Senior graduate transfer Austin Appleby filled in well for Del Rio and had the offense cooking in the first half of the Tennessee contest. There were some hiccups in the offense on Saturday with the play clock and possibly checking into the wrong play, but Appleby’s play should keep the urgency of getting Del Rio back until it is time that he is completely ready to do so.
"We held him out yesterday,” McElwain said of Luke Del Rio. “He'll go out today, Wednesday, here actually. He'll throw some skellies, some routes on air, and probably two of the different team periods just to take a look. We'll see how it goes and see how it responds from there."
Other positive news from McElwain’s teleconference time included Brandon Powell’s clearance to play Saturday. Powell was ejected from the Tennessee contest for a phantom punch and because of the punch that ejection would mean missing the Vanderbilt game by rule. The SEC office took another look and saw that there was no such punch and cleared Powell for the game versus Vanderbilt.
"Yeah, we've received word that he'll go and you know (there is) nothing from there,” McElwain said of the Powell ordeal. “He was full go from Monday afternoon on."
Rebounding from the loss…
With four days gone by since the loss to Tennessee, McElwain feels his team has responded well and they he would like them to.
"I really like the way our guys looked at last week from the standpoint of learning,” McElwain said. “Monday and Tuesday have been really good work days for us.”
McElwain said the fact that his team hurt so much because they knew they could have or should have won Saturday is a good sign moving forward.
"I could tell in the locker room that it was hard because there were a lot of guys that were really hurt,” he said. “My deal is it should hurt because if it doesn't, something's wrong. For us in particular, we've got to take care of us. We can't worry about what anyone else is doing.
The understanding that they should have won Saturday also leads to them knowing they still have a lot to play for.
“One of the guys brought up there (are) a lot of teams that suffer a loss early in the year and are able to bounce back and do great things,” McElwain said. “I'll be interested to see the response. I like the way they've been Monday and Tuesday. Obviously today (Wednesday) is a big practice for us from a situation standpoint and yet the focus has been really good and the leaders have been really good, so it's too early to tell. I don't have a crystal ball and yet I think we'll bounce back pretty good."null