Wednesday Practice Notes

Mississippi State spent just over two hours on the practice fields Wednesday as the Bulldogs continue preparations for their weekend trip to Gainesville and matchup with #13-ranked Florida. The day did see some of the players limited or held out of Tuesday drills for health reasons back in their usual roles.

This included a pair of starters who spent most of yesterday watching their teammates go full-speed in partial pads. Halfback Jerious Norwood (neck) and right cornerback David Heard (shoulder) returned to their spots on the respective first teams. Since each was in their spots by Wednesday, they should both be in Saturday's starting lineup.

Also, #2 offensive tackle Calvin Wilson returned to work Wednesday in varsity-Maroon after being sidelined two days with chest pains, as well as after-effects of dehydration in the LSU game. On Tuesday Coach Sylvester Croom had raised the possibility that Wilson, still some 20 pounds over ideal playing weight after being slowed in summer by knee problems, might not play any further and be appealed for a medical redshirt.

The true freshman seems to have responded to such talk by hustling back to work the next day so he can return to the rotation at right tackle. In the LSU game Wilson took over a third of the snaps in relief of starter Avery House.

With Wilson back at #2 right tackle, the rest of the backup line as of now has Dio Herrera at right guard, Royce Blackledge at center, Chris Spencer at left guard, and Michael Gates at left tackle. Normally freshman Anthony Dunning would be the #2 right guard, but he is out this week after knee surgery to clean up an existing condition and trying to re-hab in time for the October 22 home game with Houston.

The only regular who missed Wednesday's practice was soph defensive end Titus Brown, who landed hard on his right arm late Tuesday and came out wearing a sling. Brown has been rotating as a 'quick' end and playing some tackle in pass rush situations. His place was taken today by junior Antonio Johnson, who has also played backup tackle.

The starting secondary has changed this week, though, as starting safety Demario Bobo was placed on indefinite suspension late Tuesday by Croom. Also suspended was reserve linebacker Fred Akines. As per policy, Croom issued only a statement that the pair were suspended without offering reasons or further comment.

Whatever the cause, Bobo's suspension did not keep him from attending practice Tuesday in uniform, though now wearing second-team blue instead of starting white. Bobo, a four-game starter, missed the LSU start after a minor knee injury in the Georgia game. He is still wearing a brace on the left knee.

Akines, whose duties this season have come on special teams, was not seen at Wednesday's practice.

The Bulldogs will practice for less than two hours Thursday, in helmets and shorts. They are scheduled to depart Friday afternoon. Gametime Saturday is 12:30 e.t., and 11:30 c.t., with regional telecast by Jefferson-Pilot sports.


Gene's Page Top Stories