Tigers scrimmage before the break

Les Miles put the Tigers through a scrimmage on Thursday to mark the halfway point of spring practice and the headman was in a pretty good mood following what he called the first real scrimmage of note.

One of the most talked about topics over the past three weeks has been the suspension of Ryan Perrilloux, who was being groomed to take over for Matt Flynn as the starting quarterback.

In Perrilloux's absence, redshirt freshman Jarrett Lee and junior transfer Andrew Hatch have received the reps with the No. 1 offense and both had decent days statistically.

"I think Jarrett Lee was 10-13 passing for just under 100 yards and Hatch was 8-of-12 or whereabouts," Miles said. "They did some good things and we made some big plays."

While Miles acknowledged the two young guys did some nice things under center the offense in general did not look as sharp as he would have liked.

"We are still a little sloppy with our execution," Miles said. "We didn't look like the style of offense like we're used to where we were able to sustain drives down the field but that's kind of significant of the eighth practice. I certainly hope we will be better going for the rest of the spring."

One thing that may have contributed to the sloppy offense was that the staff did not hold back according to Miles.

"We gave it to them (quarterbacks) and called the plays from the sideline," he said. "They had to get the signal and there were some mixed signals certainly. Some guys stepped onto Tiger Stadium for the first time but again I think those guys, and for quarterbacks many times, it was a first opportunity to do some things and I think they are picking it up and doing well."

Another area of particular interest this spring is finding a replacement for Carnell Stewart at right tackle.

It's been a battle between Jarvis Jones and Joseph Barksdale to start opposite of Ciron Black and it doesn't appear that either one is close to claiming the prize.

"I think there is great competition there," Miles said. "I think both are very capable guys and I expect it to play out throughout the spring. I don't think anyone is in the lead at this point."

There has been a lot of focus on who the starting quarterback and right tackle will be for the 2008 campaign but finding the go-to receiver is also weighing heavily on Miles and wide receivers coach D.J. McCarthy.

"I think Brandon LaFell had a couple of nice catches today and I think Jared Mitchell had a couple of good grabs and tough catches," he said. There were a number of receivers that made catches and nice plays today, but again, it's not a full game."

The running backs seemed to have impressed Miles with their production as he said the running game produced about 150 yards with one big gallop by Richard Murphy.

"Richard Murphy had a nice day," he said. "He had a 40-yard run against the first team defense and picked up some tough yards. Little (Stevan) Ridley played well and Charles Scott showed well."

On the defensive side of the ball, the burning question that most Tiger fans want answered is which two guys are going to replace Chevis Jackson and Jonathan Zenon at corner.

Jai Eugene and Chris Hawkins have been getting most of the reps with the first team defense but when asked how he felt about his corners it was two redshirt freshmen that had their names pulled.

"I noticed Phelon Jones made a nice tackle and John Williams made a nice tackle," said Miles. "There was some other play but nothing real significant."

The Tigers will return to the practice field on March 26th to make their final run through the spring leading up to the spring game on April 5th.

Be sure to check the TigerSportsDigest.com Premium Message Board for more tidbits and notes from today's scrimmage.

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