Getting It Right

Not much separates a successful play from an unsuccessful play, just the little things. The Rebs, among other things, worked on correcting the little things they did wrong against Vanderbilt last Thursday night with a variety of individual and team drills at Tuesday's warmish practice.

A false step here, a bad alignment there, a miscommunication in the heat of battle.

They don't seem like much, but the little things are what separates the good from the bad and the ugly.

"We had several bad alignments. Our eyes were bad at times and on offense we made mistakes too," said Coach Hugh Freeze. "Little things mean so much in this game and we spent yesterday and today trying to fix a lot of those things.

"We also moved a few people around. I told the team the next three weeks, they are all competing for playing time. We'll see on film tonight if we made the progress the last two days we think we did and who, individually, did well."

A lot of correcting those mistakes was worked on both Monday and Tuesday in practice, along with getting in some contact work and the early stages of installing the SEMO gameplan.

"We were a little sluggish today. The attention to detail wasn't as good as I hoped, but we had a great day yesterday," said Freeze. "We had some good situational work in third and fourth and long and our skelly work was good. The scouts did a great job too."

The Rebels will have to put together a unique sort of gameplan for Southeast Missouri. They run option on offense and defending that is simply different. "Our whole gameplan will be much different from last week," Hugh stated. "I doubt we will face another option team this year so this gameplan will not have much carry over for the rest of the year."

Mike Hilton
Chuck Rounsaville

Random Notes:

* QB Bo Wallace made some strides in the right direction against Vanderbilt, according to Freeze. "He certainly took care of the ball better," noted Hugh. "He was also more vocal than he was last year. When you are a transfer to an SEC school, it's tough to jus take over and that's probably not him anyway, but he is becoming more that. As long as he does his vocalizing in the right way, the players will follow because they know the type of competitor he is."

* Last year in the Red Zone against Vandy, the Rebs had to settle for too many field goals. This year, they scored more TDs when the opportunity arose. "We had a better plan. We worked really hard on it and studied on it very hard. We made sure about our calls and weeded a lot of things out because of what they did," Hugh explained. "We really stuck to about three things and waited until we got the look we wanted to call them. It worked out well, much different from last year." * True frosh TB Kailo Moore tweaked his hamstring last week, but still played a little bit against Vanderbilt. He's better now and is expected to play more against Southeast Missouri Saturday. We have been told Kailo's speed will be utilized. How much remains to be seen.

* Many have asked about the lack of pressure put on Vanderbilt QB Austyn Carta-Samuels last Thursday. Some, not all, but some, of that was by design, as in trying to protect the cornerbacks and not leave them on an island as much. Sometimes, it's damned if you do, damned if you don't.

* Defensive grades from Vandy? A little bird told us the DL graded very well as a unit as did the safeties, but the LBs and the CBs did not. Consequently, the personnel moves (Mike Hilton to cornerback, Dehendret Collins to Husky) at corner. As for the linebackers, the assessment was "played out of control too much and were not aggressive enough." Somewhat surprising considering the veterans at those two positions.

* Freshman snaps? WR Laquon Treadwell led the group with 82. RG Austin Golson had 50, LT Laremy Tunsil 46 and TE Evan Engram 45. Basically, half the game, the Rebel offense played with four true freshmen.

* There is a lot being taken under consideration on the offensive line with the blow from losing LG Aaron Morris. Will Emmanuel McCray be moved inside, allowing Tunsil to start at LT? Will Patrick Junen heal up enough to take up the slack at LG and leave the three-man tackle rotation of Tunsil, McCray and Pierce Burton alone? Will Jared Duke figure in? How much playing time with Golson get? All of those thoughts, and more, are running through the heads of the offensive coaches. Time will tell. . . .

* CB Charles Sawyer may lay out this week against SEMO and try to get his shoulder closer to 100%. Look for him to try to emerge again versus Texas.

* WR Vincent Sanders has a shot to play against Texas, but "most likely" he will not return to the lineup until the Alabama game.

* Why Hilton at CB? He's fast enough, he's disciplined and, in the estimation of the coaches, he is one of the Rebs' best 11 on defense. Also, the trust factor with freshman Husky Tony Connor, who had a good first game as a collegian, has grown, allowing for the move to be looked at seriously. "I wish he was bigger, but he's feisty, a competitor. I think he can do it, but it will be hard to determine that until we see him in a game," Freeze noted.

I'Tavius Mathers
Chuck Rounsaville

* TB I'tavius Mathers, who has been out for nearly two weeks with a sprained ankle,took some snaps today and looked close to normal. He is expected to make his 2013 debut against SEMO.

* Cody Core, who has played WR all of August, is being given a look at safety. That move was considered back in spring training, but the coaches opted to keep him at WR at the time. Will it stick? Again, time will tell. "We pulled all our testing and Cody is one of the best athletes we have on the team. He's the third-fastest kid on our squad and probably needs to be on the field more than he has been," said Hugh. "He played 15 snaps out of 84 we had. We are shorthanded at some spots and an injury or two could get scary so we are trying to cross-train him at safety and wideout right now."

* Freshman CB David Kamara also looked to be getting some safety reps. He played special teams against Vanderbilt.

* SEMO runs the option, so who better to run the scout team offense than a guy who has run the option most of his career. Enter S Anthony Alford, an option quarterback in high school.

* CB Senquez Golson looks to finally be healthy after missing all of August with a hamstring pull. The experienced Golson will definitely help shore up the CB woes for the Rebs.

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