Kennedy played at Miami while Coach O was a GA and then the DL coach for the Hurricanes.
"It was great to have Cortez here," said Orgeron. "He was one of the all-time greats of the game and he's a better person than he was a player. I was a GA at Miami when he got there and I was involved in his recruitment. He gave an inspirational talk to the team prior to practice and I think it pepped up the defense. He challenged them to work hard because that's what propelled him to stardom. It appeared they listened."
Orgeron was satisfied with the workout.
"We had good energy today and got a lot done," he noted. "I was pleased with a lot of what I saw. Defensively, we stepped it up a notch, as I said, and that was good to see."
* The last three days, frosh P Rob Park has been doing all the holding for the placements. Asked if that will be permanent, and if Park is going to take over for QB Micheal Spurlock, who held against Memphis, Orgeron said "most likely, but not 100%. We haven't talked about it as a staff, but Rob does a good job and we're leaning that way."
* Asked if he has seen any improvement from DT McKinley Boykin, Orgeron gave a positive response. "He's getting better. He's giving us what he's got and has had a real positive attitude," Orgeron noted. "I've been happy with the way he has picked it up this week.". . . Boykin said the two days off ove the weekend helped his knee and in the last two weeks he can feel his conditioning getting better. "I feel I'm getting some of my explosiveness back. The weekend rest helped me," Boykin noted. "I understand why I'm not playing more right now, but I feel good about my progress. I'm gaining more strength in my knee and I can feel myself getting in better shape. I feel good that in a couple of more weeks I will be my old self."
* Coach O said he's also been impressed with the daily progress of freshman RG Michael Oher, who is 99% certain to get his first collegiate start against Vanderbilt Saturday. "He's coming along very well," said O. "Every day watching the films you can see little things he's doing better. His progress is continuing in a good direction."
* WR Larry Kendrick has been more involved in the rotation and in the offense the past few days as well. Orgeron said he's needed. "Our offense needs the playmakers to step forward and we think Larry can be one of those guys," Orgeron noted. "He's done some good things lately."
* Most of today, technicians installing new speakers and a new sound system in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium were working to tweak the acoustics in the stadium. Due to the stadium not being "uniform," there are some echo areas under some of the overhangs that have to be tweaked. The technicians will get it worked out as good as possible without people in the stadium and then will work out the rest of the kinks in the first couple of games with fans in the seats. The stadium being full of people affects the accoustics quite drastically, we were told today, but first the echoes in an empty stadium have to be identified and fixed. One thing is certain - it's got plenty of volume!
* From the Did-You-Know? department. . . Redshirt freshman OL Maurice Miller has lost down from when he reported 15 months ago at 362 pounds to 313. Counterpart Tim Henderson, also a RS frosh learning the ropes at center, has gone from 343 to 310. Both said it has affected their movement and conditioning drastically and they both said they now have confidence they will have good careers at Ole Miss due to the makeover of their bodies. "I had asthma really bad last year and in high school. It hardly affects me now. Losing the weight was the best thing I ever did," said Miller.
* When Cortez Kennedy addressed the team, he spoke highly of Coach O and what Orgeron meant in his life and career. He also stressed to the team that there is no substitute for sheer effort. He related how he basically had no more raw ability than a lot of players, but his desire took him to the top and it could do the same for any of them.
* Here's a personnel update from today: OL Ryan Jones - did not practice. . . OT Reid Neely - did not practice. . . TB Brandon Jacobs - did not practice. . . MLB Patrick Willis - dressed in Blue jersey signifying no contact. . . WLB Kelvin Robinson - Blue jersey. . . C Darryl Harris dressed in a White offensive jersey today and went through all live drills. . . DT Peria Jerry dressed out today, but was held out of contact drills. . . WR Milton Collins was not at practice.
* For now, senior Tony Bonds appears to have the edge as the number one center. Harris has not returned to form yet and Bonds seems to have edged out Ben Boyce this week. Tony has some experience at center and gives the Rebs a little more pop in the middle of the OL.
