Tuesday Grid Update, 8/16

It wasn't a great day for the quarterbacks as the Hogs practiced once on Tuesday.

Tuesday was a bad day for all of the quarterbacks. Both Houston Nutt and Roy Wittke were upset and disappointed at the red zone practice in the lone workout on the day, a late-afternoon workout in full pads.

"The defense handed it to us tonight," said Wittke, the quarterback coach. "The bottom line is that we have to do better with leadership. Tonight the quarterbacks didn't respond. To put it simply, we were playing on offense with 10 men. I've told 'em that."

"We were terrible on offense," Nutt said. "Monk had a catch and Hillis had a catch. That was it, the only plays we made. We worked on third and long and on our red zone offense. WE've got to do better. We were sluggish on offense. I didn't even like the way we broke the huddle.

"I know this is the 11th or 12th practice and people are getting tired, but you can't have excuses. We can't feel sorry for ourselves. We told them we have to do better tomorrow.

"We didn't have any turnovers, but we didn't do much right at quarterback. We have to do a better job in a lot of areas. We have to know when to throw it away and when not to throw it away."

Defensively, Nutt said there was some good news at defensive end where Michael Tate is coming and Clarke Moore has zoomed from fourth to second behind Anthony Brown. Nutt said Tate has missed the last two days to attend a funeral because of a death in the family, but is expected to return Wednesday.

"Clarke has caught the eye of Reggie Herring and Tracy Rocker," Nutt said. "He looks good."

In the kicking game, Chris Baleseiro has solidified his hold on the placekicker's job. Jacob Skinner is ahead of Jeremy Davis at punter.

At punt returner, the "cleanest" in the battle has been Michael Coe. Cedric Washington is also in the race. Reggie Fish has "the most ability" among the competitors in that battle, but has "been inconsistent as far as making decisions."

The Hogs concentrated on punt return in live situations Tuesday, with more scheduled for later this week.

"Chris Baleseiro has had a good camp," Nutt said. "He's got a stronger leg. He had a very good practice yesterday. He's been the most consistent and is kicking it further."

Nutt said Moore, moved to end for his senior season after four years at inside linebacker, has looked good and has been "working hard at end."

Interestingly, Moore said playing in a three-point stance after so many years in a stand-up position "has been awkward. It's a learning process. I'm just trying to take everything Coach Rocker tells me and try to factor it in. I'm just trying to get better every single play, every practice.

"I will say that things seemed to get better when we put on full pads. My motor got to running pretty good. I am starting to like it now. As far as making the move, if it's good for the team, then great. I don't question it at all. It's good if you don't think too much. Just go hard."

Moore underwent knee surgery in the offseason for a severe bone bruise. He said he's had few problems this fall with the knee.

"It feels fine," he said. "My speed is there. That's the good news. I'm good there."

The effects of 10 practices have taken its toll, Moore said. But it's probably the same for the entire team.

"My leg muscles feel like jello right now," he said, noting it's too be expected. "You fight through that."

After practicing only once Tuesday, the Hogs will work at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday and again at around 5:30 p.m. NCAA rules prevent back-to-back days of two practices so the team will have only one practice on Thursday. There will be two workouts on Friday, and only the scrimmage at 6 p.m. Saturday for Fan Appreciation Day.

"We'll scrimmage Saturday night for our fans," Nutt said. "It will be a major scrimmage. I haven't talked to the staff totally about it, but I know we will do some red zone work, coming off the goal line and some other situations. We will do some game-like situations. It will be a good scrimmage."

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