News From Terre Haute, Indiana

August 18, 2013

Sanford: Plenty of work for ISU with 12 days till season opener at IU

Sycamores scrimmage on Saturday but fighting injuries

Todd Golden
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Indiana State’s football team was 12 days away from its season-opening game against Indiana on Aug. 29.

“The good news is we are 12 days away. The bad news is we’re 12 days away,” Sanford said. “It’s exciting, but we still do have a lot of work to do between now and game time. There’s things we need to improve on. We’re where we thought we would be on all three sides of the ball, but are we ready to play yet? No. We have a lot of work to do.”

The scrimmage was not open to the public (aside from a few family members) or the media, but Sanford spoke about the scrimmage afterwards.

On the down side, Sanford had intended Saturday’s session to be a live scrimmage from start-to-finish. But injuries that piled up throughout the past week, most of them minor, sidetracked those plans.

“Initially this was going to be a live scrimmage and we were going to do a lot of live plays. As we’ve gone through training camp and through the week, we realized we have some guys dinged up and there comes a point of diminishing returns on live work. We felt it would be diminishing returns if we went live the whole time,” Sanford said.

Sanford decided that caution was the better part of valor.

“We had a period at the beginning where we went live and after that we did a period called “hud” where we’re live, but there’s no tackling,” Sanford said.

When ISU did go live, the No. 1 offense faced the No. 2 defense and vice versa. Quarterback Mike Perish led the starting offense. The intention was for redshirt freshman Robert Tonyan to take some snaps with the starters, but he is one of the Sycamores who has been banged up. Tonyan ended up missing part of the scrimmage with an arm injury that Sanford said was minor.

“What we planned was to have Mike and Rob take reps with the 1’s. Mike went with the 1’s and Rob went with the 2’s, but Rob’s arm has been bothering him, and today, it bothered him a little more. We put Matt Adam in with the No. 2 offense and Mike went the rest of the way with the 1’s,” Sanford explained.

Perish, the incumbent starter, has practiced with the starting unit for the majority of preseason camp. As far as naming a clear-cut starter, Sanford stuck to his guns and said it will be determined on Indiana game day.

“We’re not going to announce a starter until game time. My intent is that whatever we decide on the starter, we’re going to play both,” Sanford said.

The No. 1 defense controlled the No. 2 offense. The No. 1 defense was responsible for all three of the interceptions that were thrown in the scrimmage.

“The defense did very well. They had three interceptions and that was good to see. I feel good about the 1’s. I feel the 2’s need to make more progress,” Sanford said.

Sanford said that the team also practiced kicking situations, overtime, the end-of-game run-the-clock-out and other late-game scenarios.

ISU will continue preseason practice this week, but two-a-day practices are over as classes begin at ISU on Tuesday. Game preparations will begin for the Indiana game starting next weekend. ISU will have a mock game next Saturday, but it will also be closed to the public and media.