responded well to that. It’s going to be fun to watch them get after it.”
The offense 1, the defense 1. Saturday is the rubber match and somebody is going to have all summer to brag about it.
The spring game is scheduled for 11 a.m.
SHSU Media Relations