The first day in full pads proved to be a daunting one for the offense. On the flip side, the defense excelled, getting pressure from the front seven on the quarterbacks.
"I thought we were pretty crisp, especially in our blitzes," coach Tuberville said about the defense. "Offensively, we took a big step backward. We got to find some leadership on offense, guys are just going through the motions."
While the Red Raiders tout an offensive unit with six returning starters, the group also lost senior leaders such as Taylor Potts, Stephen Sheffield, Baron Batch, Detron Lewis, and Lyle Leong.
That senior leadership is replaced by several underclassmen getting their first time with the first team and an incoming flux of speedy freshman talent.
On the defensive side of the ball, things looked much more positive.
"We're just using what coach [Chad] Glasgow coaches us to do," said senior nose tackle Donald Langley. "We just look a lot faster, look a lot better, and we just have a lot of speed. That's a tribute to the weight program we had May, June, and July.
"When your defensive coordinator [Glasgow] is a fire ball, the same kind of intensity every day, that feeds and trickles down to the players; that's the way we're going to play. That's the way we're going to play - with that same tenacity and that same heart."
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