Tuesday Practice Notes

Mississippi State ran through a two-hour practice session Tuesday afternoon as preparations continue for Saturday's season-finale against Mississippi at Scott Field. As Coach Sylvester Croom had said early, the day's work was split into distinct sessions.

The first seven periods, including stretching and warm-ups, were run on the outdoor practice fields. Many of these segements involved kicking work, such as kickoff catching and return, while the punters and placekickers worked on their own on other fields.

Then midway of the day the Bulldogs moved into the Palmeiro Center for the rest of their drills. These featured extensive work on both passing and running plays as the offensive staff put in the balance of their gameplan. And while the players were not in full pads, there was quite a bit of sharp contact made by the respective offensive and defensive lines as those Dogs in the trenches went at each other aggressively.

The offensive depth chart is unchanged from last week, with Mike Henig slated to get his third start at quarterback and eight-game starter Omarr Conner working both as a starting wide receiver and the #2 triggerman. Brett Morgan also took a few snaps with the second offense, as usual.

Conner spent most of his time running routes rather than throwing balls and was among the first team wideouts taking the initial snaps of each series. The receiver corps appears to be at full-strength for the 11th game of the campaign with both Will Prosser and Joey Sanders working in first-team maroon instead of the 'limited' yellow shirts typically worn most of the season.

As of Tuesday the only offensive regulars not expected to dress out are injured backup halfback Brandon Hart and senior guard Johnny Wadley with an aggravated knee condition. Wadley's #2 job at left guard is now filled by former tackle James Redmond.

The defense, which was lucky much of the season, has taken some recent blows. End Titus Brown, who started last Saturday, is out for this game. He had taken the place of nine-game starter Michael Heard who suffered a hairline fracture in the Alabama game; today Heard was at practice but not working in a red-cross jersey. He is still listed as probable for Saturday.

For this day, freshman Charles Burns was running #1 at end opposite Willie Evans. The #2 ends were converted tackle Avery Hannibal and Stephen Arant.

The rest of the #1 defense was unchanged. On the second unit former corner Keith Fitzhugh is working as safety alongside De'Mon Glanton.

The other health question of most concern is placekicker Keith Andrews, who is still restricted in the distance he is allowed to kick from and remains questionable for the game.

The Bulldogs will practice Wednesday afternoon at the regular time, after which the players not designated for the 80-man SEC dressout list will be allowed to go home for the holiday. The remaining players will have a 1:30 Thursday practice before a team Thanksgiving meal at the Seal M-Club.


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