FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – With nine days left to go before the season opener, Northern Arizona conducted its final scrimmage of fall camp today at the Walkup Skydome.
"We're definitely an improved football team," said head coach Jerome Souers. "I didn't see many penalties, and assignments were much better today. Although we've shown improvement, we still need to continue to improve. We're at the point where we need to play somebody in order to really see where are strengths and weaknesses lie."
After three scrimmages in the books, it appeared as if the Lumberjack defense has been consistently getting better. NAU led the Football Subdivision Championship (FCS) in defensive touchdowns last season, and after seeing most of its players graduate there were questions surrounding whether or not they would be the same unit.
"They (the defense) are a good group," said Souers. "We have talented guys on that side of the ball, and now they need to learn to play together. It has to be 100 percent execution."
NAU's offense will be led by junior quarterback Kyren Poe. With a steady offensive line, and threats at the wide out and running back positions, the Lumberjacks are ready to see where this season will take them.
"The offense has great potential this season, but it's going to take a lot of work," Souers said. "We need to have great production out of our running and passing game; a better balance. Good ball security is key, and I think we're making great progress."
The Lumberjacks still have time to finalize their kicking positions, but Coach Souers believes that in time the unit will be ready with experience.
"Right now we've divvied the kicking rolls up," said Souers. "Ben Sweet is handling punts, with Jordan Morgan backing him up. Brian Drulias has performed well in camp with the placekicking, and so has Ryan Hawkins," said Souers.
NAU opens the season on Saturday, Aug. 30 at San Diego State. Kickoff is slated for 4 p.m. at Qualcomm Stadium.