"Our defense was on today," said Rebel Coach Ed Orgeron after watching the 2 1/2 hour, full-pad workout on the practice fields. "We got after the offense pretty good for most of the practice."
Overall, Coach O was pleased with the work as the Rebels prepare for the invasion of the Arkansas Razorbacks Saturday at 1 p.m. in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
"We've been getting some unseasonably hot weather - great weather," said Orgeron. "Maybe it will be hot Saturday. We have worked well in the heat this week."
In team drills, which were full contact, the Rebel defense gave up a few plays ranging in the 20-yard category, but for the most part the defense controlled the line of scrimmage and didn't allow much operating room for the offense.
"I liked the way our DL practiced today. They were aggressive and active," Orgeron stated as he was jogging off the field. "It was what we were looking for because we know that Arkansas is good up front and they have a very good running back who will come right at us."
* There hasn't been an official announcement from Ole Miss yet, but it is believed freshman LB LeRon King has opted to quit the team. King, from Miami, FL, played on special teams this year. We heard through the grapevine that he didn't feel like he "fit" at Ole Miss. Dustin Forston, his high school teammate, quit the team in August. King started the year as a defensive end and turned some heads with his speed off the edge, but was moved to LB early in the season.
* The following players did not practice today: LEO Chris Bowers, FB Jason Cook, TE Keith Houston, TB Antonio Turner, LB Rogers Loche, FB Kendrick Perry, MLB Robert Russell, TB Hiram White, TE Lawrence Lilly, OT Reid Neely and OL Ryan Jones. We do not know the status of any of them in terms of playing against Arkansas. We'll watch their participation tomorrow and Thursday to get a better feel for their status.
* TB Mico McSwain and DE Corvelli Haynes were in Blue jerseys today signifying no contact, but both went through contact drills and appeared to be fine.
* In punt drills, frosh Rob Park kicked five times for a 48.2 yard average. Park had an excellent day with a slight tailwind behind him. Will Moseley kicked three times for a 42.8 average.
* In run game drills, the defense was on fire. Here's a recap: (Ones) McSwain 2 (Willis). . . McSwain 1 (Bozeman). . . Kendrick -2 (Boykin). . . Kendrick 9 (Willis). . . (Twos) McSwain 1 (Pack). . . McSwain 2 (Jerry). . . McSwain -1 (Jerry). . . McSwain 8. . . (Ones) Kendrick -3 (Sanford). . . Kendrick 1 (Mitchell). . . Kendrick 2 (Dedrick Clark). . . Kendrick 0 (Willis). . . (Twos) McSwain 2 (Reed). . . Flatt keep 7 (Jerry). . . McSwain 6. . . McSwain -1 (Jerry).
Notes on the run game drill: Due to a shortage of players, some ones, including Pack, Flatt and McSwain, took some reps with the ones and the twos. . . Freshman DT Peria Jerry was dominant in his reps. He was the player Coach O felt he'd be when he signed him out of South Panola HS. "Peria, and all the freshmen, are starting to develop more consistency in practice and it's showing in their production," said Orgeron. "Peria was awesome today and will cotninue to get better and better." . . MLB Patrick Willis is getting used to not having the club on his hand and it's showing in his play. "He can use his hands more," said O. "He can grab with that hand too, which makes a difference." Willis agreed: "I feel good. I tested it today. I got hit on it a couple of times today and it was fine. I was a little nervous to get it hit, but it was OK. I can now reach out and grab a runner with that hand where before with the club I had to wrap my whole arm around him to get him to the ground. It's going to help me," Willis explained.
* In passing game drills, Flatt was 3-5 for 52 yards. He was also sacked twice, once by Kelvin Robinson and once by Jamarca Sanford. The defense threw a little more blitz at him today and twice he was not able to throw the ball away the rush was on him so quickly.
* In field goal work, Matt Hinkle was 10-13 from short range and Will Moseley was 4-5 from long range (outside the 45).
* In team drills, there was more give-and-take, with both sides of the ball making plays. Here's the breakdown: (Ones) McSwain dropped pass from Flatt. . . Incomplete to Biddle. . . Kendrick 22 run. . . Pass borken up by Nate Banks. . . (Twos) Spurlock pass dropped by Burnell Wallace. . . Spurlock to Lane 25. . . Spurlock to Wallace 8. . . McSwain 6 run (Pack). . . (Ones) Flatt incomplete. . . Mario Hill 6 run. . . QB sack Michael Bozeman. . . Flatt to Mike Espy 9. . . (Twos, Lane at QB) McSwain 12. . . McSwain 1 (Lamarck Armour). . . Lane to Kendrick 26. . . McSwain 6 (Quentin Taylor). . . (Ones) Flatt to Espy 4 (Robinson). . . McSwain 12. . . McSwain -1 (Bozeman). . . QB sack Mitchell. . . (Twos) Flatt to Lane 8. . . Pass broken uip Terrell Jackson. . . Throw away by Flatt. . . Flatt to Matt Pierce 16. . . (Ones) McSwain 2 (Robinson). . . QB sack Willis. . . Flatt to Biddle 11. . . Flatt keeper 6.
* The Rebels will practice tomorrow at 3:45 p.m.
Practice Report: Tuesday
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