Day Four Notebook: Defense Stands Tall

Aug. 11, 2016

DENTON - Thursday's North Texas football practice featured an intense defensive unit that turned its high energy into pass break-ups, interceptions and sacks. It's a defense that has noticeably come a long way since the spring. Right in the middle of the action Thursday was Conference-USA Preseason First Team All-Conference safety Kishawn McClain.

Pass Break-Up of the Day: McClain, a junior from Rosenberg, Texas, is a vocal locker room leader but also a leader on the field as well. Thursday, McClain flashed his athleticism as he chased down a receiver and leaped to the highest point to break up a 35-yard pass downfield.

Interception of the Day: Defensive back Jameel Moore of Cedar Hill, Texas, is just a freshman, but has shown composure and has adapted quickly to the pace of division one college football. Thursday, instead of standing and watching once the ball had been thrown to his opposite side, Moore ran to where the ball was being thrown and pulled in a tipped ball for an interception, which would have been brought back for a touchdown.

Sack of the Day: Freshman Corey Mann from Decatur, Texas, has shown progress on special teams and defense this week. His name was heard a lot on the field Thursday, especially as he broke through the offensive line to sack the quarterback in the backfield during 11-on-11 scrimmages.

Video of Post-Practice Media Availability
Head Coach Seth Littrell
Safeties McClain and James Gray

• During a period of running drills, redshirt junior running back Andrew Tucker (Chapel Hill, Texas) made an important block on a linebacker that freed up Jeffery Wilson (Elkhart, Texas) to run for a significant gain.

• Tucker also had a big play running the ball when he took off for a 70-yard touchdown run after breaking free from a defender.

• Freshman receiver Michael Lawrence (Sweetwater, Texas) made a difficult diving catch, cradling the ball before hitting the turf.

• Linebacker Zack Bishop of Allen got his named shouted Thursday when he made a difficult pass break-up in individual drills.

• Receiver O'Keeron Rutherford's height and length has helped him out this fall camp. The 6-foot-5 redshirt sophomore from Carthage, Texas, reeled in a touchdown between a double team. The pass was perfectly placed over his back shoulder by quarterback Alec Morris (Allen).

• Senior defensive end Jareid Combs had an impressive tipped pass at the goal line during the scrimmage period.

• At the very end of practice, senior Fred Scott (Kennedale, Texas) had a pass break-up at the line of scrimmage.

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