COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The offense excelled as the White Team edged the Red Team, 187-143, in the football team’s annual Red-White Spring Game Friday evening in front of a crowd of 8,139 fans at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.
“We got the things that we wanted to get done this spring and we are pleased with that,” head coach Randy Edsall said. “When we get into these situations we are looking for the guys who can make plays. The great thing about the spring is we now have the chance to evaluate who can make the plays. It’s a chance for us to evaluate our roster and figure out who you can count on.”
The Red Team, which was comprised of defensive players, started the game with a 70-58 advantage. The pre-game points were based on a scoring system throughout this spring’s practices. The White Team dug out of their deficit to get the win.
The game’s scoring system granted the offense six points for a touchdown, three points for a field goal or a first down, two points for a run of 15 or more yards or a pass of 20 or more yards and one or two points for a conversion.
On the defensive end, the red team was awarded six points for a touchdown or a turnover, three points for a stop drive or a blocked field goal, two points for a sack or a tackle for loss and one or two points for a return conversion.
The evening started with individual and 7-on-7 drills, which gave fans an opportunity to see Stefon Diggs and Deon Long, who are not yet cleared for full contact. Both Diggs and Long had surgery last fall after suffering leg fractures in an Oct. 19 game at Wake Forest.
In the scrimmage, the offense rushed for 314 net yards and passed for 275. In total, the White Team went 27-for-49 passing with three interceptions. The Red Team totaled 83 tackles, three sacks and three interceptions.
C.J. Brown led the way for the quarterbacks going 16-for-24 and totaled 157 passing yards. He also rushed for 28 yards and recorded one passing and one rushing touchdown. Caleb Rowe went 5-for-12 for 43 yards and Perry Hillswent 4-for-10 for 35 yards. Neither Rowe nor Hills recorded touchdowns. Shane Cockerille went 2-for-3 for 40 yards and one touchdown. Brown was sacked once and Perry was sacked twice.
Brandon Ross rushed for 90 yards and recorded two touchdowns for the White Team. Albert Reid added 79 and Brown contributed one rushing touchdown.
“I just wanted to use this scrimmage to show them that I could play and that I could work my way back up the depth chart,” Ross said.
Taivon Jacobs had five catches for 64 yards to lead the White Team in receiving. Amba Etta-Tawo, Jacquille Veii andLevern Jacobs each added three a piece for 51, 33 and 23 yards, respectively.
“It’s a good thing because I do not know who our starter is,” Edsall said of the running backs. “I think we’ll have Albert [Reid], Jacquille [Veii], Wes [Brown] and then Brandon [Ross] all competing and as we continue through the preseason, it’s a great thing to have. Competition is a great thing to have and we have it at that position.”
On the defensive end, William Likely grabbed two interceptions and recorded four tackles, one of which was unassisted.
Kenneth Goins scored the first touchdown of the night off of a three-yard pass from Brown in the first quarter. A fourth of the way through, the White Team held a 93-88 advantage over the Red.
The majority of the offensive action occurred in the second quarter where the White Team posted a field goal and scored three touchdowns. Adam Greene kicked the field goal early in the quarter. Amba Etta-Tawo held on for a remarkable catch to score on a 34-yard pass from Shane Cockerille, Brandon Ross scampered down the field for a huge 75 yards to score, and Brown ran 10 yards for a touchdown.
In the same quarter for the Red Team, A.J. Hendy intercepted Perry Hill’s pass and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown.
Both teams went quietly in the third quarter for scoring plays, but in the fourth, Brandon Ross ran a yard for a touchdown and Brad Craddock hit a 30-yard field goal.
White Team took home the win and the bragging rights, not to mention a steak and lobster dinner while the Red Team will be served franks and beans.