Practice Report: Thursday

As is normally the case on Thursdays, the Rebel football team capped the week's practice by running repetition after repetition on every phase of the gameplan for the South Carolina game in Columbia Saturday.

Notes from Thursday's practice. . .

* WR Bill Flowers was given a clean bill of health after going through two tests this morning for a lacerated kidney. He says he feels "perfect."

* DE Corey Mills missed a little over a week with a pulled groin, but came back this week reportedly ready to go. He reinjured the groin late in yesterday's practice, but finished practice thinking there wasn't much to it. But when he got up this morning, everything had flared up again. He did not practice today and will not play against South Carolina.

* DT Daniel Booth is a happy man. For the first time this year, Booth is 100% ready to go against the Gamecocks after missing the first four games entirely and most of the A-State game with a calf muscle pull.

* DT Chris Herring, on the other hand, is still struggling from his calf muscle pull after a couple of weeks of rehab and will not play against SC.

* PK Jonathan Nichols did not kick this week until today, resting a bruised big toe on his kicking foot. He said his foot was sore the first couple of kicks today, but after that he was fine. Nichols will handle all placements against SC, but backup punter Wesley Bryan will handle kickoff duties in place of Nichols this week.

* TB Jamal Pittman pulled a hamstring Monday and missed Tuesday and Wednesday practice, but he returned today for some light duty. Jamal will come off of his six-game suspension and will be eligible to play in the Tennessee game next week. He thinks he will be fine by then, but how quickly he can get in "game shape," after missing a lot of time this fall with the hamstring, remains to be seen.

* TB Brandon Jacobs had a scary moment on campus yesterday. He was crossing the road in front of the Turner Center and was hit by a car. He saw the car coming, jumped up, was flipped up on the hood and rolled off onto the pavement. He is fine, but he said the driver did not stop to see if he was OK or not. He practiced today.

* Now that a fence has been built between the IPF and the practice fields, the practice fields will be expanded back to almost all of their original size. During construction of the IPF, two of the practice fields were reduced by about thirty yards to make room for the big equipment used in construction of the massive facility. The sodding of the extra field area will begin tomorrow. The ground was prepared and leveled today.

* Offensive Coordinator John Latina said he's been pleased with the Rebs' practices this week, but he has some concerns as game time approaches. "I think out plan is good and I think the kids have a good grasp of what we want to do, but I'm concerned about speed of the game and the different things South Carolina does defensively," he explained. "South Carolina has the fastest defense we've faced to this point, so how we will respond I do not know. They have also changed their scheme since last year and are doing a nice job with it. What makes it better is the drastic improvement of their secondary. Their improvement has allowed their front to do some different things - they are moving around more, taking a few more chances and making it hard to hone in on them. Last year, their secondary was not very sound and it made them more cautious up front. Now, they are playing with the confidence up front that if they mess up they have people behind them who will clean up the mess. Their mindset is more confident and it all starts with their improved secondary."

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