Cats back in action

After 13 days off the Wildcats resumed Spring Practice with mixed results. Both sides of the ball made big plays, but were very sloppy and faced the wrath of the coaches on several occasions. Offensive players did their share of push-ups while the defensive unit had their fill of up-downs.

Mackovic attributed the sloppiness to the time they took off for Spring Break, but noted that the break, "allowed some guys to heal up."

The team practiced in shorts and shoulder pads. Even though they weren't in full pads the players were physical, with some good popping going on. Linemen went at it runners took and dished out shots and even a small skirmish between tight end Steve Flemming and defensive end Fata Avegalio broke out. The two traded a couple of punches, which didn't go over real well with the coaches, especially when players came off the sideline.

"Do you want to get kicked out?" screamed Marty Long at the players rushing in. "They'll kick you out of a game for that."

After working in individual units, the bulk of the offense and defense worked on short yardage rushing drills. Neither team showed much of an advantage until the offense got two big runs towards the end. A pitch around the left side had Clarence Farmer go untouched, and the very next play Mike Bell found a seam on the right hand side and snuck through for a long run.

The linemen went off to work by themselves and the rest of the team worked on passing drills. Both Jason Johnson and Nic Costa looked a little rusty. Costa had trouble finding his rhythm, missing on a couple of short passes. Johnson forced too many passes. He threw a couple into double coverage, and had a short pass to the flats stolen by Lance Briggs for what would have been a sure-fire touch down.

The defense did a good job in coverage, keeping the bulk of the completions in front of them.

After the teams went 11-on-11 the two quarterbacks made a few plays. Andrae Thurman and Juan Valentine both had long receptions of over thirty yards. Farmer had the day's best play. A Johnson pass was deflected ten yards into the air and a heads up Farmer found the jump ball that looked like a sure-fire interception.


*Matt Lamatch participated in a few contact drills. The JC lineman had been recovering from a foot injury.

*Andrae Thurman also returned to practice. His hamstring injury appeared healed, but he still had his injured wrist heavily wrapped.

*Young Thompson took a helmet to the knee and was held out of practice. Brad Brittain took his place with the first unit. The Wildcats are using a pair of converted tight ends at the tackle spot. Both Brittain and Carlos Williams were recruited as tight ends. Williams made the conversion at the beginning of last season. Brittain made the move towards the end of his redshirt season last year.

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