Howard first-year Head Coach Gary Harrell said last week that he believes his defensive unit led by all-MEAC linebacker Keith Pough was more aggressive and ahead of the learning curve than his offensive unit during practice sessions.

But after a team scrimmage held on Aug. 20, Coach Harrell said the offense has improved enough to make a great impression on him. “Overall, I was really pleased with the progress I saw today,” he said. “From an organizational standpoint and the sidelines, there was a big improvement.”

Howard Sports Information Director Ed Hill said the offensive unit scored two touchdowns and a field goal during the scrimmage. One of the touchdowns was scored by all-MEAC receiver Willie Carter on a 35-yard pass from freshman starting quarterback Greg McGhee. “The defense started out strong again, but the offense picked it up and began to play better,” Harrell said. “I was especially impressed with the second unit on offense. Randy Liggins did a good job of moving the ball.”

Hill said Liggins is currently battling freshman Evan Pittman for the backup quarterback position, and has “really come on strong” during the latest practices. “The 5-foot-11-inch, 185-pound sophomore from Brea, Calif. showed good poise directing two scoring drives that led to a touchdown pass to red-shirt sophomore Clayton Gidron and 37-yard field goal by sophomore placekicker Parker Munoz,” Hill stated.

But Hill said the main reason the offense has improved should be credited to the running game, led by red-shirt junior tailback Charles Brice and senior tailback Terrance Leffall. Freshman running back Aquanius Freeman and red-shirt sophomore Andra Williams have also made strong impressions.

“The running game is definitely a plus for us,” said Harrell.  “When those guys run the ball effectively, it opens things up.  We were able to have success with play action, screens and draws.”

Howard concluded its two-a-day practice sessions on Aug. 23; the season-opening game is scheduled for Sept. 3 against Eastern Michigan in Ypsilanti, Mich.

 

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor