Rebels have a good day in the pads

The Ole Miss Rebels got some hot weather this morning and, according to Coach Ed Orgeron, it was just what the doctor ordered.

"We needed this kind of test to see who would respond and who wouldn't. Some did and some didin't," said Orgeron. "This weather is what we wanted for that purpose - of taking us to our limits.

"The cornerbacks had a tough day today. The offense picked on them pretty good. We are relying on them heavily for single coverage and have to put pressure on them. It's a tough position to play and we want to see who can handle it. Right now, Trumaine McBride is doing a good job on the right side but the battle on the left side with Nate Banks and Travis Johnson is a see-saw thing," said O, in response to a question about the corners.

"The kicking game has been inconsistent, to this point, but Will Moseley has been the most consistent of those," he noted, when asked about that areas. "He's punting, kicking off and doing placements fairly well."

"Micheal (Spurlock) has not had a bad day yet, and he's had some really good days. He's competing in every drill and he's starting to lead more," Orgeron said when asked of the senior signal-caller.

Random notes:

* These players missed practice today due to injury: PK Justin Sparks, C Darryl Harris, CB Dustin Mouzon, DB Tyson Andrus, S Mico McSwain, TB Brandon Jacobs, CB Josh Braithwaite, LB Quentin Taylor, LB Rogers Loche, LB Robert Russell, OT Reid Neely. . . Of course, WR Taye Biddle and DE Reterio Brown are taking intersessions courses and can not practice until those are passed. . . PK Hunter Bray was not at practice today. We believe he has left the team.

* TB Jamal Pittman, DT McKinley Boykin, and DE Corvelli Haynes were dressed out today, but were limited in their reps due to being nicked up a little. McKinley, we assume, is just being rested some to allow some soreness in his rehabbed knee to work its way out.

* CB Nate Banks was working as the extra back today in nickel packages. CB Terrell Jackson was working as the sixth DB in dime packages.

* The depth chart did not change from yesterday. Banks was still working at number one LCB a lot, OG David Traxler was still number one at left guard and Garry Pack was still number one at one of the OLB slots.

* Number change: FB Seth Michaelson was changed from #47 to #39. Frosh RB Kendrick Perry and Michaelson were both #47 until today. Now,it's Perry's number exclusively.

* Southern Cal, we understand, does not usually have a large number of walk-ons to join the squad after school starts. This year, you can expect the same at Ole Miss. In the past, 20-30 walk-ons have joined the squad after school began. This year, don't expect more than a handful.

* Someone asked yesterday about offensive linemen not wearing knee braces. They wear them when the Rebs are in full pads, like yesterday and today, but no other time that we have noticed.

* In punt return work today, WR Mike Espy and WR Milton Collins took all the reps. . . In kickoff return, WR Larry Kendrick, WR Burnell Wallace and WR Mario Hill were handling those duties. (McSwain and Andrus will also work at KOR when they return from the injury list).

* As Coach O said, it looks as if punter, PK and kickoff duties are wide open, but Moseley averaged 46.5 yards a punt today on six kicks with a long of 56 and all had good hang time. . . In field goals, however, Moseley was 1-4 while Matt Hinkle was 1-2. Hinkle made the longest, a 45-yarder.

* The coaches had one long period of special teams work where each position was broken down and the individual responsibilities of those players were practiced. Things like blocking angles, double team blocks and return lanes were practiced.

* Speaking of special teams, in the past, kickers, punters and snappers used to do their thing early in practice and go in until the end of practice when they kicked some more. Under Orgeron, they practice the entire practice and are involved on the scout team, running routes, running agility drills, etc.

* In the running game work today, the offense had a pretty good day. The defense was sporadic, but also had some big plays mixed in. Our call: the offense was more consistent. . . Some big plays: Jason Cook burst through the middle of the line for 15 yards; DT Dedrick Clark tackled Alan Abrams for a loss; Cook shook LB Patrick Willis at the line of scrimmage for a 7-yard gain; Abrams gained seven; Abrams was hit 1-yard past the line by FS Charles Clark; Brandon Jenkins, playing some DT today as well as DE, stopped Antonio Turner for no gain; DT Jeremy Garrett nailed FB Seth Michaelson for no gain; Michaelson gained eight up the middle; and Turner ripped off a six-yard run off tackle. . . Late in the running game drills, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, whose reps are being limited lately because he cannot play this year, had gains of eight and 15 yards and TB Hiram White gained 20 on his lone attempt against the backup defense.

* The Rebs had a third-down period also and the offense had an edge, from our viewpoint. On third-and-short situations, Spurlock hit Mario Hill for a 40-yard score; Cook fumbled and Peria Jerry covered the loose ball; Spurlock ran for a 50-yard score; Robert Lane kept for eight yards; Turner gained 10 off tackle; a reverse to Mike Espy netted 10; Banks broke up a pass intended for WR Matt Pierce; a screen to Turner was nailed for no gain by LB Marquis McBeath; Spurlock kept for eight yards; Lane found TE Lamark Armouron a short pass, but frosh DB Gary Riggs hit Armour before he could move the chains; and Jenkins pressured Lane into an errant pass.

* In pass scale and team drills, WR Burnell Wallace, from Spurlock and Lane, came to the top. He caught seven passes, including a 40-yard TD and a 15-yard TD. . . Larry Kendrick also had a productive showing with a 25-yard TD reception. . . QB Ethan Flatt worked a period in blitz situations and did a nice job delivering the ball to receivers under pressure. He found TE Robert Hough for a short gain, Wallace - with a crushing block from Larry Kendrick - for 35 yards, and Espy for eight yards.

* Big plays at the end of practice in scrimmage situations. Spurlock to Wallace for 18 yards; Charles Clark dropped Abrams for a one-yard gain; Jenkins hit Turner at the line; Dedrick Clark slammed Turner to the ground after a one-yard gain; Michael Bozeman slammed the door on Abrams at the LOS; Espy caught a pass from Lane for 10 yards; Willis stopped Abrams cold; Bozeman had a QB sack on Spurlock; Flatt found Wallace for nine yards; Flatt hit Lawrence Lilly 18 yards downfield; Terrell Jackson picked a Flatt pass.

* In the two-minute drill, the defense stopped the offense the first two possessions. Ona the third possession, with the ones against the ones, Spurlock marched the offense down the field. He hit Kendrick for 18 yards, Milton Collins for 20 and eight, Kendrick again for eight and Espy for the final 12 for the score.

* We will publish a picture gallery from today's practice tonight.

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