Wednesday Practice Notes

Mississippi State spent two hours in Wednesday preparations for Saturday's season-ending contest with Mississippi at Scott Field. Just as the day before, Coach Sylvester Croom divided the Wednesday work up with the first hour spent on the practice fields, and the second inside the Palmeiro Center.

The difference today was that after the outdoors hour, and one full-team segment inside, Croom had the Bulldogs take off their shoulder pads for the rest of the drills. In helmets and sweats, the players spent seven segments specifically working on gameplans for Saturday.

All this was done with varsity against scout units, though before the pads came off the #1's squared off against each other. Bodies were hitting the turf then despite the lack of armor and even halfback Jerious Norwood took some good contact...as well as gave it.

But the offense had to practice without their newest weapon. Quarterback-turned-wide receiver Omarr Conner, who rolled his right ankle late Tuesday, stayed in the training room all Wednesday. The report was a sprain, and Conner is not expected to practice Thursday. He was able to leave the Palmeiro Center on Tuesday on his own steam, putting weight on the joint. His status for Saturday is currently questionable.

Still the offense was able to practice just as it had before Conner changed positions, with Mike Henig running the #1 squad and throwing to the full-time wideouts. Conner's absence meant that Henig did throw a lot more balls than normal as Conner is also the #2 quarterback. For now Brett Morgan is the backup. State will not take the redshirt off freshman Tray Rutland at this point.

The rest of the receiver corps is healthy with Will Prosser and Joey Sanders atop the rotation now, ahead of Aubrey Bell, Tee Milons, and Jason Husband. On the offensive line left tackle Brian Anderson was sidelined during the indoor session, with starting right tackle Avery House moving to the other end and Calvin Wilson taking over at RT.

The defense was unchanged from Tuesday, and is still short a couple of healthy defensive ends. Charles Burns worked with the first team though in limited-contact purple to protect a tender shoulder; and Michael Heard watched in a red-cross shirt as he comes back from a hairline leg fracture. Heard is supposed to play this game. Alternate and two-game starter Titus Brown will not. True freshman Quinton Wesley ran many snaps with the #1 defensive line, though the staff would only play him in last resort as he is redshirting.

The Bulldogs will have a regular Thursday practice but at a new time, 1:45 to 3:45, then after cleaning up will assemble for Thanksgiving dinner with their coaches. There will be the standard Friday walk-through by the dress-out team before State spends the night before the Egg Bowl in Columbus.


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