Wednesday Football Practice Report

At first Coach Sylvester Croom made it sound like an easy practice day for Mississippi State, that not a lot had been done…then he started running through the list of things covered in the 15 distinct sessions Wednesday afternoon.

"We worked on situational stuff," the head coach said. "Third down, short yardage and goal line, a little bit of red zone." Not to mention kickoff coverage, placekicking (protection and blocking both), and passing defense. So it wasn't such an easy day after all.

"We did little bit of everything," Croom acknowledge, "to keep things fresh in their minds."

Fresh, because the Bulldogs are about to enjoy their second open date of the 2004 season before returning to prepare for the last two games on the schedule. Croom doesn't want his team starting their open weekend too early, so he has the Bulldogs putting in a four-day practice week.

Wednesday's session was in helmets and sweats with minimal contact and, for that matter, not a whole lot of urgency. While brushing up on specific situations and kicking teams, Croom was also thinking about protecting a number of players here in the last month of a long season.

"We have a lot of guys nicked-up," Croom said, "and a lot of the starters are not out but they're resting-up." That included first- and second-team Dogs like: running back Jerious Norwood (knee), offensive guard Brian Anderson (ankle, leg), offensive guard Johnny Wadley (neck stinger), wide receiver McKinley Scott (hamstring), flanker Will Prosser (hamstring), wide receiver Joey Sanders (thigh bruise), defensive tackle Ron Fields (stinger), defensive tackle Corey Clark (calf), end Willie Evans (ankle), and tackle Marckell McKinley (foot). Croom expects all these to be able to play next Saturday against Arkansas.

Actual game-planning for the home game with the Razorbacks won't start until Monday's practice, because this weekend the State staff is going to be busy even if the players are taking a break. Croom will send his assistants on the recruiting road Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, after everybody participates in a 6:00 a.m. Thursday session. Also, many staff members will be in Alabama for the wake for the father of offensive coordinator Woody McCorvey.

"It'll be a regular practice tomorrow and Friday we'll condition," Croom said.

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