Practice Report: Saturday scrimmage

Ole Miss Coach Ed Orgeron said prior to Saturday's scrimmage that he would be looking for execution and the proper execution of plays. When all was said and done after the three-hour workout, he said he was "disappointed, overall, with the execution on both sides of the ball." Read about it inside.

Rebel Football Coach Ed Orgeron capsulized Saturday's three-hour workout in stifling heat in Vaught-Hemngway Stadium with one brief statement.

"It was a rough day execution-wise on both sides of the ball," said Orgeron. "By far, it was the worst day we've had so far. I don't know what happened to cause it, but we will find out.

"We didn't take care of the ball, we had foolish penalties, the defense was sporadic and allowed the offense to break containment several times, and our running game is not tough enough. Football is about execution and ours was not good today."

The more he talked,however, the "softer" his assessment was.

"At times, and in spots, we shined on both sides of the ball, but we were very inconsistent. We did some good things on goalline. The offense scored down there a couple of times and the defense got off the field down there a couple of times," he continued. "Those are positives. The offense made some throws against the blitz, which was good to see.

"But overall we didn't play good fundamental, basic football on either side of the ball."

The practice - which was mostly a situational scrimmage - was viewed by roughly 500 fans on a day when temperatures on the artificial turf reached well over 100 degrees. On a good note, it did not appear the heat was a major factor to the players in terms of any of them having to leave the workout due to dehydration.

"We tried to create a game atmosphere, but the kids did not respond to it the way I wanted them to," Orgeron closed. "We will go in now and look at everything we are doing as a staff and see what we've got to correct. We are not practicing tomorrow so we've got time to get some things analyzed and get some things straight. We will use this as a learning experience and go from here. I'm not disappointed in the team, I'm disappointed in today's performance."

Random notes:

* The following players did not practice today: PK Justin Sparks, OT Reid Neely, OT/OG Ryan Jones, DE LeRon King, CB Josh Braithwaite, DB Tyson Andrus, C Darryl King, CB Dustin Mouzon, LB Rogers Loche, TB/FB Brandon Jacobs, WR Milton Collins, OL James McCoy. . . WR Taye Biddle and DE Reterio Brown were at practice, but were dressed in shorts and helmets and did not participate.

* The following players had injuries, we believe mostly minor. WR Matt Pierce was hit hard in the back and had a scary few minutes stretched out on the field, but Coach O said he believes Matt is fine. . . TB Alan Abrams was injured midway through practice.

* The following players returned to practice today off the injury list: SS Mico McSwain, OG David Traxler, OT Bobby Harris and OL Maurice Miller.

* The starters on both sides of the ball were basically the same. Here are a few notables to help you with your depth charts: Traxler was back at number one LG, TE Robert Hough was with the top unit; Abrams was the number one TB; Ben Boyce and Tony Bonds split time at center with Boyce getting the majority of the snaps; Nate Banks was number one at left corner; and Garry Pack was number one at an OLB slot.

* A couple of players who seem to be making an impression are RCB Terrell Jackson, frosh LB Quentin Taylor, now with th twos, and LB Robert Russell, who worked with the twos some today. . In the last two days, FS B. Brown has also made an impact with some big plays from the free safety slot or as the nickel back in the secondary.

* The number one kickoff team today was: Mike Espy, Nate Banks, Terrell Jackson, Kelvin Robinson, Keith Houston, B. Brown, Jamarca Sanford, Patrick Willis, Kareem Moore and Trumaine McBride. Will Moseley did the kicking and got a rousing ovation when he kicked the first ball out of the end zone. . . The two kickoff team consisted of Mario Hill, Larry Kendrick, Dontae Reed, Chris Bowers, Mico McSwain, Quentin Taylor, Charles Clark, Matt Pierce and Bryant Thomas with Matt Hinkle doing the kicking. McSwain got a round of applause when he nailed BenJarvus Green-Ellis on the return.

In the running game drills, on the first possession of the day, the offense ripped off some good runs. Abrams had runs of 15, 10 and 5 yards and caught a pass for 8 before the drive stalled. . . DE Chris Bowers stopped one drive with a tackle at the line of scrimmage on TB Antonio Turner. . . Tb Jamal Pittman ended one march when he was hit by Russell and fumbled. CB Travis Johnson jumped on the loose ball. . . DT McKinley Boykin also stopped a march by throwing Turner for a 3-yard loss.