* WRs Taye Biddle and Mike Espy are the deep men on kickoff returns, but if they were to have to take a return off, Larry Kendrick and Mico McSwain would be the next guys in line for return duties.
* We told you yesterday that frosh TB Antonio Turner had turned up his production a notch or two the last few days. Today he was rewarded with a White jersey replacing his Black scout team jersey. Turner actually got a few number one reps at tailback, splitting some of the periods with Alan Abrams, who appears will start against the Commodores. Mico McSwain and Jamal Pittman split number two snaps and Pitt also ran some with the ones.
* In running game drills on field two, Robert Lane was the QB today as Micheal Spurlock and Ethan Flatt stayed on the top practice field doing pass drills. Here's a breakdown of the results of the running game period: (Ones) Abrams 6 run (Quentin Taylor on the tackle). . . Abrams 2 (Robert Russell). . . Turner 2 (Jeremy Garrett). . . Turner 9 (Jamarca Sanford). . . (Twos) McSwain 0 (Rogers Loche). . . McSwain -4 (McKinley Boykin). . . McSwain 1 (Gary Riggs). . .Pittman 1 (Boykin). . . (Ones) Pittman 8. . . Pittman 5 (Taylor). . . Lane keeper for 8. . . Abrams 2 (Michael Bozeman). . . (Twos) Abrams long TD run. . . Turner 5 (Bryant Thomas). . . Turner 5 (Riggs). . . Turner 1 (Loche). . . (Ones) Abrams 0 (Charles Clark). . . Abrams 0 (Russell).
* OC Noel Mazzone is making sure Robert Lane is ready to go if anything happens to Spurlock. Today, Lane ran the number one offense in a couple of periods and looked sharp doing it. Spurlock will be the starter, but Lane is ready to roll just in case.
* The Rebels had a brief Red Zone passing drill from the five-yard line with the one offense going against the two defense. The offense scored on a pass from Spurlock to WR Mike Espy on the second play from scrimmage.
* In field goals today, frosh Justin Sparks was 2-3 from short range, Matt Hinkle was 1-2 on a pair of 32-yard attempts, and Will Moseley was 0-1 from 35 yards out. Still a bit of inconsistency, considering the lengths of those attempts.
* The threat of lightning forced the Rebs inside for the team period. Here's a breakdown: (Ones) Spurlock to Robert Hough 6. . . Pass brtoken up by CB Trumaine McBride. . . Spurlock to Kendrick 10. . . Spurlock to Hill 12. . . (Twos) Lane intercepted by FS Charles Clark on a tipped pass. . . Lane keep for 4. . . Abrams TD run. . . Lane to Kendrick 7. . . (Ones) Spurlock keeper for 11. . . Abrams 4. . . Spurlock to Abrams 8. . . Spurlock keeper for 6. . . (Twos) QB sack Dedrick Clark. . . Turner 1 (Chris Bowers). . . Pittman 5 (Dontae Reed). . . Lane to Kendrick 7. . . (Ones) Incomplete pass. . . Spurlock to Mario Hill 30. . . QB sack Garry Pack. . . QB sack Michael Bozeman. . . (Twos) Lane to Burnell Wallace 12. . . QB sack Dontae Reed. . . Lane to Wallace 8. . . B. Brown blocked pass on blitz.
* At the end of the team period, the Rebels ran their Red Zone offense for one possession from the 20. It was ones against ones. . . Pressure from Jeremy Garrett caused incompletion. . . Incompletion on slant that was thrown behind Hill. . . Spurlock keeper for 8. . . Spurlock to Kendrick for 6 and the first down on fourth down. . . First and goal from the 6 - Pittman scores up the middle. . . 1st and goal at the 2 - Spurlock stopped by Patrick Willis. . . 2nd and 1 - Spurlock scores. . . Last play of the day: 4th and 1 at the goal - TD run by Spurlock.
* The Rebs will practice tomorrow in shells at 3:30 p.m.
|Photos by Chuck Rounsaville|