Defense dominates Huskie Bowl

By Frank Gogola

So much for the Huskie Bowl’s change in format because of injuries to the defense.

The Cardinal team (defense) dominated the Black team (offense), 72-37, in the Huskie Bowl Saturday at Huskie Stadium. The format was changed to a skills, fundamentals and technique competition with a brief scrimmage at the end because of injuries to the defensive line and defensive backfield which wouldn’t allow for a split-team scrimmage.

The defense outscored the offense 38-7 in the non-tackling scrimmage after leading 34-30 heading to the main event.

“I’m not surprised by our defense at all,” said senior defensive end Jason Meehan. “A lot of people look at us just because we lost a couple of guys on defense … but like I’ve said the whole time: Our defense is strong. We don’t have as much experience as we’ve had in the past, but we definitely have the fight, and we have the talent … and that’s really what you saw [Saturday].”

The offense only scored once in 13 possessions when redshirt junior quarterback Matt McIntosh connected with redshirt junior wide receiver Juwan Brescacin on a 75-yard touchdown pass.

“Really happy defensively,” said head coach Rod Carey. “Really upset offensively. I thought the quarterbacks took a major step back today. And that’s the first time that’s happened all spring. They have been unbelievable as a group. They’ve gotten so much better, and then today they regressed.”

On the first drive of the scrimmage, redshirt sophomore linebacker Ladell Fleming picked off McIntosh and ran the ball back 38 yards for a touchdown.

The defense also forced five three-and-outs and stopped the offense, which started at its own 15-yard line, before it got to midfield on five occasions.

“We [the defense] came out and played our game,” Meehan said. “I was really proud of the way we came out and performed today.”

On the offensive side of the ball, redshirt senior tailback Akeem Daniels, who sat out last season with a foot injury, had a couple runs that got the fans on their feet. He displayed his speed and athleticism.

Daniels said he’s feeling about 90 percent, but he’ll be 100 percent by the start of the season. He said he has a little bit of pain in his foot, but it’s “nothing to complain about, nothing to worry about.”