* The Rebs then went to pass scale (7-on-7) and the QBs did a nice job. Micheal Spurlock drove the ones down the field with a 20-yard completion to Kendrick, and four completions to Mike Espy that netted 32 yards and a score, the TD pass being a 6-yard slant. . . . QB Ethan Flatt struck quickly - twice - on his turn. First, he gound Burnell Wallace for a 30-yard score and then hit Carlos Suggs with a short pass that he turned into a 25-yard score with some great moves to break free.

* The Rebs then went to punt and it was not a good day for Moseley or freshman Rob Park. Moseley averaged 39 yards a punt on four kicks and Park averaged 35 yards a kick on three tries. Neither was hitting the ball the way they were the past two days.

* The situational scrimmage was basically the offense starting drives from all over the field. The first one, for instance, was started at their own three.

Spurlock marched the ones down to the defense's 39 with a play-action pass to FB Jason Cook for 21 yards, a QB keeper for 15, a 10-yard run by Abrams, a completion to Hill for 9. But then a reverse to Kendrick was sniffed out by LB Patrick Willis for a 15-yard loss and the drive lost its steam.

The two offense got a little running room from the three when Robert Lane found Seth Michaelson for 13 yards, but a sack by DE Brandon Jenkins on a blitz stopped the drive in its tracks.

The ones came back out on the field and went three-and-out via Pack stopping Abrams for no gain, McBride breaking up a pass to Hill and Jamarca Sanford getting to Spurlock on a blitz.

Flatt got the twos going with a 12-yard completion to Pierce and a 15-yarder to Michaelson. Jamal Pittman ran for 25 but fumbled at the end. The offense covered the loose ball and Jamal then rumbled for 18 more, but then Jenkins sacked Flatt once and forced him to fumble two plays later to end the threat.

* Starting from their own 35 on the next set of downs, Spurlock had one of the more remarkable pass completions that stadium has ever seen. He completed a 52-yard strike to Hill on a pass that never got much over 10 feet in the air. A 52-yard rope. Amazing. . . Unfortunately for the offense, that's as far as they could go. Good defensive plays by Sanford, Bozeman and DE Jayme Mitchell kept the offense from advancing the ball any further. . . . Matt Hinkle hit a 40-yard field goal to end the drive.

The twos could not move and were forced off the field by a sack of Lane by frosh DT Peria Jerry, but then the two offense, given a chance to redeem themselves. put together a good march that resulted in six points. They went 65 yards on seven plays. The big plays were a Lane to Suggs pass for 20 and runs of 9, 15 and 7 yards by Turner. Green-Ellis finished off the march with two runs from the 16, the last one being a 9-yard score. Hinkle kicked the PAT.

The ones then took the field from their own 35 and could not move the ball in two possessions. Big plays by Boykin, a sack by Bozeman and a forced bad pass due to pressure from a blitz turned the flow the defense's way.

* The next situation was from the defense's 45. The one offense got something going but could not capitalize. Spurlock, with the help of a block from Espy, got one first down on a 10-yard run, and then a screen to Pittman gained 14. But facing a fourth and one, the offense could not move the chains when Bozeman tackled Abrams in the backfield.

Flatt took the twos straight down the field for a score from the defense's 45 on the next possession. He hit Hill for 25 yards and then Turner ran it in from there. Hinkle missed the PAT.

The ones drove into field goal range on their next attempt and Moseley nailed a 43-yarder. Bowers had a tackle for loss and Kelvin Robinson KO'd Pittman, defensively.

When the twos came back on the field, Lane had two completions for a score - a 19-yarder to Wallace and a 21-yarder to Espy. Looked easy. Moseley drilled the PAT.

* In the two-minute drill, Spurlock drove the ones 70-yards for a quick score. He got things going with a 30-yard scamper then hit Kendrick with a strike over the middle for another 30. Spurlock then scrambled and froze K-Rob with a move inside and a cut to the outside that drew gasps from the fans. TD, Spurlock. PAT Moseley.

* The practice ended with goalline work. Spurlock scored again on a run around left end and Lane scored for the twos with a run around right end. Both PATs by Moseley were good.

* The Rebels will take tomorrow off and resume Monday with two practices scheduled, one at 9 a.m. and one at 4 p.m.

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