There were two ways to look at the Bearkats following their scrimmage Sunday night.
Either the defense looked particularly sharp or that the offensive side of the ball has some work to do.
Using a running play clock, the offense showed some positive flashes early, but mostly struggled through Sunday night's workout.
"The main thing we talked about before we came out here was that we didn't want to have mental mistakes. The thing that coach (Willie Fritz) preaches about the most is ball security. We put too many balls into the ground," Kats sophomore wide receiver Trey Diller said. "We jumped offsides way too many times. Receivers, we had too many dropped balls.
"I'm not going to blame it on the weather. I'm not going to blame it on us being tired. It's all mental. It's what's between our ears that's going to make us or break us. All around, the defense got us today."
The Bearkats had success running plays from inside the red zone and also had snaps inside the 10-yard line during the overtime situational session.
Sophomore quarterback Brian Bell scored a pair of touchdowns on an option keeper and on a fake handoff from near the goal line.
Running back Ryan Wilson also scored from 24 yards out on a screen pass.
"I saw some things early when we first started off," Fritz said. "We had a first down with one of the groups. Overtime, both groups scored a touchdown. That was very encouraging. On goal-line (situations), I think one group scored two out of four times and the other group score one out of four times."
Then the offense started to shoot themselves in the foot and began have trouble moving the ball.
"It kind of started going backwards at that point in time," Fritz said. "We had way too many drops. I'm not sure, but we had I think six drops. They were drops, they weren't tough catches.
"I think Brian's doing a nice job. I'm really excited about his development. He looks far ahead of where he was last year, but we've got to help him. We've to catch a ball, we've got to protect him and we've got to run the correct routes. A couple of times, he had to take sacks because of running the wrong route."
The offense scored just once more the rest of the way on a 29-yard touchdown connection from transfer quarterback Emory Miller to Diller. For the most part, the Kats' defense kept the offense in check, getting into the backfield and dropping running backs for negative yardage.
"I really think we have an opportunity to have a really strong defense. I'm really excited about that," Fritz said. "We have a lot of depth up front and a lot of guys who can run up there. We really have some excellent linebackers - we've got some good depth there. We're starting to develop some secondary guys."
The Bearkats will have a few more practices before holding their third of four intrasquad scrimmages Thursday night at 8 p.m.
Sam Houston State will kickoff the 2011 football season with a 6 p.m. tilt with 2010 NCAA Playoff participant Western Illinois at Elliott T. Bowers Stadium in Huntsville Thursday, Sept. 1.
The contest will be the first of six home games at Bowers Stadium. Individual game tickets for Sam Houston home contests go on sale Monday and are available now online at www.gobearkats.com/tickets .
The Sam Houston State Athletic Ticket Office is located in the Ron Mafrige Field House in the south end zone at Bowers Stadium. Ticket office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The ticket office telephone number is (936) 294-1729.