The Bridgeport Bulls gave up 43 points a game in 2013.
As they prepare for the 2014 season, the Bulls have rebuilt their defense, changing from the 4-3 alignment to a 3-4. In its first live action in Tuesday’s Maroon and White scrimmage, the first-team unit stuffed the run and gave up two touchdowns on long passes in 60 plays.
“Our team is young, but we’re going to do good,” said outside linebacker Roger Mastin. “We have more seniors than last year and we’re going from the 4-3 to the 3-4. That’ll help. We have a lot of quick guys.”
Mastin is one of those quick linebackers, who stepped up and sacked Bridgeport starting quarterback Trey Cook on the first series.
The first-team defense allowed only one run over four yards in the scrimmage.
“The defense did a good job,” said coach Danny Henson. “They stepped up and stopped the run for sure. We had a couple of receivers make a few plays down field.
“From what I could tell, the linebackers were flowing to the ball. We’ll watch the film to see, but they looked to be flying around and filling holes. I’m happy with the way they are coming along.”
The first-team offense behind Cook scored twice with receiver Keenan Holdman breaking free for touchdowns of 70 and 60 yards. Holdman also scored twice against the second-team defense.
“He’s a junior who has not played football since he was in seventh grade,” Henson said. “He’s getting better each day.”
Outside the two long passing plays to Holdman, the Bulls offense mounted two drives inside the 25-yard line before being turned away. Cook went 27-for-44 for 357 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in the scrimmage.
The offense’s best stretch of the night came after Henson demanded the unit increase the tempo to game speed.
“That’s what we want to do,” Henson said. “We feel it’s to our advantage to push the tempo and rotate in a lot of kids.”
The Bulls will be back on the field for a scrimmage against Bowie at 9 a.m. Saturday at Bull Memorial Stadium.