Tech football’s preseason ended with the Gathering of Eagles scrimmage Saturday, Aug. 20.
“I feel great about this first game,” Golden Eagles’ quarterback Jeremiah Oatsvall said. “We’re getting better each week and each practice. We just can’t hurt ourselves and lock in on the details because when it comes to Kansas, it’s not going to be easy. This is Power Five football. If we aren’t minding our P’s and Q’s, we can get embarrassed.”
In the scrimmage, the Golden Eagles had a few noticeable errors needing to be corrected before week one, according to head coach Dewayne Alexander.
Despite the errors, some big plays emerged and showed promise for the purple and gold.
“If we would have had all of these errors we had tonight in a game, we would’ve had a hard time winning a football game even with as many big plays as we made,” Alexander said. “Those things have to get cleaned up.”
“The effort of this team has been outstanding all preseason camp. This is a competitive football team. These guys get after each other. They’ve been practicing hard,” Alexander said. “Tonight was a physical practice. There was a lot of hard hitting. These guys are being aggressive, but there were too many mistakes.”
During the scrimmage, there was a snap over the quarterback, an ineligible receiver downfield, some offsides calls and a false start in the red zone.
“Those are situations you have to go through, but you have to learn from them. After making mistakes in practice, you just line up and do it again. In games, you only play 11 guaranteed games. That’s all you get. One time. You have to be on point and ready every time you play those games,” Alexander said.
Receiver Quavel Thornton opened the scoring for Tech with a 73-yard touchdown reception from Lem Wash’s pass in the fifth series of the contest. Hayden Olsen added three more points with a 46-yard field goal.
After catching a pitch, running back O.J Ross looked to be down while getting swarmed in the backfield, but after breaking two tackles, he bolted out from the left side of the line for a 52-yard touchdown run. Ross and Justin Pegues found their way into the end zone late. Both had 4-yard touchdown runs.
Ethan Roberts, quarterback for the Golden Eagles, scored on a draw play up the middle.
Jeremiah Oatsvall, Tech’s starter under center and a transfer from Memphis, caught a touchdown pass after a pitch from Pegues to Willie Miller was thrown to him by Miller.
Oatsvall connected with Metrius Fleming in the back-left corner of the end zone for a score.
“It’s a good thing we have nine football practices before we play our first game,” Alexander said. “We’ll have a lot of meeting time. We’ll watch film, lift weights, do treatment and have practice all next week. They’ll have Saturday off and we’ll come back Sunday and get ready to go to Kansas. When we’re getting ready for an opponent, we’ll cut a lot of stuff down, get our game plan in and simplify things.”
“The great news is it’s hard to get your team to hit hard and play hard, and these guys will do that. The other stuff is correctable. There wasn’t a thing out here tonight that can’t be fixed. We have some speed, some athleticism and more depth than I’ve had with a football team since I’ve been here,” Alexander said.
The Golden Eagles will open their regular season against Kansas on Friday, Sept. 2 at Tucker Stadium.