Practice Report: Thursday

The Ole Miss defense gave the offense fits today in a practice designed to correct the errors made in yesterday's scrimmage. Read about it inside.

Ole Miss Football Coach Ed Orgeron corrected things during practice and reflected on things after a 2 hour, 45-minute practice Thursday afternoon on a muggy, hot day.

"The defense came along today after we corrected some things from the scrimmage in this morning's walk-through," noted Orgeron. "We set up a competition between the offense and the defense and the defense won 8-7, which meant the offensive personnel had to run a little extra after practice.

"Today was a day of correcting what we did wrong yesterday in the scrimmage and I saw us get better technically in this practice."

Reflecting on the scrimmage, Orgeron pointed out some positives.

"I thought our running game did some good things behind a good effort by the offensive line. Jamal Pittman and Brandon Jacobs both ran the ball with authority and I was glad to see us utilize Taye Biddle's speed with some plays that fit his skills.

"Patrick Willis was all over the field yesterday and had a great scrimmage. I think Garry Pack is close to winning back his starting position at OLB. The Will OLB is up in the air right now between Kelvin Robinson and Quentin Taylor. I have been very pleased with Robert Russell too. Rogers Loche missed some time early on and that threw him behind, but he's starting to do some good things. The freshmen linebackers will definitely be on the bus."

Class starts Monday and Orgeron said some deserving players who don't currently have a grant-in-aid will be put on scholarship soon. "We got a couple to use and we are excited about some of our players who don't have one getting one," he explained.

Orgeron verified that LB Marquis McBeath has "most likely" quit the Rebel football team.

"I have not talked to him or anything, but I am assuming he quit because he's not here now," Ed added.

Random Notes:

* The following players did not practice today: TB Kendrick Perry, CB Josh Braithwaite, WR Milton Collins, C Darryl Harris, OG David traxler, WR Matt Pierce, WR J.D. Lawhorn, OT reid Neely, CB Dustin Mouzon, PK Justin Sparks (he will dress tomorrow we overheard), S Bryant Thomas, OL Ryan Jones, DE Chris Bowers, TB Mico McSwain and OLB Kelvin Robinson.

* DT Michael Bozeman, who missed yesterday's scrimmage, practiced today.

* RG Thomas Eckers was injured today and had to come out of the lineup early in practice. WR Taye Biddle was injured late in practice, but it didn't appear to be anything substantial.

* With Traxler out, Andrew Wicker continues to be the number one left guard.

* Yesterday, Jamal Pittman took all the number one tailback snaps. Today, Brandon Jacobs did, and he looked pretty good doing it.

* With Eckers out, however, number two Michael Oher did not move up. Instead, backup center Tony Bonds was moved to right guard with the number one line.

* Corvelli Haynes worked with the number one defense at LEO in place of Chris Bowers.

* TB Alan Abrams, who has been dressing out every day but has not had many live reps the past week, took a few live reps today and looked healthy.

* Oher did get a few snaps with the number one line early in practice, but in team work at the end of practice, Bonds got them all.

* In pass rush/pass pro drills, it is apparent Wicker is improving his OL skills. He was not beaten to the QB in six attempts by various DTs. . . . On the other side of the ball, a player who continues to show up is frosh DE Lamark Armour. He's quick off the ball and seems to have a knack for making something happen.

* In field goal work, according to our chart, Matt Hinkle - with Rob Park holding - was 5-6 with a long of 35. He missed from 42 yards out. . . Will Moseley - with Park holding - was 2-5, hitting from 45 and 56 yards, but missing from 50 and 61. . . Is it possible the coaches are looking at two PKs to get playing time - Hinkle inside the 40 and Moseley outside the 40? We'll see, but that's how they practiced FGs today.

* In team drills, mostly situational, it was a typical period of both sides of the ball making plays.

The following is a recap of the highlights: (Ones) Spurlock to Mario Hill for 7, Brandon Jacobs for 14, Jacobs -4 (Willis), Spurlock to Biddle for 7. . . (Twos) Pittman -2 (Robert Russell), Robert Lane to Burnell Wallace 6, DE LeRon King sack of Lane, Lane to Seth Michaelson 1 (Reed). . . (Ones) Spurlock to Cook 1 (Charles Clark), Spurlock to Carlos Suggs 18. . . (Twos) QB Ethan Flatt to TE Lawrence Lilly 8, Alan Abrams 8, Abrams 5, Abrams stopped at line (Rogers Loche). . . (Ones with Lane at QB) Screen to Jacobs -2 (Willis), Jacobs 0 (Willis), Lane to Lilly 20, Jacobs 2 (Michael Bozeman). . . (Twos) Pittman 2 (Peria Jerry), Pittman 1 (Russell), Antonio Tuner 2 (Tyson Andrus), Flatt to Michaelson 5.

* First and 10 from the defense's 25 with two plays to score: (Ones) Spurlock keep 3, Jacobs 22 TD on a bounce outside when the middle was clogged. . . (Ones) Pack breaks up Spurlock pass to Biddle, Jacobs 5. . . (Twos) Pittman 0 (Russell), Lane to Michaelson for 18. . .(Twos) Turner 4 (Reed), Turner 0 (Keith Houston). . . (Ones) Spurlock to Biddle for 5, Spurlock to Biddle for 6. . . (Ones from the 10 with 1 play to score) Spurlock keep 9. . . (Twos, from the 20 with two plays to score) Flatt to Mike Espy TD. . . (Twos from the 15 with two plays to score) Pittman 6, Pittman 1 (Russell).

* The Rebs then shifted into two-minute drill mode and it was all defense. The offense got some drives started, but three were ended with interceptions. On the first play of the two-minute drill, Spurlock fired a bullet to Biddle, but the ball slipped through his hands and CB Trumaine McBride picked it off and raced down the sidelines for a score. . . (Twos) Lane sacked by King, Lane to Espy for 8, time ran out. . . (Ones) Spurlock to Hough for 15, Spurlock to Hough for 15 more, Spurlock to Espy for 1, 41 FG by Moseley blocked by CB Travis Johnson. . . .(Twos) Ethan Flatt completed passes of 10 and 14 yards to Espy and Brooks, respectively, but then he was picked of by SS Kareem Moore to end the threat. . . (Ones) Spurlock drove the Rebs down to the defense's 25 with completions of 12 to Hill, 8 to Espy, 15 to Biddle and 8 to Espy before CB Terrell Jackson picked him off. . On the last possession of the day by the ones, the Rebs drove down and almost scored but FB jason Cook was stopped short of the goalline after a 15-yard gain as time expired.

* The Rebs will practice in the morning at 8:45.

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