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Alabama A&M's first scrimmage made QB competition the priority

Both sides of the ball looked balanced, 2-man competition between Quincy Casey and Xavier Lankford to be determined this week.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Over on “The Hill,” Alabama A&M football went 11-on-11 with full contact for their first game simulation of training camp Saturday. Used real referees, down and distance markers and timing, it was as close as they have come to game-like conditions all summer.

Earlier last week, head coach Connell Maynor hoped the session would be  intense-yet-injury-free, as well as provide clarity on the quarterback competition. 

“I just want everybody to execute at a high level, play fast, know what they're doing and get out of there healthy,” he said after a practice last week.

Then came Saturday, another high-80s with unobstructed sun. Maynor organized the scrimmage as offense versus defense, allowing whole units to get consistent, repetitive reps against each other.

“We did a lot of good things, but we did some bad things too,” he said afterwards. While Maynor said it wasn't just offense or defense getting the better of the other side the whole game, he did focus on QB play as a position of importance.

“Defense got some turnovers but the quarterback made some bonehead plays and so we can't do that,” he said. “We can't just throw the ball up down the middle of the football field, take some sacks on some sprint-outs when we should've threw [sic.] the ball away. And then we just had some false starts and some undisciplined acts that they call some stops and drives so we've got to get that cleaned up."

Redshirt freshman Quincy Casey and junior Xavier Lankford are vying for the starting role under center. Maynor had a call to action for the two.

"At the end of the day, the quarterback's job is to make good decisions and not take losses,” he said. “His job is to make everybody better, make the receivers better, make the o-line better by changing the cadence, put the ball on the receivers, give them their YAC (Yards After Catch) yards, things of that nature.”

While he wasn’t any kind of noticeably mad, Maynor spoke with a tinge of disappointment. Even still, he concluded almost every response with “Right now they're not doing that, but they'll get there."

Maynor said he hopes to have the regular season starter in place by this Saturday, August 20, when the program hosts their Fan Day event. In addition to some carnival activities for kids, there will be another scrimmage and performances by the "Marching Maroon & White" Band.

Maynor said he wanted supporters in attendance to be able to see for themselves all that the team has been working on.

“We’ve got a big quarterback competition, so I want these guys to take one play at a time, execute, move the ball down the field or see the defense fly around, cause some turnovers and just play some good football."

Find out more on AAMU’s preparations for the season during the Sports XTRA Special: A Look at SWAC 2022 this Wednesday, August 17 at 6 pm CT only on FOX54.

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