August 23, 2017

MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin football team to a cap on the grinding days of fall camp on Wednesday night before turning its focus to the regular season in just over a week.

The Skyhawks have gutted through 19 practices since the start of camp earlier in the month. While work is still to be done with the regular season opener against Clarion University scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 31, the Skyhawks will now shift their focus to game preparation following an off day on Thursday.

“It’s been a good week with tonight being one of the last tackle practices of the preseason outside of Saturday’s scrimmage,” said UT Martin head coach Jason Simpson. “Being able to get 16 plays on both side of the ball to get some looks. I think the guys bounced back today, attacked the grind and had a good day. Overall though, it has been a grind over a three-week period with practice, meetings and walk throughs. With that being said, I believe we are a smarter football team but it does weigh mentally and physically with the longevity of camp.”

With the change of focus from fundamentals and playbook install to more of opponent looks, the Skyhawks feel comfortable with how the depth chart has progressed throughout camp. “We are pretty solidified at our ones and twos,” said Simpson. “There are still some position battles at wide receiver and running back as several players continue to make plays. The defense is starting to clear itself up but we have had some great competition on the line and at corner. I like where we are.”

UT Martin will take Thursday off before returning to the practice schedule on Friday, Aug. 25 at 7:15 p.m. The Skyhawks will hold their final scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 26 at 3:30 p.m. as the team focuses on a game day scenarios and protocols.