Practice Report: Tuesday

Rebel Coach Ed Orgeron said in his Monday press conference yesterday the Tuesday practice would be 'tough.' He was not joking. The Rebs went through a marathon 3-hour full-pad practice, culminating with a 55-play scrimmage of mostly 'young' players, today. Read about it inside.

If anyone believes Ole Miss Coach Ed Orgeron is content with his team being 3-5 thus far, forget it.

If anyone believes he's thrown in the towel on this season, rethink your stance.

In a marathon practice more like spring training than the "norm" in an open week, Coach O put the Rebs through a grueling 3-hour, full-pad practice with quite a bit of full contact.

During his press conference yesterday, he promised a "tough" practice and delivered on his promise.

"We got after it," said Orgeron. "We worked the young guys, we worked a lot of situations, we worked the running game really hard, we worked individual fundamentals - we covered a lot of ground today."

Of course, all eyes are on Ethan Flatt, who is now quarterbacking the number one offense.

"Ethan seems to be doing well," said O. "He has a grasp of the offense and is handling the responsibility well to this point."

At the end of practice, Orgeron held a 55-play (roughly) scrimmage that did not include many seniors.

"We wanted to take this opportunity to get the young guys some reps. It's never too early," he continued. "We broke the ones, twos and threes up into two units and got after it for about an hour with full contact. It was great work."

Random Notes:

* Usually the team is broken up into varsity and scout team players for a regular practice. Today, they were either in a white jersey (defense) or a red jersey (offense). There was no scout team work today.

* Several players were held out of practice due to injury. OG Thomas Eckers, TE Keith Houston, WR J.D. Lawhorn, FB Kendrick Perry, TB Mico McSwain, FB Jason Cook, CB Nate Banks, CB Trumaine McBride, CB Travis Johnson, and DE Chris Bowers were held out. . . DE Corvelli Haynes and WLB Kelvin Robinson were in Blue jerseys.

* The hard-hitting practice did not come without costs. A few players had to come out of practice due to injuries, but none appeared serious.

* Junior WR Milton Collins returned to practice today after being out a couple of weeks to take care of the "personal problems." . . DE Reterio Brown - who was suspended - returned to practice yesterday.

* The practice opened with a several periods of individual drills focusing on fundamentals - tackling, blocking, alignment, assignment, technique, etc. "The most critical area we need to improve in is fundamentals," said Orgeron yesterday. "We will attack that this week."

* For the first time since August, the Rebs had a brief period of board drills - one-on-one, man-on-man, grind-it-out hitting. Very physical and very beneficial work.

* In run game drills, the offense did a much better job despite not having McSwain in the backfield. Antonio Turner, Alan Abrams and BenJarvus Green-Ellis all ripped off nice gains against the one, two and three defenses. Green-Ellis was particluarly impressive, knocking off several long runs throughout the day and scoring several TDs. . . . All-in-all, from our untrained eye, we'd say the offense had the edge today in run game drills.

* The pass scale drill was cut short due to all three of the top corners - McBride, Johnson and Banks - being out, but on the first two tosses of the day by Flatt, he hit Mario Hill for a 25-yard TD and Mike Espy for a 25-yard TD. Excellent throws to receivers who were fairly well-covered.

* In field goal drills today, Matt Hinkle was 5-8 and Robert Bass was 6-9. All kicks were inside the 40-yard range.

* In team drills, prior to the scrimmage, the breakdown was as follows: (Ones) Flatt to Hill 20. . . Flatt incomplete to Espy (drop). . . Flatt to Pittman (8). . . Flatt to Brooks 6. . . (Twos) Green-Ellis 35 run. . . Hiram White 30 run. . . Spurlock incomplete deep. . . Green-Ellis 1 (Rogers Loche). . . (Threes) Lane to Collins 10. . . Lane to Hough 8. . . White 1 (Brandon Thomas). . . Lane to Burnell Wallace 30. . . (Ones) Flatt to Lane 13. . . Flatt to Brooks 5. . . Incomplete to Espy. . . Alan Abrams 3 (Lamark Armour). . . (Twos) Green-Ellis 10. . . Green-Ellis long TD. . . Lane Spurlock to Lane 18. . . Spurlock to Espy 8. . . (Threes) Lane pressured by Dedrick Clark. . . White 1 (Garrett). . . White 6. . . (Ones) Flatt to Brooks 13. . . Flatt to Biddle incomplete (drop). . . Flatt to Espy 11. . . Abrams 17 run. . . Flatt to Abrams 14. . . (Twos) Spurlock 2 (Peria Jerry). . . Incomplete. . . Green-Ellis 16. . . Green-Ellis 3 (Garrett). . . (Threes) Lane to Hough 6. . . Flatt to Pittman 13. . . Flatt incomplete deep (Jerry pressure). . . Lane intercepted by Gary Riggs, returned for TD. . . (Ones, 1st down from D 30) Flatt to Hough dropped. . . Flatt to Hill 19. . . Abrams 6. . . Abrams 5 for the score. . . (Twos) Spurlock to Wallace 10. . . Spurlock to Lane 10. . . Green-Ellis 10 TD run. . . (From the 5) Spurlock to Suggs TD.

* We did our best to chart the scrimmage, but the action was fast and furious and we can't guarantee the complete accuracy, but here's the breakdown we have in shorthand: (Again, this was not done first team, second team, etc - the personnel was somewhat random with a lot of young players sprinkled in. It was close to being a look at next year's available personnel as the seniors played very limited snaps.) Flatt to Lane 8. . . Flatt to Suggs 13. . . Flatt overthrow. . . Green-Ellis 11. . . Green-Ellis 9. . . Flatt to Biddle 12. . . QB sack Brandon Jenkins. . . White 15 run. . . Pass breakup Charles Clark. . . Pass breakup Charles Clark. . . Lane to Espy 6 (Tyson Andrus). . . Turner 9 run. . . Turner fumble Andrus recovered. . . Abrams 7 (Andrus). . . Abrams 60 run. . . Abrams 4 run. . . Abrams 1 (Jerry). . . Abrams short TD plunge. . . Green-Ellis -2 (Armour). . . White 45 run. . . White fumble. . . Incomplete deep. . . Flatt to Wallace 6. . . Flatt to Suggs 6. . . Flatt to Biddle 1 (B. Brown). . . Abrams 20 run. . . Abrams -3 (LeRon King). . . Abrams 0 (Jerry). . . Turner 2 (Michael Hicks). . . Lane to Wallace 7. . . White fumble Loche returns 40. . . Flatt to Pittman 11. . . Incomplete deep to Lawrence Lilly. . . Green-Ellis 7. . . Flatt to Suggs 9. . . Green-Ellis 9. . . Green-Ellis 3 TD. . . Flatt to Lane 12. . . Flatt incomplete to Lane deep. . . White 1 (Brandon Thomas). . . Terrell Jackson intercepts Flatt returns 30 for TD. . . Turner 5 (loche). . . Turner 1 (Armour). . . Turner 1 (Loche). . . Flatt to Milton Collins 12. . . Green-Ellis 6. . . Green-Ellis 15. . . Flatt to Suggs 18. . . Green-Ellis 11. . . Green-Ellis short TD burst (the guy can find the end zone). . . Brandon Thomas fumble recovery. . . White -2 (Dedrick Clark). . . Lane 12 keeper. . . Abrams 1 (Jerry). . . Abrams -1 (King). . . Lane keeper 8. . . Turner 6. . . Flatt to Lane 15.

* The Rebels will practice tomorrow at 3:45 p.m.

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