"We did a good job today in the runnin game period. I thought we ran the ball with some toughness and we had some movement up front," he analyzed. "We will have to come alive early against Alabama in the running game. I was happy to see a good run drill period."
The Rebels were working without two starters on the offensive side of the ball - LG Andrew Wicker and TB Mico McSwain.
"I'm not sure about Andrew's availability Saturday at this point. He may be out," Orgeron cotinued. "Mico, though, will probably be back. He just needed some rest. His arm/elbow is hurting him a little so we just decided to hold him out and let him heal up some more."
In Wicker's absence, Thomas Eckers moved into the number one LG slot. Freshman TB Antonio Turner took McSwain's reps at TB and Alan Abrams, who had a couple of runs that drew praise from RB Coach Frank Wilson in team drills, was the TB with the number two offense.
Center Darryl Harris returned to practice today and went with the number one offense all day and in all contact drills. He appeared to hold up well after missing most of last week and Saturday's game against The Citadel with back spasms.
LEO Corvelli Haynes (shoulder) did not work in contact drills today, but he did dress out in a Blue jersey, signifying no contact. . . . WLB Kelvin Robinson also dressed in a Blue jersey, as the coaches opted to continue resting his shoulder that has been hurting some the past three or four weeks. . . DT Jeremy Garrett also dressed in a Blue jersey and was held out of contact drills. Garrett has been in a three-man rotation with Michael Bozeman and McKinley Boykin with the number one defense, but today they carried the load without Jeremy in contact drills and team periods.
Orgeron, as is his practice, did not seem fazed by the injuries. "As I have said all year, injuries are part of the game and you just have to deal with them. We have some experienced players to take the place of the guys who can't go on Saturday and we will be fine," he stated, specifically about Wicker and Haynes, who may or may not be able to play.
* In stretch today, Coach O threw some challenges at the Rebels and got the upbeat response he was looking for. "Alabama is coming to your town to take you stuff - what are you going to do about it? They are talking about national championships, not Ole Miss. They are going to get all your stuff and leave town, they think without a challenge." The vocal players on the team were giving him a "no way" response, which pleased him.
* Frosh Rob Park had a productive day punting. In eight kicks, he averaged 43.8 yards per boot with a long of 55. Park's hang time has improved quite a bit in the last two weeks as he has become more comfortable with the environment he's now kicking in.
* Frosh Quentin Taylor took most of the number one reps on defense in place of Kelvin Robinson at WLB and he made plays. "Quentin is a smart player who is active and is catching on more and more to what we are doing in our defensive system," explained Coach O. "We are comfortable with him in the lineup."
* In pass scale drills, two plays stood out. . . Senior WR Mario Hill made a catch similar to the one injured Prothro of Alabama made against USM when he reached around both sides of CB Trumaine McBride, who had tight coverage on him, and caught a Micheal Spurlock aerial for 25 yards. Beautiful. . . Senior WR Mike Espy caught a short slant pass from Spurlock, but was instantly flattened by MLB Patrick Willis on a clean, solid lick that jarred the ball loose. Willis, clubbed hand and all, scooped up the fumble and scored with it. . . Two excellent, athletic plays by Hill and Willis.
* In field goal work, Robert Bass (with Park holding) was 6-8 from short to mid range. . . Will Moseley, kicking into a gusting breeze, was not as fortunate, missing several attempts from beyond the 45-yard range.
* In team drills, the plays broke down as follows: (Ones) Incomplete Bozeman tipped at the line. . . Spurlock pass to Biddle intercepted by CB Travis Johnson on a Biddle tip. . . Pass batted down at line by blitzing SS Jamarca Sanford. . . Spurlock to Pittman 7. . . (Twos) Turner 0 (Dedrick Clark). . . Lane incomplete - tipped at line by Brandon Jenkins. . . Incomplete. . . WB sack by Dontae Reed and B. Brown. . . (Ones) Spurlock to Robert Hough 18. . . Abrams 0 (Bozeman/Willis). . . Incomplete pass with pressure from blitzing Sanford. . . Incomplete deep to Biddle on overthrow. . . (Twos) Lane incomplete to Milton Collins. . . Turner 1 (Russell). . . Turner -1 (Peria Jerry). . . Turner 6 (Rogers Loche). . . (Ones) Spurlock to Biddle 40 yarder. . . Drop Espy. . . QB sack Sanford. . . Spurlock to Biddle 7. . . (Twos) Lane to Hough 12. . . Lane keeper 6. . . Incomplete. . . Incomplete.
* The Rebs are set to practice in full pads again tomorrow at 3:45 p.m.
|Photos by Chuck Rounsaville|