Practice Report: Wednesday

Coach Ed Orgeron put the Rebels through a tough 2 1/2 hour practice today in full pads under broiling Mississippi heat and was pleased with the results, particularly that senior QB Micheal Spurlock, broken finger and all, came back to practice. Read about it inside.

After the Rebs got an "attitude adjustment" yesterday for a poor practice, they opted to respond with a good workout today. Coach Ed Orgeron was pleased with the 2 1/2 hour workout in full pads with the heat index hovering around 100 degrees.

"We had a pretty good day today," said Orgeron. "We were crisp and did a lot of good things. We did a lot today on both sides of the ball and both sides had good moments. I was pleased."

Orgeron was happy to see senior QB Micheal Spurlock, who has a broken middle finger on his non-throwing (left) hand. The finger was encased in a metal splint, padding and tape, but Spurlock was able to take snaps, handling the ball fairly effectively and throw it as well as he has all year while running the second team offense (Ethan Flatt had to leave early to attend an afternoon class).

"I love the fact that Micheal came back today," said Coach O. "He's tough and he competes. That's what this program is all about. I love it."

Orgeron believes Spurlock has a chance to play against Wyoming after earlier this week saying there was probably no way.

"He has a chance. He looked pretty good to me, but we haven't discussed it as a staff in terms of who's starting or how far along he might be in three days," he said. "We will look at all the factors, plus we have been pretty pleased with what Robert (Lane) has been able to do this week to this point."

O was asked about other players that are seemingly creeping into the picture in one capacity or another. For instance, WR Milton Collins had a monster day today catching several Lane and Spurlock aerials, including one deep pass from Spurlock with tight coverage from CB Nate Banks.

"Milton is coming along fine. I think his shoulder is well now. We need him to come on. We need another receiver or two to step up where we can trust them to perform in games," Orgeron noted. "We are taking a hard look at Burnell Wallace, too, but he's raw right now. We'll see, but we need them to do it if possible."

Spurlock was asked about today's experience and responded as Micheal always does - with a broad smile and optimism.

"I'm doing the best I can. Certainly, it's (the splint) is not comfortable, but I can adjust. I have to use two hands on handoffs, especially to the left, but I guess technically I'm supposed to be doin that anyway," he smiled. "Getting the snaps was fine today. I don't think we had a bad exchange. And the splint did not affect my throwing at all. In fact, I threw the ball very well today. I felt rested and strong."

Another player gradually getting back into the groove of things is DT McKinley Boykin, who has been taking reps with the one defense this week in a three-man rotation with Jeremy Garrett and Michael Bozeman.

"I'm working hard to get my playing time up and I feel better health-wise this week than I have felt all year," said Boykin. "My knee is not nearly as sore as it has been and it's showing in my play. I'm giving all the effort I can give and am working hard to get back to 100%. Hopefully this will be my week to shine."

Senior RT Tre' Stallings was asked about the progress of frosh RG Michael Oher, who had his first collegiate start against Vandy and graded fairly well, all things conidered.

"Mike's doing well. He's so good physically and I'm there to help him mentally. I know his assignments and mine and I can keep him straight when he doesn't understand something. I'm enjoying being his mentor and I tell him not to hesitate to ask me something if he's not sure," said Stallings. "It's better to ask before the play that to mess up from not knowing and then ask after the play. He's learning to lean on me when he has doubts. Physically, he's as good as any of us."

Random Notes:

* The following players did not practice today: MLB Patrick Willis (probably UT game before he returns, according to Orgeron). . . OT Reid Neely. . . OL Ryan Jones. . . WR Mario Hill (doubtful, according to O). . . Tb Brandon Jacobs (dressed out but did not rep today). . . SS Jamarca Sanford (may try to practice tomorrow, but O called him doubtful for th Wyoming game). . . . FS Charles Clark was in a Blue jersey signifying no contact, but he practiced with the first team defense all day.

* Early in practice, the OL had a new number one - Andrew Wicker at Left Guard. He alternated with the number one OL with Thomas Eckers. David Traxler also got reps there as well as reps at left tackle. . . Darryl Harris got all number one center reps.

* Junior WR Milton Collins was moved up today from the scout team to the varsity and had several nice catches that drew the attention of the coaches. Carlos Suggs and Matt Pierce were moved to the scout team.

* Chris Bowers and Dontae Reed split number two snaps at middle linebacker behind Robert Russell, who is expected to start in place of Willis. Bowers made a couple of nice plays, but appears a little out of synch at MLB right now. Reed got overpowered a couple of times in the middle, but held his own the rest of the day and made some good plays, including one QB sack from the MLB slot.

* In running game drills, the defense took home the trophy today. The following is a wrap-up: (Ones) Abrams -1 (Bozeman). . . Abrams 2 (garrett). . . Jason Cook 5 (Kelvin Robinson). . . Abrams 2 (Bozeman). . . (Twos) Mico McSwain -2 (Dontae Reed). . . McSwain 3 (Brandon Jenkins). . . McSwain 7 (Bryant Thomas). . . (Ones) Abrams 0 (K-Rob). . . Abrams 2 (Bozeman). . . Abrams 8 (Charles Clark). . . Antonio Turner 4 (B. Brown). . . Turner 1 (K-Rob). . . (Twos) Turner 1 (Dedrick Clark). . . Jamal Pittman 2 (Viciente DeLoach). . . Pittman 5 (Chris Bowers). . . Pittman 8 (Bryant Thomas).

* In field goal kicking, the Rebs had two units going at once and I was only able to keep up with the longer attempts. Robert Bass was 3-4, hitting from 32, 37, 44 and missing from 41. . . Justin Sparks was 1-4, hitting from 37 but missing from 35, 43 and 45. . . Christian Alberricin was 2-3, connecting from 35 and 40 but missing from 43. . . Will Moseley was 2-4, hitting from 46 and 48 but missing from 49 and 50. . . Matt Hinkle kicked all short field goals and, I was told, was 4-4 on PAT-range placements. Bass was 6-6 from the shorter ranges, according to "OleCoach."

* In team scrimmage drills, the following is a breakdown: (Ones) Lane to Biddle 9. . . Incomplete deep. . . Lane to Cook 6. . . Lane to Abrams 18. . . (Twos) Spurlock to Collins 8. . . Spurlock to Collins 9. . . Incomplete. . . Spurlock to Hough 5. . . (Ones) Biddle drop. . . Incomplete. . . Incomplete. . . QB sack by K-Rob. . . (Twos) Spurlock to Seth Michaelson 8. . . Spurlock to Larry Kendrick 15. . . Spurlock to Collins 40. . . Spurlock to Collins 12. . . (Ones, froma the 25) Lane keep 5. . . Abrams 11. . . Mico 4. . . Lane intercepted in end zone by Trumaine McBride. . . (Twos) 25 TD from Spurlock to Biddle. . . Turner 10 TD run. . . TD pass from Spurlock to Kendrick from 5 yards out. (3 plays, 3 scores.)

The Rebs will practice tomorrow at 3:45 p.m.

Sidebar: After practice, the "Rebel Chopper" from Orage County Choppers was showcased in the IPF for the team and coaches. See our photo gallery for a couple of shots.

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