Offensively, the team concentrated on the passing game with quarterbacks Jason Campbell and Daniel Cobb receiving the majority of the work for the day. Throwing the ball well once again, Campbell moved the team down the field in the two-minute offense. Up front, the older guys took over the work on Tuesday as Kendall Simmons and Mike Pucillo dominated the line of scrimmage in both one-on-one drills and in team work.
Missing linebackers Mark Brown and Mayo Sowell from practices this week while both recover from minor injuries, the Tiger defense has been less than imposing during the first team vs. first team drills this week and in goal line situations. One of the reasons for that is the coaching staff's decision to split starters Tavarreus Pounds and Dontarrious Thomas between the first and second teams to help the younger players with questions they have on the defensive sets and schemes. The help they give is especially good for true freshman Lemarcus Rowell. Just becoming eligible to practice last week, the Opelika native has already made some waves at the position.
Reggie Torbor is looking for the Tigers to gain some respect back when they face North Carolina in the Peach Bowl.
"We have been forced to put Lemarcus in but he has done a great job," Thomas said. "Dealing with his situation, he has come in, and still learning the defense, shown a hitter's mentality and physicalness. He's doing real well and stepping up…he's always asking questions. He's going to be a great ball player when he learns what to do. I'm expecting big things from him."
One thing that Thomas and the team can expect the remainder of the week is a continued emphasis on tough, intense practices.
"Defensively, they have been pretty physical," Thomas noted. "The message that I feel we're getting is that we've got to get our respect back. These last four ball games we haven't done well at all. We've just got to come back and get that mentality back and try to use that mentality at the end of this season to carry over into next season."
The Tigers will practice just once on Wednesday before resuming two-a-days Thursday and Friday before breaking for Christmas. The team will meet in Atlanta December 26 and resume practices the next day. They will practice through December 30 inside the Georgia Dome before wrapping up work for North Carolina. Kickoff for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CST and can be seen nationally on ESPN.