"It was a beautiful workout," Orgeron noted. "The guys were fresh and were coming off three days where they busted their tails in pads. I saw a lot of energy and crispness in execution."
Orgeron said the Rebs went through every detail and scenario imagineable in a game.
"We will normally be in shells on Thursdays, but since we had an extra day of pads Sunday during the open week, we went in shorts today," he explained. "We finalized everything we want to do - situations, substitutions, plays we want to run, defensive sets we will use, everything. We practiced very fast today and covered a lot of ground. The players kept up with the pace, physically and mentally."
Orgeron went over some personnel decisions with the sparse media in attendance.
"On field goals, Matt Hinkle will handle the short ones and Will Moseley will kick the longer ones," he began. "We will use freshman Rob Park to hold on all placements. He will replace QB Micheal Spurlock there.
"We have not made a decision on who will be the starting center. We consider Darryl Harris the starter there and if he heals up enough in the next two days, he will start. Freshman Michael Oher will start at right guard - he's done well and deserves it.
"We have also been getting freshman TB Antonio Turner more reps this week. He will play. We are looking for anyone who will compete there and he's done a good job with that. We will start Alan Abrams at tailback. He's had a good week and has earned it.
"On defense, there will be no changes in the starting lineup from the Memphis game."
When asked about his main concerns out of Vandy, Orgeron didn't stray far off the beaten path.
"It's Jay Cutler, their quarterback," he said quickly. "He is a precise player who can do it all - throw, run the option, whatever. We have to be able to get to him with the four-man rush because he's too good to blitz a lot. You have to be selective and mix things up with him."
A sticking point with Coach O coming out of the Memphis game was the lack of a running game. Has that improved?
"We've certainly worked on it hard enough. We have made the effort to improve it from every angle - scheme, personnel, plays we'll call. Whether we have improved it remains to be seen. I guess we'll find out Saturday," he allowed.
It appears the starting lineup will be as follows: (Offense) LT Bobby Harris, LG David Traxler, C Darryl Harris/Tony Bonds, RG Michael Oher, RT Tre' Stallings, TE Robert Hough, WRs Mike Espy, Mario Hill, Taye Biddle, QB Micheal Spurlock, FB Jason Cook, TB Alan Abrams. . . (Defense) DE Jayme Mitchell, DT Jeremy Garrett, NT Michael Bozeman, LEO Corvelli Haynes, WLB Kelvin Robinson, MLB Patrick Willis, SLB Garry Pack, CBs Trumaine McBride and Travis Johnson, FS Charles Clark, SS Jamarca Sanford. . . (Specialists) Placements: Matt Hinkle (short kicks), Will Moseley (long FGs and KO). Deep Snapper: Sidney McLaurin. Punter: Will Moseley. Kickoff Return: Mike Espy, Taye Biddle. Punt Return: Mike Espy.
Based on the rotations practiced quite a bit this week, the Rebs are likely to use nine OL again this week, the starting five, plus RG Thomas Eckers, LG Andrew Wicker, Bonds and C Ben Boyce. in the event of one of the starting tackles needing a rest, Traxler will most likely move outside and Wicker will move in to LG.
Defensive Tackle McKinley Boykin had a "better" week of practice and is likely to get a lot of snaps Saturday. It is unlikely frosh Peria Jerry will play - he did not practice today, so the Rebs might be in a three-man rotation with Boykin being the swing guy, backing up Bozeman and Garrett. If not, look for Brandon Jenkins to play some DT or possibly Dedrick Clark.
OL Ryan Jones, OT Reid Neely and TB Brandon Jacobs did not practice today. . . Peria Jerry dressed out but did not get any reps. . . WR Milton Collins, who missed practice yesterday, returned to practice today.
In the final drill of the day, the Rebs were put into two-minute situations. On two possessions, the offense missed "game-winning" field goals of 45 yards and 55 yards. On their final possession, Spurlock found Taye Biddle for a 40-yard TD.
The Rebs will ahve a brief walk-through tomorrow at 12:20 p.m. and then head to Nashville. They will ahve a 45-minute walk-through tomorrow afternoon at 5:30 in the Vandy Stadium.
We will not file a comprehensive practice report tomorrow, but we will report any changes from today's workout, if there are any.
|Photos by Chuck Rounsaville|