Bo Watch, Day II

All eyes are on Rebel Quarterback Bo Wallace as the week leading up to the Alabama game clicks by. Wednesday, Bo threw pain-free. Coach Hugh Freeze said he will play versus the Tide. Read about it inside.

Day II of the Bo Wallace watch produced some pretty good visual news for the Rebels.

Bo, who has a banged up shoulder from the Tulane game, did not throw any passes Tuesday, but he was spinning them at Wednesday's practice session.

"He did everything today. I don't think his arm strength was 100% today, but he said he was pain-free and did fine," noted Coach Hugh Freeze. "He will try to play, no question after today."

In one drill, Wallace, and all the quarterbacks, were throwing from the left hash of the 30-yard line to the right corner of the end zone, approximately a 45-yard throw, and he was not showing any signs of pain.

When folks talk Alabama football, they talk defense first usually, but the Tide also has a very good offense, a punishing run game, one of their best OLs ever and a seasoned quarterback who picks his spots to inflict the most damage.

"Number one teams don't have weaknesses. Their offensive line is very physical, they believe in physical football and their offense just controls games," said Freeze. "Their OL is good enough to do that. It's a tough matchup for anyone who plays them, and we certainly fall in that category.

Trae entrusted with KOR
File Photo

"We are a little undersized, we don't have a lot of depth and we are a little banged up in the D-Line. It's a great challenge, one we are excited about and one we look forward to, but their offense is very good. I think our kids want to prove the Texas game was not the real Rebels, that we are better than that."

The key to playing the Alabama offense, as it is with most offenses, is controlling the run.

"We feel better about ourselves after the shutout last week, but Alabama is a different animal," Freeze continued. "They can throw it, for sure, but if you are not slowing down the run a little bit, it will be a punishing night."

The Rebels had a full-pad, physical practice on Wednesday, but Freeze went a little shorter than normal.

"This time of year, we always scale back about four periods (20 minutes) and go 16 periods instead of 20 on Wednesdays," Freeze explained.

Random Notes:

* DT Woodrow Hamilton, who has an ankle sprain, tried to practice Tuesday, but apparently he was not able to go. He did not dress out Wednesday and was relegated to a stationary bike. It looks as if his status for the Alabama game is doubtful.

* DT Uriah Grant (hand surgery last week) tried out a different looking cast on his hand Wednesday and went through some full contact drills. "Uriah should be able to play, but we aren't sure about Woody yet. We will move some people around to try to give us some more depth and see where that takes us," noted Freeze.

* Slot Korvic Neat (groin) will not play against the Tide and has not practiced all week.

* The philosophy on kickoff return specialists varies from coach to coach, but most of the time you don't see two "rookies" lined up deep to return the kicks. There is too much that can go wrong and too big of a momentum swing for those kinds of miscues. Obviously, Freeze has a lot of trust in his two deep men - true freshmen Trae Elston and Jaylen Walton. So far, both have been flawless in both handling the ball and judgment and Walton even has a 100-yard KOR for a TD against Texas. Apparently, it's trust well-invested.

* With Neat out, Philander Moore is slated to take care of punt return duties again, but Freeze said Jeff Scott has also been fielding punts in practice as well.

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