After a morning walk-through, Ole Miss coaches and players took to the Indoor Practice Facility field for the annual "Meet the Rebels Day", as more than 1,500 fans picked up posters, schedule cards and autographs.
Afterwards, the Rebels went to the practice fields for a full-squad, two-hour workout.
"It was a balanced scrimmage," said Ole Miss head coach Ed Orgeron. "The guys came out a little slow, but I thought we battled back and forth. I wanted to see BenJarvus (Green-Ellis) run the ball, and I thought he did a pretty good job. The offense made some big plays on third down."
A junior running back, Green-Ellis rushed for 79 yards on 17 carries to lead the Rebel offense. With quarterback Brent Schaeffer resting, Seth Adams took all of the first-team snaps and completed 15-of-33 passes for 204 yards and a 16-yard touchdown to Robert Lane.
"He showed that he can go in there and run the offense," said Orgeron of Adams.
Lane hauled in four passes for 70 yards, while fellow tight end Lawrence Lilly collected two catches for 20 yards.
"I was really pleased with the tight ends," Orgeron said. "I thought they made plays today and a lot of plays on third down. Robert and Lawrence Lilly made some big catches. We're starting to use the tight end more. I think those guys are basically our best receivers, because they have more experience."
Sophomore wideout Mike Wallace, working with both the first and second units, led all Rebel receivers with six receptions for 95 yards and a pair of TDs. Freshman Shay Hodge had five grabs for 56 yards.
Senior All-American linebacker Patrick Willis shined on the defensive side with nine total tackles, including five solos, two TFLs, a sack and a pass break-up. Safety Charles Clark and linebackers Garry Pack and Quentin Taylor each registered seven total tackles, while cornerback Nate Banks posted five solo stops, two pass break-ups, an interception and a sack - one of eight total recorded by the Rebel first and second defenses.
"(Banks) had a big day and a good camp," Orgeron said. "Nate is quiet. He just does his job and makes a big play every once in a while. He has what it takes to be a good cornerback."
Freshman tailback Cordera Eason broke free for a 40-yard run and finished with 10 rushes for 77 yards and two scores with the second team. Sophomore Mico McSwain piled up 40 yards on the ground on seven attempts with a touchdown.
Quarterback Billy Tapp was 10-of-18 passing for 105 yards and a TD, while Michael Herrick hooked up with Marshay Green for 39 yards and Kendrick Lewis for 36 in completing 4-of-7 passes for 84 yards and a scoring toss.
The team concluded its two-a-day workouts, as Ole Miss begins fall classes on Monday. The team will not practice today or Monday.
The Rebels open the 2006 campaign September 3 at home against Memphis. The ESPN Sunday contest is set for 3:30 p.m. CT.
- By Ole Miss Sports Information
|Photos by Chuck Rounsaville|