On Thursday afternoon, the Tigers underwent a very abbreviated practice in helmets and shorts (no pads) in the final spring tune-up prior to closing out spring ball on Saturday with the Black & Gold Spring Game.
Jacquies Smith (high ankle sprain) and Marcus Malbrough (lower leg strain) will both miss the Black and Gold game. Marvin Foster (torn pectoral muscle), Elvis Fisher (torn labrum), and Andrew Jones (torn labrum) will miss the spring game. Brandon Gerau will miss the spring game, and in addition to the five above-mentioned players, should be fully recovered in time for summer workouts. Tony Randolph (knee) and Alex Edwards (knee) will be out for several months.
The Tigers went through there regular pre-game routine, or warm-up, before conducting a very brief 7-on-7 drill.
Afterward, Coach Pinkel talked about some of the things that the team accomplished today. "What we do on a day like today," said Coach Pinkel, "is we had our final team meeting, and talk about what we're going to do to finish the semester, academically and certainly training-wise also. Then, we come over here and kind of rehearse our pre-game that we normally do. Some of the young players haven't done it............ Then what we do in the summer, is we have Tuesday and Thursday evening workouts. They're an hour long, and the leaders of our team run it. It's all voluntary. And, we just kind of go through what the practice is like for that one hour. It's really cool how our guys do it. The leaders at the different positions enjoy it, and it's been a real positive thing for us.............. And, we're excited about the game. A lot of these guys haven't played in a game for awhile. We try to treat it with thorough preparation, so we can learn from
During the limited 7-on-7 action, Blaine Gabbert missed connection on a short pass attempt to Michael Egnew out in the right flat. Egnew curled to the inside, but the throw was to the outside. Then, Kevin Rutland stepped in front of and batted down Blaine's other pass attempt, intended for L'Damian Washington out along the left sideline.
James Franklin came in, and after going through his progression, checked down to Chris Willet, out in the left flat, for a short gain.
The Black & Gold Game will be run a little differently this year. Coach Pinkel talked about how they're going to play the first half with the first and second units. The second unit will begin with a 14 point lead. The second half will be mostly third and fourth units, and will be scored in the usual manner for the Tigers' scrimmages.
One unit will wear gold pants and black jerseys. Blaine Gabbert will be protected from contact with a different colored jersey. Coach Pinkel said that the other QBs would wear white, which would permit high contact by the defense.