The workout was pleased with today's workout and the whole week's preparation.
"We had good energy today and all week. The guys are sticking with it. They don't have their heads down," said Orgeron. "It was a good Thursday practice today - the guys seem eager to play and accomplished a lot in practice this week."
Orgeron has concerns, but they haven't changed much in the past month.
"We are young at middle linebacker without Patrick Willis in there, but we've worked hard on fitting our runs against a very good run team," he began. "We will also have to tackle well and put a lot of emphasis on that this week. We will have to tackle well and get our fits.
"We have been trying to shore up our offensive line play, get Mico McSwain the ball more and improve our quarterback play. Tennessee is very good and very physical up front, like they always are. They are big and can move and are well-coached. We also have to be sound in our kicking game."
None of that was a revelation of something Orgeron didn't already express or know previously, but he emphasized he's aware of the problems and he and the staff are working dilgently to correct them.
"As I said Monday, we're going to keep getting after it and that's what this team did this week in an effort to get better," he added.
Freshman Rob Park did all the punting today in practice and averaged 44.5 yards per kick on seven punts, but Orgeron said Will Moseley will punt against Tennessee.
"Rob has improved a lot in the last couple of weeks and really made a leap this week, but we'll go with Will this week," he noted. "I'm excited about Rob getting more comfortable and kicking like we know he's capable of kicking though. We feel good about his future."
* OT Reid Neely, OL Ryan Jones, TB Bandon Jacobs and MLB Patrick Willis did not practice today. Willis will not play against UT unless a miracle takes place in the next 48 hours. He was running more crisply and less gingerly today and he has started cutting in half-speed, but he's not ready to play yet.
* WR Mario Hill dressed out today, but he did not rep in team drills. His status is uncertain for Saturday, but if he's physically able to go, he's mentally prepared himself. It's a wait-and-see proposition for him.
* SS Jamarca Sanford, who missed last week with a knee bruise, was full speed today and figures to start against UT. He has been with the number one defense all week.
* FS Charles Clark and S B. Brown were in Blue jerseys today, but did practice full speed and are expected to play against the Vols.
* The OL combination of yesterday - OTs Bobby Harris and Tre' Stallings, RG Michael Oher, C Darryl Harris and LG Andrew Wicker - remained today and will be the starting OL unit against UT. "We tried Darryl at guard and Tony Bonds at center earlier this week, but we felt we could not get Darryl ready in time for UT, so we switched him back," said Orgeron. "Hopefully, this will be a combination we can stick wtih and try to gain some continuity on the OL."
* Robert Russell will again replace Willis and hopefully he will be a week wiser and a week less "green." "Robert's had a good week trying to correct the things he did wrong against Wyoming, but he's still a freshman who is in a hard spot. He's doing his best," Coach O noted.
* S&C Coaches Aaron Ausmus and Noel Durfey are both UT graduates. Both are high-energy people to begin with, but they have been even moreso this week. They'd like nothing better than to bring home a "W" over their alma mater.
* In team drills, the following was the breakdown: (Ones) McSwain 4 (Kelvin Robinson). . . Spurlock to Pittman 7. . . Spurlock to McSwain 15. . . Spurlock to McSwain 0 (Mitchell). . . (Twos) Robert Lane sacked by Dustin Mouzon. . . Antonio Turner 2 (Tyson Andrus). . . Lane to Taye Biddle 17. . . (Ones) Spurlock pass knocked down by Michael Bozeman. . . McSwain 8. . . McSwain 0 (McKinley Boykin). . . Spurlock to Larry Kendrick 8. . . (Twos) Lane incomplete. . . Lane pass breakup Nate Banks. . . Lane incomplete. . . (Ones in two-minute drills) Spurlock to Mike Espy 11. . . Moseley 47 field goal no good. . . (Next possession) Spurlock picked off by Trumaine McBride. . . (Twos) Lane to Jason Cook 12. . . Robert Bass missed 47 field goal.
* The Rebs wrapped up practice in the weight room with some arm and upper body work they jokingly call "TV arms." Getting them pumped for TV!
* The Rebels will have a walk-through tomorrow and then fly to Knoxville tomorrow afternoon. They will walk through Neyland Stadium around 5 p.m. We will not have a walk-through report tomorrow - we will be headed toward Knoxville.
|Photos by Chuck Rounsaville|