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TU Football Update: Preseason Practice Continues

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The Tulsa football team practiced for the second time in helmets and shoulder pads on Harwell Field Tuesday, continuing progress toward the Aug. 28 season opener against Tulane at H.A. Chapman Stadium.

The second day in shells brought more hitting and physical workouts. The team worked on red zone situations at the end of the session, producing spirited reactions.

“We got into the red zone and worked on the scoring zone for the offense and where, defensively, you have to really bow up,” TU Head Coach Bill Blankenship said. “There were enough wins on both sides to keep us jazzed up. We saw some nice plays. I'm very encouraged.”

The play of the day came from junior receiver Conner Floyd. He dove through the air to his right to snag a pass, and held onto it as he rolled to the ground. Blankenship called it an “outstanding” catch. “It really fired everybody up,” he said.

Junior running back Tavarreon Dickerson shifted through the defense, breaking long runs. Sophomore quarterback Dane Evans hit sophomore receivers Keevan Lucas and Josh Atkinson on a pair of nice slant routes, and junior H-back Mandel Dixon Jr. found daylight down the right sideline for a long play.

“TD (Dickerson) is really continuing to show he has the juice to make people miss, and when he does, it's usually house. He has the speed to go the distance,” said Blankenship. “Mandel, coming out of spring, was one of the guys on offense that really lit our fire. We think he has the ability to really be a playmaker coming out of the backfield out of his fullback spot. He can catch the ball, he can run – we're hoping to utilize him in a lot of ways.”

Despite the standout offensive plays, the defense made its share of stops as well, putting pressure behind the line of scrimmage and breaking up passes downfield.

“Defensively, (Defensive Coordinator) Coach (Brent) Guy is a little frustrated, because he doesn't want to give up any plays. That's the only way you get to be a really good defense – you get really selfish and you don't want to give anything up. But, as long as we're going against ourselves, there's always going to be a little give-and-take. It's OK if maybe the next day the defense wins them all. Then the offense has to get better. But that's what we have to have if we're going to really improve our team.”

The Hurricane will practice in shells again Wednesday morning at Harwell Field, before donning full pads for the first time in fall camp on Thursday.


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