Houston Nutt announced after Friday's workout that a scrimmage set for Saturday will be closed to the public because of safety concerns.
"I've been told that we can't have fans," Nutt said. "We are coming inside Saturday morning and we figured we'd easily have 1,000 fans, and there is just no place to put them. Because of safety, we just are forced to close it. That's what I've been told, and I'm sad, but it's the way it must be for this scrimmage."
The Hogs will scrimmage for over 100 plays with several positions under scrutiny for starting spots.
"You know that for all of our redshirts, this is an important scrimmage," Nutt said. "We are looking hard at some guys to see if they are ready, and this scrimmage will have a big impact on playing time.
"Guys like Vickiel Vaughn, John Jackson, Chase Pressley, Desmond Sims, Sam Olajubutu, Wes Murphy ... and all of our redshirts, this is a big scrimmage. We are looking at a lot of spots, like tight end and in the offensive line to see where we are, and in the defensive line to see where we are with that eight-man rotation. This is a big day."
Nutt said the Hogs had a good day Friday with polish for the plays scheduled to be run Saturday a big part of the drill. He said he preferred to go outside on Saturday, but that they will move to Walker Pavilion to avoid injuries. They practiced inside on Friday.
"The footing is so much better here and it's something we need and to be fair to these players," he said. "We didn't want to have to judge them on a muddy field. We've never had a major scrimmage inside, but I think it will be fine. The players like this surface."
Ryan Sorahan had another good day throwing, as did the rest of the quarterbacks. Matt Jones made another circus catch in the pass skeleton drills as he worked at wide receiver for the second half of the day.
Nutt said Sorahan got the bulk of the work at quarterback in Wednesday's scrimmage, but that the snaps would be split evenly between Jones and Sorahan on Saturday. When Jones isn't playing quarterback, he'll play with the first team at wide receiver. Cedric Washington, a reserve quarterback, will also see action at wideout in the scrimmage.
"We are still looking at some guys at some new positions," Nutt said. "Mark Pierce is getting some looks at the tight end-fullback slot. We need to use him in other ways. He caught some passes at tight end today."
Offensive line coach Mike Markuson said he'd been told that tackle Shawn Andrews might be available to scrimmage Saturday, but that he plans to hold him out.
"I've made that call," Markuson said. "He doesn't need it right now and we don't want to use him unless he's full speed. We'll hold Shawn out on Saturday. Shawn was having a good spring until he got leg whipped in kind of a freak deal. He's still too big. We'd like him at 350, and he's been talked to be everyone. He knows he has a chance to play (in the NFL) and it's important to lose, but no one else can do it for him. We had a pro coach here last week ... Larry Beightol of the Green Bay Packers. Larry talked to Shawn. It's all up to Shawn. He's been told enough that he knows the situation."
Markuson said Tony Ugoh has been missing practice time to throw the discus with the track team. He said he'll continue to split time each day between track and football.
"We told him he could throw the disc, and he reminded us of it," Markuson said. "I'd kinda forgotten, but he's right ... we promised. He's like the rest of the track guys ... Batman and those guys. If you promise, you let them go. He has a chance to score points for our track team and it's important that he gets with them for part of the day. I'm glad he joins us each day.
"He's going to be a very good football player. He is working hard and is in the picture at left guard. Of course, I'm selfish and would like him to be a fulltime football player, but I know what deal we made with him and we will support his work with our track program. He's doing well with our football team this spring. He gets here and jumps right in when he arrives."