The Tigers were scheduled to have their first official scrimmage in Memorial Stadium earlier this morning, but those plans were changed as rain settled in over upstate South Carolina.
Nevertheless, the team practiced in the Indoor Practice facility and also on the new field turf outside for a little over 2 hours today. The team dressed in shells, and will go back to full pads for tomorrow morning's practice.
Change of Schedule
With the loss of a potential scrimmage this morning, the Tigers will now scrimmage Saturday morning in Death Valley, should conditions be favorable.
If the rain is too heavy, the scrimmage will be moved to the field turf on the practice fields.
"We may miss a little bit of individual work by doing that," said Tommy Bowden. "But we need to stay on schedule and that's the best way to do it."
Field Turf Put to Use
Under rainy conditions today, the Tigers spent the first half of practice indoors, before moving outside after the weather cleared up.
According to Bowden, without the field turf, that would have been impossible.
"Had we not had that field turf, it would have been a wasted day," said Bowden. "We might have had a wasted three days pending on how much it rains. The rain was supposed to get worse (today), but it when it started clearing off we went from inside to outside. We got a lot more accomplished this year than we would have last year without that turf."
A Look Ahead
With Saturday's scrimmage, Bowden said he's anxious to see several areas of his team in action.
"I'm anxious to see the field goal kickers for one, also the two young tackles, and some of those young receivers. Other than that, I got five secondary guys back. Trey Tate and Eric Coleman, even those guys, I'm not really anxious to see those young guys on that side of the ball as I am to see about the overall unity and cohesiveness of the defense. We've got seven starters coming back as it is, so there are some other things you'd like to see from a team standpoint."
Bowden also mentioned his anticipation of the "little battles" out there, like Reggie Merriweather vs. Yusef Kelly at running back, and the performance of Will Proctor with the second unit.
Airese Currie returned to full speed today at practice...Kelvin Grant, who wore a yellow jersey, has a bruised knee but the injury is not serious. Chip Myrick (mono) and Curtis Baham (shoulder) are also still limited in practice and continue to wear the yellow jersey...Bowden said that Michael Collins' injury will likely be a "game time" decision...meaning he could be out until the Wake Forest game...free safety Roy Walker will have surgery to repair a torn ACL on Friday...Vontrell Jamison will also have surgery on Friday to repair his broken arm.
The Tigers will return to two-a-days tomorrow morning starting at 9:15 AM. Practices are closed to the general public.