While Holmes' fellow defenders celebrated, Fuller noticed one flaw, one that turns potential game-turning plays into potential afterthoughts.
"It would have been great if he got his head around in the back of the end zone and picked the ball off," Fuller said. "Where he is right there, he's in great position to do that. Baby steps - we made a play down in the red area, and if you keep them out of the end zone that's a good thing."
Holmes' back-to-ball breakup highlighted a big day for the defense. That seemed to start with the nine-on-seven running drill, where Holmes hammered Essray Taliaferro in the backfield.
Following were Taj Letman's interception of Gunnar Holcombe in the seven-on-seven red-zone period, followed by Derrick Thomas' near-pick of Cato. In full scrimmaging, the second unit rang up several tag "sacks," a development that then seemed to spread to the first unit.
And the "whoops" grew louder among a hungry defense.
"We got the offense today. Usually, they'd be doing the same thing to us," Holmes said. "Coach Heater, he brought that enthusiasm that we didn't really have last year."
A final note on the defensive side: End Jeremiah Taylor, the 25-year-old elder statesman, sat out the full-contact portions of Thursday's practice simply to get some rest.
"He's played a lot of football, and some of these others need to go play," said MU coach Doc Holliday. "Joe Massaquoi needs every rep he can get and J.T. doesn't need as many."
Those watching Thursday at Joan C. Edwards Stadium were wondering, "Is that really a camera on Cato's helmet?"
Yes, it was. But it wasn't for filming an MTV reality show.
"We're trying to see what he sees at times," Holliday said. "We're experimenting a little bit. It's just a camera where we can see, in some different drills, exactly what he sees and why he makes certain decisions."
Saturday's scrimmage is set for 9:15 a.m. and is open to Big Green Scholarship Foundation members and season-ticket holders. All are advised to enter in the area of Gate D, at the stadium's northeast corner.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.