Tag Archives: Casey Tinius

Tuesday football practice quick hits

By Zach Greenwell

Finally, they speak.

Western’s three quarterbacks became available to the media for the first time after Tuesday morning’s practice, and the standard line from all of them was that it’s more about improving right now than winning the starting job.

Head Coach Willie Taggart reiterated today that junior Matt Pelesasa and sophomore Kawaun Jakes have distanced themselves from true freshman Brandon Doughty, although Taggart hesitated to say that Doughty was out of the race altogether.

“Every year, as long as I’m head coach, we’re going to have some competition at that position,” Taggart said. “We need it. We need the best out of those guys all the time.

“Kawaun had a really good day today, but again, Matt made some good plays. Both those guys are coming. I’m happy with where they’re at, but they’ve got to continue working to separate themselves.”

Both Pelesasa and Jakes made some big plays Tuesday, with quite a bit of help from their receivers.

It was honestly one of the best days I’ve seen from the Toppers’ receiving corps, as everyone made both the routine and spectacular catch.

Pelesasa’s biggest score was on a pass to junior running back Bobby Rainey, who soared up to catch a ball well over his head in the end zone.

Jakes answered with an uncharacteristic long ball, a 65-yard bomb to senior Quinterrance Cooper for a touchdown.

Receivers Dexter Haynes and Willie McNeal also had some solid receptions.

If Pelesasa had any sort of lead over Jakes early in camp, I think it’s safe to say that Jakes has brought that battle back to neck-and-neck.

I’ll have a whole lot more on the quarterback situation, including videos of each of the candidates, at wkuherald.com later today.

Getting their kicks

We learned today that junior kicker/punter Casey Tinius has been suffering from a strained groin over the last few days.

In his absence, freshmen punters Hendrix Brakefield and Kevin Carrillo and freshman kicker Monte Merrick have handled the special teams duties.

Western will definitely need the services of Tinius, however, because although each of his replacements have shown flashes of brilliance, not every kick or punt has been gold.

Merrick’s only field goal try of the day was from about 38 yards, and it came up about five yards short and to the right.

“We’ve got to have a kicker,” Taggart said. “That kicker’s got to be great. We’re going to make sure (Tinius) is healthy, and make sure he’s ready to roll for us, because we’re going to need some field goals.”

Whoever wins the punting job will have to replace standout Jeremy Moore, who was a bright spot in last year’s 0-12 season.

Brakefield, a Nashville, Tenn., native, is listed as the starting punter on Western’s fall depth chart.

“There’s competition there too,” Taggart said. “We need someone to step up and do that part for our team. We look for those guys to be great at doing that.

“Some of those guys, like Brakefield, will kick the ball 60 yards, and then he’ll come back and kick it 20. We need some consistency, because he can do it.”

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Western-MTSU: First quarter recap

Western went blow for blow with Middle Tennessee in the game’s first quarter, scoring out of the gate with a 37-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Casey Tinius. The Blue Raiders matched that on their first drive as MTSU sophomore kicker Alan Gendreau hit a 38-yard field goal to tie the game.

  • Western punted on its second possession after inheriting the ball on its own eight-yard line, and now MTSU is driving deep into Topper territory. The Blue Raiders will start the second quarter on second and four from the Western 13-yard line.
  • Western’s scoring drive was aided by three MTSU penalties for 30 yards. Twice the Toppers went for an uncharacteristic deep pass, and both times the Blue Raiders were called for pass interference.
  • Western has switched back and forth between redshirt freshman quarterback Kawaun Jakes and senior Brandon Smith, and with little success. The Toppers compiled only 26 total yards of offense in the first quarter.
  • Gendreau’s field goal marked his ninth straight this season, a career best.
  • Despite much warmer weather than in last week’s loss to Louisiana-Lafayette, the stands here in Murfreesboro, Tenn., are lightly populated – somewhere under half of Floyd Field’s 30,788-person capacity.

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Third quarter recap: Navy 24, WKU 14

Not much to report in the third quarter, as Western failed to get on the scoreboard and Navy continued to take advantage of its prolific running attack.
-The Midshipmen will have the ball on Western’s 22-yard line when the fourth quarter begins.  Navy has already advanced 65 yards on the drive, most of that on a 47-yard completion from quarterback Ricky Dobbs to receiver Bobby Doyle.
-Navy opened up a 24-14 lead with 8:19 left in the third quarter when quarterback Ricky Dobbs scored on a two-yard rush up the middle.  The drive went 80 yards, highlighted by a 45-yard rush by running back Marcus Curry.
-The Hilltoppers forced Navy into a 3rd-and-goal situation on that drive, but a late-hit personal foul against Western nose tackle Nick Hartnett set the Midshipmen up at the 2-yard line.
-Western put together a strong opening drive to begin the second half, but sophomore kicker Casey Tinius missed a 29-yard field goal wide left after the Toppers advanced 57 yards on just six plays.

