2003 Oklahoma State Football Practice Report - Fri

A very physical morning in full pads including another goal line scrimmage led to a more relaxed afternoon with a lot of work on Nebraska.

2003 Oklahoma State Football Practice Report Friday, August 15 FINAL DAY OF TWO DAYS INCLUDES A PHYSICAL MORNING STILLWATER -- "Thank goodness this is over," said offensive guard Sam Mayes as he headed to the training room for treatment. "This has been a very physical preseason."

Mayes could be speaking for all of his teammates as the Cowboys wrapped up their final day of two-a-days, and they prepare to move out of the dorm in the morning and back to their living accomadations for the fall semester.

"I'm anxious to get back to sleeping in a bed that is bigger than I am," said Mayes, who did admit that the food during preseason camp has been very tasty.

The morning was very physical as the Cowboys went through a full pad workout on Lewis Field in front of a smattering of fans. There was a lengthy inside drill that featured some big runs on the part of Vernand Morency and Greg Gold. There was soem big hits furnished by weak safety Elbert Craig, defensive end Khreem Smith, defensive end Jerry Don Bray, defensive tackle Clay Coe, and linebacker Pagitte McGee.

The morning session did finish with a goal line scrimmage, an obvious point of emphasis all preseason, that left the players dragging off the field. As a result this afternoon's practice was much more teaching oriented with very little live work. The emphasis in the afternoon was individual drills, several offensive packages worked on against scouts, more work for the freshmen quarterbacks in Donovan Woods and Mike Friess, and some work in the kicking game.

"This was really a good day of practice," said head coach Les Miles. "This morning was much more physical and we had a strong live period of goal line work. We're banged up some, but we had a lot of teaching and got in some good preparation work in the afternoon practice."

The most interesting portion of the afternoon practice was the seven on seven work which featured screens and the short passing game. The expected players like Rashaun Woods, D'Juan Woods, Charlie Johnson, Seymore Shaw, and Tim Burrough were involved, but freshman Tommy Devereaux and tal backup Kenny Williams came in for loads of work. Devereaux showed why he will play and e valuable this season as he would catch short passes and then jet into the clear away from the defenders. He is very dangerous once the ball is in his hands. Williams had a much better day catching the football, and in the scout work against Nebraska got behind the secondary twice to catch long passes from both quarterbacks Josh Fields and Jamie Beeghley.

Away from the skill players there were some good one on one battles in the pass pro drill. Offensive guard Caleb Noble and freshman defensive lineman Brad Girtman really got after it. Those are two strong young men, and Girtman beaten several times refused to quit until he beat Noble and got back to tag the dummy quarterback. Offensive left tackle Matt Hardison is improving every day as he handled veteran defensive end Khreem Smith and Darnell Smith during the drill. Offensive right tackle Kellen Davis is quick, but could only come up 50/50 in his go with Khreem Smith and Jerry Don Bray.

The players do move out of the dorm on Saturday morning and then meet back for meetings and the final scrimmage at 3:20 p.m. There will also be a short practice Sunday night. The seniors will vote on captains and those elected leaders will be introduced to the squad following the short evening workout. Monday is an off day with the first day of classes, and then Tuesday it is back to work with nothing but Nebraska on the agenda.

INSIDE DRILL The morning inside drill in full pads was interesting, but so was the afternoon version even though the squad was in helmets and shoulder pads. Tailback Seymore Shaw was back in action and looking good as he broke off several runs through a somewhat tired defense. Vernand Morency continued to run well, as did Greg Gold, who may qualify for the honor of "Mr. Inside Drill as has seemed to break more runs than anybody through the preseason camp in the inside period. The biggest defensive highlight came when Jerry Don Bray crashed in and made a stop behind the line on Vernand Morency.

KICKING GAME The Cowboys worked extra points and field goals without a hitch or a miss on Friday afternoon as Luke Phillips was three for three and Brent Baisden was two for two. It is obvious because of his past experience at quarterback and his ability to throw the fake that backup punter Sky Rylant will handle the holding chores. After the placements, the Cowboys worked kickoffs and kickoff returns. Robert Jones, Andrew Alexander, and Tommy Devereaux all looked good on returns. The coverage by the first team kickoff team was excellent, and toward the end the kickoff team was successful with a clever onside kick right up the middle that went just enough and was recovered by one of the inside cover guys.

SCRIMMAGE PREVIEW This one will be different than Wednesday as you will see more players. So far it has been almost exclusively ones versus ones and two versus twos. They will mix it up more tomorrow and while there will be situations worked on, they will also sit the ball at the 35 or 40 and let the offense just try to drive and the defense just try to stop. They will work all phases of the special teams, and you will see the young quarterbacks in Donovan Woods and Mike Friess. Fans will also see plenty of their classmates in the new recruiting class like tailback Andre Alexander, all three freshman wide receivers, and more.

"We will stick with basic plays and schemes," said head coach Les Miles. "I want this to be a good conclusion to preseason camp. I expect the offense to execute better than Wednesday, and I also want the defense sharper. I'll be watching penalties and turnovers closely. We have to do a much better job in those areas."

The scrimmage will begin at 3:20 p.m. The gates, the two most western gates on the north side, will open at 2:30 p.m. Fans can sit in the north stands or the west endzone stands only.

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