Johnson City, Tenn. (Aug. 15, 2002) - East Tennessee State' football team had its first scrimmage since starting practice, and no one was happier than head coach Paul Hamilton. The Buccaneers, who struggled with their ground attack last season, concentrated on the running game in the first scrimmage. While ETSU's experienced defense held the upper hand for most of the action, the Bucs ground game showed some spark, with all of ETSU's backs showing some flashes.
"I think we had a lot of enthusiasm out there tonight," said Hamilton. "Our defense is ahead of our offense at this point, but we had a strong defense to begin with. I did see some positive things with our offense. We have some running backs that run the ball very, very hard. We came out tonight, learned some things and got better.
"I am really proud of the way our team came back this season in terms of conditioning. Our kids were very committed this summer; they were up here working together and it was obvious to me as we started practice that they were prepared to go out and work in this heat. This football team has made a deep commitment to be successful. I just hope and pray that we stay healthy, we keep working and I think some good things can happen for us.
"It certainly takes awhile to get your offense going in practice. I have not locked the defense down as far as certain looks or tell them not to blitz. We saw a lot of things coming at us offensively tonight. Our defensive people can run, we've got some guys that can really chase the football. The thing I was pleased about tonight offensively was that we had some productive drives and with a little more practice time we will have a chance to finish those drives off and get them in the end zone.