The Tigers are preparing for the season opener a week from Monday against Florida State.
"We went into full game preparation," said Bowden of his Thursday practice. "It was 85 percent on Florida State and the rest was some one on one drills, fast paced scrimmage work and conditioning.
"We have had better practices. When we practice Monday they will see the end of the tunnel. Today, they couldn't see the end of the tunnel. They know they still have Friday and Saturday, some long hard practices ahead."
Bowden said he expects 8-10 first-year freshmen to play this year. While he would not name all of them, he did single two out freshmen for active duty this year.
"We are still evaluating and we won't decide for sure until the open date in October. Chad Diehl (fullback) and Scotty Cooper (linebacker) are two players who will not red-shirt they will definitely play this year."
Bowden has held off playing freshmen until October, then played them. In his first year, Bernard Rambert did not appear in the first five games of the year, then made a significant contribution in a victory at Maryland.
Bowden also said that Courtney Vincent was in the lead at one of the linebacker positions over Antonio Clay. Clay is doing well, but Vincent is having an outstanding preseason.
"His motor has run full speed this preseason. He has done well and is showing characteristics of a good leader."
Bowden also said Dorell Scott is making progress in terms of conditioning. "He won the last gasser at practice today," he said. "He still has some weight to lose, but he is not too far away."
The Tigers will continue practice on Friday and Saturday and take Sunday off.
Thursday Practice Brief
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