For a little more than a week, the top-ranked Bearkats have been busy focusing on individual drills and techniques, going over plays from the offensive playbooks as well as some conditioning.

Today, the Kats will be able to put everything they've been working on into practice as the offense and defense will square off for the first scrimmage, which will have approximately 100 plays, of camp.

"We're just putting in our offense and defense and kicking game, evaluating who's playing," Sam Houston football head coach Willie Fritz said Thursday afternoon. "We're also trying some new things that we've learned over the summer to see if they fit in to what we already do."

In today's planned workout, complete with referees to officiate, the Bearkats offense and defense will go head to head in order to best gauge the work done so far and where the players need to concentrate over the next three weeks before the season opener on Sept. 8 against Incarnate Word at Bowers Stadium.

With a few new coaches (offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Doug Ruse, wide receivers coach Matt Barrett and offensive line coach Bart Tatum), the Bearkats offense has been taking it a step at a time, learning new plays back in the spring, adjusting to a faster tempo that is aimed at quicker snaps and throwing the opposing defense off-balance and throwing the ball with some more effectiveness.

In today's scrimmage, the Kats will be able to give their offense a test-drive against the defense, which was one of the best units in the Football Championship Subdivision last season, and looks to become even more dominant this fall.

While the offense is having its turn at seeing how it can move the ball up the field, the defense is looking to be able to stop the potent running attack and thwart the efforts of the new-look passing attack.

With nearly every starter back on defense, the Kats have been busy installing new blitzes in their scheme to try and give opposing offenses a different look in order to accomplish the same goal of wreaking havoc in the backfield.  

"We're going to scrimmage on Saturday and after that Saturday, we're going to start zeroing in on the guys who are going to be doing the playing and do more team-type drills, rather than individual and technique drills," Fritz said. "The first 10 to 12 practices are geared to be toward individual, then you've got to start preparing your team for 11-on-11 football."

Today's scrimmage is set to start at 8:15 a.m. and last approximately two hours.