Practice Report: Tuesday

As the first-ever football meeting between Wake Forest and Ole Miss approaches, the Rebels worked on their gameplan for the Demon Deacons and spent some extra time on exorcising the turnover bug that plagued them last weekend. Read about it inside.

Ole Miss Coach Ed Orgeron put the Rebels through a 2 1/2 hour workout today in shells on the practice fields.

The Rebels were treated to fall-like weather today in Oxford - cool and beautiful - as they continued preparations for Wake Forest.

"We had a good practice today. Yesterday we worked on taking care of the ball and continued along those lines today," said Coach O. "We also emphasized the line of scrimmage - eliminating those penalties we had against Kentucky - to make sure all of that is right."

Coach O said the staff has studied the Demon Deacons, who they will face in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Saturday at 5 p.m., thoroughly.

"Defensively, they aren't giving up much. On offense, they are going to spread it around. Some of the plays that have hurt us in the first three games, they run similar plays," he continued. "They switch offenses from week to week. Going back through last year, they could be in a spread, they could be in a two-back wtih two tight ends, they could come out with three wideouts. We are having to prepare for everything.

"That's tough when you have a defense that's struggling, but we will practice it all and go from there. Some parts of our defense are working, others are not. We are working on fixing the parts that aren't."

Wake Forest's original starting QB, RB and LT are out this weekend, but Orgeron said that does not affect the way the Rebels will prepare for them.

"We will work on their schemes, not who they are using to run them," he noted.

The Rebels played "pretty good" defense against Kentucky in the second half of the game last weekend. Orgeron and the defensive staff and players are trying to draw on that this week in practice.

"The team can see what they did right and it will help them with their confidence. Hopefully, we will continue to build on that," he noted.

The Rebel offense got a boost from backup Tailback Bruce Hall in the Kentucky game. Coach O said he's very open for more Hall carries.

"He can get as much as he earns, as much as he wants," said O. "I have always said we could use two or three tailbacks. It's a long season. It's good to see Bruce do it and hopefully we can get Mico McSwain in there doing some good things too. It's a plus to have those guys.

"He did some things even better than BenJarvus (Green-Ellis). He was quicker to the hole and I was pleased with what he gave us and showed us."

When asked if RT Darryl Harris, NT Jeremy Garrett and LEO Chris Bowers - all injured - would be back for the Wake Forest game, Coach O didn't have much to say.

"Nothing on them as far as I know," he responded.

NT Peria Jerry continues to struggle with injuries and is, as Coach O said, a shell of what he was expected to be.

"I thought he was going to have a great year. We were planning on keeping him at end and turning him loose. Right now, he's not even a shell of himself," he added.

In week one, Dexter McCluster put on a show at wide receiver. The past two weeks, Marshay Green has done well. Mike Wallace also had a good game against Kentucky. Who does Coach O expect to have a breakout performance next?

"Mike is doing well and Shay Hodge is coming along and starting to make plays. We'll see, but those are the two likely candidates at wideout," O said.

A week ago, Coach O was trying to get LB Rory Johnson into the action more. That has been slower going than he had hoped.

"He's struggling with picking everything up. He's seeing so many different things, so many different plays. Him getting here late, it's been hard getting him lined up correctly at times," O explained. "We have seen a lot of option this year and if you miss a responsibility on that, it will hurt you badly. We are not ready to take that chance with him yet."

The Rebels will practice tomorrow in full pads.

OM Spirit Top Stories