"We had a mock game today and went thorugh everything," said Ole Miss Coach Ed Orgeron after putting his team through a 2 1/2-hour scrimmage-like practice where the players expected to play against Memphis went against the service team players. "I thought everything was very well-organized by our coaches and we had a good scrimmage out there. We covered just about everything you can cover. It worked out pretty well."
Coach O said this was the second time he had split his staff up in regard to some in the press box and some on the sidelines. The first time, the communication/operation was not as smooth as he would like. That wasn't the case today.
"We had to work out a couple of kinks from the first time, but this time all the communication from the sidelines to the press box went well," he said. "The communication from the sidelines to the field went well too. We did well with the play clock - that worked fine."
Specifically, Coach O mentioned the "usual suspects" of having good performances today.
"TB BenJarvus Green-Ellis had a real good day, and so did Mico McSwain. Patrick Willis did great on defense and QB Brent Schaeffer had some big-time plays. Those guys continue to play well," he mentioned. "The guys we expect to make plays made them today."
O did not initiate any wide receiver kudos, but he did mention freshman Dexter McCluster when asked a point blank question about the wideouts.
"Dexter had some good catches, but we were going against the service team, so it's hard to tell," he allowed.
Orgeron feels this practice was very helpful as the Rebels head toward game week.
"As coaches we can show the players things they could have done better. We can see things we should have done better as coaches. We can determine if we covered some situations enough. That's why we do it - to put ourselves in pressure situations and to test ourselves. We get to see our people perform under pressure and get used to those types of situations," he continued. "We can break down this film and make evaluations and corrections from it."
Coach Orgeron said the new rule, of starting the play clock when the ball is set, will not affect him and his staff much.
"You just have to be ready a little faster, that's all," Orgeron noted.
Coach O said there hasn't been much change in the kicking game since last week.
"We have the same candidates - nothing has really changed," he noted, referring to PKs Joshua Shene and Justin Sparks, P Rob Park and KO ace Will Moseley.
With the NCAA ruling denying Jerrell Powe today, O was asked if he will have to shift his plans for the defensive line.
"We're coming along there a little bit, but we are nowhere near where we want to be," he siad. "This team and this coaching staff will miss Jerrell Powe."
He was asked if it "helps" to at least know about Powe now so he can finalize his plans for the DL for the immediate part of the season.
"I don't think anything helps in a situation like this," he commented.
Coach O said a little bit of the offense and defense the service team ran today was Memphis "stuff," but not a lot.
"We will hone in on them next week," O stated.
The Rebels will take Sunday and Monday off. Tuesday will start game week. Since the game is Sunday instead of Saturday, Tuesday will be a normal Monday practice of game week.
"We should be very rested and ready to go Tuesday," he closed.
Sports Information did not keep statistics from today's closed practice.
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