Not much to report in the third quarter, as Western failed to get on the scoreboard and Navy continued to take advantage of its prolific running attack.

  • The Midshipmen will have the ball on Western’s 22-yard line when the fourth quarter begins.  Navy has already advanced 65 yards on the drive, most of that on a 47-yard completion from quarterback Ricky Dobbs to receiver Bobby Doyle.
  • Navy opened up a 24-14 lead with 8:19 left in the third quarter when quarterback Ricky Dobbs scored on a two-yard rush up the middle.  The drive went 80 yards, highlighted by a 45-yard rush by running back Marcus Curry.
  • The Hilltoppers forced Navy into a 3rd-and-goal situation on that drive, but a late-hit personal foul against Western nose tackle Nick Hartnett set the Midshipmen up at the 2-yard line.
  • Western put together a strong opening drive to begin the second half, but sophomore kicker Casey Tinius missed a 29-yard field goal wide left after the Toppers advanced 57 yards on just six plays.

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USF-WKU: Second quarter recap

  • USF overcame an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty three yards from the goal line to reach the end zone two plays later on an over-the-shoulder connection from senior quarterback Matt Grothe to senior receiver Theo Wilson to give the Bulls a 14-3 lead halfway into the quarter.
  • Western made it to USF’s 34-yard line on a 17-yard rush by sophomore wide receiver Derrius Brooks, but senior quarterback Brandon Smith threw his first interception of the season into the end zone a play later.
  • After senior linebacker Taurean Smith snagged a Grothe interception, the Toppers made it to USF’s 14-yard line before the drive stalled. Tinius connected on a 31-yard field goal, his second of the night and his career.
  • USF senior kicker Delbert Alvarodo missed a 49-yard field goal to end the half.
  • On that drive, Grothe surpassed former West Virginia quarterback Pat White as the Big East Conference’s career leader in total offensive yards. Grothe, who needed 101 yards to set the record, has 10,584 for his career as of halftime.

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USF-WKU: First quarter recap

Led out of the tunnel by Big Red slipping and sliding on a motorcycle, Western and South Florida kicked off at 6:30 p.m in the Toppers’ home opener.

  • Senior kicker Delbert Alvarado missed a field goal attempt wide left on USF’s first possession of the game, giving Western the chance to put the first points on the board.
  • Sophomore kicker Casey Tinius hit a 40-yard field goal attempt, his first as a Topper, with 6:14 remaining in the first quarter to give Western a 3-0 lead.
  • South Florida responded to Western’s score with a 50-yard pass play, followed by a one-yard touchdown rush, to complete their first scoring drive of the night with 47 seconds left in the quarter.
  • Six penalties for 54 yards plagued Western in the first quarter, preventing the Toppers from reaching the end zone on their second drive of the game. USF has been called for three penalties totaling 15 yards.

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THE MORNING AFTER: National Signing Day and Five Questions

It hasn’t even been 24 hours since Western signed 26 recruits to play football, and the dust has settled.

First off, I would encourage you to check out our coverage at wkuherald.com, which includes stories on Franklin-Simpson quarterback Courtney Dalcourt, the popularity of signing day, an overall look at the class, and a column by David Harten.

I had the opportunity to stop by the Topper Club last night as Western hosted their first Signing Day celebration.

With just about a month before spring practice starts, an event like the celebration could be the link between the regular season and spring practices that Western needs to keep momentum and excitement building around the program in the offseason.

Like David talks about in his column, we won’t see the fruits of these players’ labor for quite some time. Nonetheless, it forces you to start thinking about spring camp and the storylines that could arise from those practices.

Five questions about the class of 2009:

1) How quickly do we see quarterback Courtney Dalcourt’s impact? It’s already a crowded quarterback race, and Dalcourt just makes it more interesting.

2) With four offensive lineman that average 271 pounds, how do they develop, and how can they improve an offensive line that gave up 25 sacks for 204 yards last season?

3) How do kickers Casey Tinius and Zac Minturn improve in spring camp before the 16th-best place kicker in the country according to ESPN.com, Monte Merrick, arrives on campus and potentially threatens their jobs?

4) According to Scout.com, Western’s 2009 class is the best in the Sun Belt Conference. How long before Western finishes at the top of the Sun Belt Conference standings and earns a bowl bid?

5) Ten years down the road, when people look back, will there be a player from this class that they talk about?

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