Mitchell, who had an impressive scrimmage on Saturday, opened with the ones in the first team period of the day. But Wilson was first up when the ones stepped forward in a team two-minute drill. Both quarterbacks made nice plays, although the deep ball wasn't as open as it was at some points Saturday.
It was a day for the defensive coaches and players to handle the media interviews after practice. Defensive coordinator Willy Robinson was the staff member to go to the interview room. He said review of the Saturday scrimmage video produced some bright spots, but he was disappointed in the way the deep ball was played.
"We'd done so well against the deep ball, a lot better than that," Robinson said. "But there are some things that are easily corrected and we did that today."
Defensive tackle Zach Stadther, missing for the first seven days of spring drills, returned to practice Tuesday. Robinson said it was a case of Stadther taking care of some requirements set down by the head coach.
Robinson said class room attendance and schedules caused several players to miss time Tuesday. Defensive end Jake Bequette left early for a graduate level class. Also out were cornerback Darius Winston and end Chris Smith.
Cornerback Isaac Madison returned after missing the scrimmage with a leg injury. He is still less than full speed and sat out certain periods. Safety Darrell Smith returned in a limited role after missing the first seven workouts.
Robinson said there were solid aspects of Saturday's scrimmage. He said, "We stopped the run on a consistent basis."
Defensive end Tenarius "Tank" Wright said it was a case of solid play early by the defense, but not as well at the end of Saturday's scrimmage.
"I think we did very well in the first two possessions Saturday," Wright said. "We may have got a little winded at the end. But I thought it was a great scrimmage (for the defense).
Linebacker Jerry Franklin added, "We won a couple of battles on the day. It was one of our better scrimmages for the defense. I think we felt pretty good until we watched the video. When you see the detail, then you realize that there were still a lot of things that if we had done better it would have made a big difference. We still have a lot to get better at and we realize that when we look at the tape."
It was clear to the players that the head coach wasn't pleased about certain aspects with the way he reacted throughout Tuesday's workout -- a day that did not have any live tackling despite full pads. It seemed to be a day for corrections.
"He's going to keep you from getting complacent," Franklin said. "He's going to keep after you to improve and in all areas."
Cornerback Jerry Mitchell said the same thing.
"We know that we are going to be pushed by the coaches," he said. "We know that."
Robinson sees depth developing at defensive ends. Coaches praised backups Chris Smith and Colton Miles-Nash for their work in the scrimmage.
"The biggest thing for the backup ends is their consistency," Robinson said. "They still have to improve on that. They don't have the strength and power yet. They didn't get the pass rush like we want. We have to improve on their aim points on their rush. We can help them there."
Robinson said the younger ends are always ready for extended time.
"We rotate them after seven or eight plays in our segments in practice," he said. "Then when we get to a scrimmage, we might leave them out there for 11 to 12 or maybe 15 plays. They aren't conditioned to give the right response. They have to continue to play full speed if we leave them out there that long."
Robinson liked the work of starters Jake Bequette and Tenarius Wright.
"Jake probably had an advantage because he's fresh on Saturday since he isn't going through a full practice during the week because of his heavy class work load," Robinson said. "But I thought Jake and Tank really have improved their footwork. Those two were very productive. They really helped our first unit with their pressure."
Franklin said the same thing.
"What we see is that with those two ends, sometimes we don't need a blitz to get to the quarterback," Franklin said. "That's what is happening. That makes it nice for the rest of the defense to get that kind of pressure with just our defensive line. We've got some veteran guys up there and it makes it easier for the linebackers."
Robinson said he sees progress with the move of Jerry Mitchell from safety to cornerback. Mitchell has worked with the first team at boundary corner throughout the spring.
"He did a decent job as far as production," Robinson said of Mitchell's performance in the scrimmage. "He still gets fatigued and that's because he has to get into shape. He needs to drop a few pounds."
Mitchell smiled about that. He said he's currently at 214. He said when he came to campus he was 205, but was asked to gain weight to make the move to safety.
"I can get back to 205, no problem," he said. "I think they probably want me to lose a few so I can run with these guys. I can do that.
"It's a challenge to run with our wide receivers. But if I can run with them -- and I think I can -- then I know I can run with any wide receivers we play."
Robinson praised some of the backups. He said defensive tackle Jared Green, who lacks height, makes up with it with effort.
"He's going to be able to give us some breaks," Robinson said. "Lavunce Askew got some production, too."
He said linebacker Braylon Mitchell had one of his "better scrimmages." He said outside linebacker Ross Rasner performed well enough to earn some time with the first unit on Tuesday.
"Ross is earning his stripes," Robinson said. "He got elevated. We did promote him."
Robinson said safety Elton Ford had some good moments in the scrimmage, but has to be more productive when he's in position to make plays.
The Hogs had extensive work on special teams Tuesday, including long sessions on the punt and kickoff games. Placekickers Zach Hocker and Eddie Camera were both accurate on extra points and field goals.