Practice Report: Thursday p.m.

Tempers flared at the end of Thursday night's practice, resulting in a skirmish between offensive and defensive players. Running back Tremaine Cox broke off a good run and at the conclusion of the play a number of players began pushing and shoving each other. The skirmish was quickly diffused by Wildcat coaches and players.

The scrimmage that was about to finish anyway was halted and the players were lectured by coaches.

"We told them that we are going to play with poise, a certain level of class," said Coach John Mackovic. "We tell them that playing that way won't take away from our intensity."

The players were required to do extra push-ups after the coaches talked with them and led them through their normal stretches. Several coaches, including Mackovic and running backs coach Bobby Kennedy, did the push-ups with the players.

The situation actually began earlier in the day. During a scrimmage between the offense and defense (minus db's and receivers) a number of running backs were hit hard by the defense. Then during eleven-on-eleven drills both sides began talking trash. One receiver was overheard saying, "where's the defense at?" Later, after a few fumbles, a db on the sideline jeered "hey ‘O', why don't you hang onto the ball."

Apparently the trash talk continued into the evening's practice, finally culminating in the skirmish.

"We are trying to get across the difference between enthusiasm and jawing," Mackovic said. "We want to display a lot of pride and enthusiasm."

Mackovic was not concerned at all with the altercation, saying that it always happens at some time.

In other news the Wildcats continued to implement more aspects of the new offense. After showcasing the shotgun in the morning, the offense feature a one-back set that had not been seen in practice. The offense fared well against the vaunted Arizona defense.

"The offense started slowly and then picked it up," Mackovic said. "The first team offensive line was strong, they did a good job."

The search for a punter also continues. Ramey Peru is the leader, but a number of players have shown improvement including safety Clay Hardt.

"Hardt may be an emergency back-up," said special teams coach Scott Pelluer. "He's a helacious safety though."

NOTES: DB Danny Perry suffered a knee injury after he went for an interception and twisted it. He will see a doctor tomorrow for further evaluation…Other players suffering injuries were Brandon Marshall (ankle), Tyrone Brown (ankle) and Zaharius Johnson (thumb). Marshall's injury was very slight, while Brown was resting on crutches, but seemed fine…With the exception of Perry, Mackovic thought everyone would be fine although he noted that "some guys will be sore tomorrow."…According to Mackovic the team took a tour of the campus very early Thursday morning.


Wildcat Authority Top Stories