Mines lined up

The South Dakota School of Mines football team scrimmaged Wednesday afternoon and will scrimmage again Thursday night in preparation for the season opener Sept. 7 at home against Colorado Mesa University.

Things pretty much went as planned in the South Dakota School of Mines football team's first formal scrimmage of the season Wednesday afternoon, head coach Zach Tinker said.

The Mines coaches planned to play everyone healthy on his roster, and that happened. They planned to run 100 plays and ended up running 99.

That will work.

 "Just like any scrimmage, when something good happens, it is usually something bad for the other side, and there was that," tinker said. "We had some nice sustained drives and there were a couple of plays on offense, but there were some really big plays on defense too."

The Mines defense had two pass interceptions taken back for touchdowns, by redshirt sophomore defensive back Chris Singleton and senior defensive back Steven Nolasco.

"It was a good day," Tinker said.

Tinker said they were also mainly trying to get some evaluations of the team in all three phases under more game-like situations.

"We wanted to see who could actually do it when things were happening as opposed to a controlled environment," he said. "We wanted to see their composure, see their consistency, and that's what we got."

The Hardrockers finished their 10th practice on Thursday morning and Tinker said it is time to get healthier, it's time to get the players' legs back for game-time action, as well as getting ready for another scrimmage, this time under the lights next Thursday night.

"All of the systems are in play, so now we just have to find out what roles each player is going to be in," he said.

Mines will have a new quarterback this season after the graduation of Jake Sullivan, who set or tied 14 school records in his career.

Tinker said the new QBs are doing "okay," but they have a ways to go.

Competing at quarterback in camp includes junior Thomas Crease, redshirt sophomore Spencer Zur, sophomore Toby Smith, redshirt freshman McCoy Bila and freshman Orlando Westbrook-Sanchez III.

Of all of the things they have going on now, he added, the quarterback battle isn't yet at the top of their concern list.

"The guys are doing mostly what they are supposed to be doing," he said. "We have been honing on how can they compliment the rest of the guys on the roster. We're going to need to play more complimentary offense than they have in the last couple of years. That will be part of the process."

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