Odds & Ends

From the weather to the new turf to the video board show to some player notes. Here are some odds and ends left over from Saturday's 52-6 shelling of Southeastern Louisiana.

Odds & Ends from Saturday randomly scribbled down.

* We made a special note and put an asterisk beside, marking the occasion. With 2:10 remaining in the first half, freshman Wide Receiver Pat Patterson snared his first reception as a collegian. There will be many, many more. Patterson ended up with four catches on the night for 79 yards, including a 29-yard TD snag - also his first - with 2:40 to go in the third period. There will be many more of those as well. It's as plain as the nose on W.C. Fields' face - this kid can, or will, be special.

* The new field turf is perfect. Next subject. As some noticed, there were no SEC logos for the SLU game. The intention was to have them on for the home opener, but rain got in the way. Those have to be painted on - the only paint on the field - and the powers-that-be were concerned about painting them for the opener with all the rain in the area the week prior and having the rain smear them or wash them away. The decision was made to wait until the Alabama game. Good call.

* Did the stadium seem a little dark to you? It did to us as well. In the offseason, an electrical engineer was brought in to "redo" the lights. Candle power was checked all over the field and met the required standards for television broadcasts, including HD. In fact, candle power was increased nearly 25% by replacing and re-aiming some of the lights. But the eyes don't lie, and neither do camera lenses. The athletic administrators are looking into the lighting situation, double-checking to make sure everything is up to snuff, but the initial thought is that the rainy weather produced a haze, like a light fog, on the field. Suffice it to say, it's being looked into.

* With no disrespect to Brandon Green, who started the first game at right guard, sophomore Rishaw Johnson, who started against SLU, adds a little pop to the offensive line. He may well be the most aggressive of all the Reb OL. It was good to see him in the lineup and out there getting his game legs tested and tuned.

* CB Marcus Temple sustained a concussion in last Tuesday's practice. He missed a couple of days of practice but played against SLU in nickel and dime situations and a little at CB. Tough kid, good role player.

* While it was good to see TE Ferbia Allen get his first career receptions and see E.J. Epperson in the game some, the Rebels need senior Gerald Harris back, if at all possible, for the bulk, if not all, of the SEC schedule. He's like having a sixth OL out there in the run game and is dangerous in the passing game. His hamstring injury has lingered on. Keep your fingers crossed for his quick return, but at this point he is questionable for the USC game. In the meantime, Ferbia and E.J. have both shown a great deal of improvement.

* Marshay Green had one of those nights only a Mother could love. All athletes have them, but let's dissect his muffed punts a little closer and take a trip down memory lane. On the first muff, WR Andrew Harris blocked Marshay's view of the punt, so the miss was not entirely Green's fault. The second one was also in traffic and on the run - he probably made a poor decision to try to field that one. So, it's really just one miscue on the night. It happens. His history of returning punts for the Rebs has been solid and sure. His mistakes have been rare. No change is needed at PR.

* Punter Justin Sparks had a horrific night, the worst of his career. Thank goodness it came against SLU in a no-contest game. His first three poor punts prompted the coaches to tell freshman Tyler Campbell to get ready, but they decided to wait before burning Campbell's redshirt until the dust had settled and the Rebs could get back to practice, where the coaches could take their time before pulling the trigger, if they decided to do so. While Sparks' performance was disappointing, what was even more disturbing was the loud chorus of boos directed at him from the student section of the stadium. While liquored-up students aren't known for good judgment, booing one of your own out there trying to win a game is despicable. Shame on those who contributed to that embarrassing scene. You were raised better.

* When the Rebels went to their dime package in coverage, they rushed three linemen. Nothing unusual, but it was different due to the personnel chosen. DE Marcus Tillman slides inside shading or over the center. DEs Emmanuel Stephens and Kentrell Lockett rush from the edges. Take out some beef and insert speed. We like.

* While freshmen LBs D.T. Shackelford and Joel Kight should get most of the rookie kudos on defense, redshirt freshman DE Gerald Rivers also showed some skills in the game. Gerald needs a few more pounds and experience, but you can tell he's made a world of progress since last year. That bodes well for the future for the Rebel DE position. He's got the goods, now he just has to build on them.

* A player who gets very little recognition, but always seems to make one or two big plays a game is FS Fon Ingram. Fon is actually the third safety right now and can play either safety position. Against Memphis, he had a momentum-changing pick six. Against SLU, he stopped a Lion RB cold on a fourth-and-short situation. Fon just seems to have the knack of being in the right place at the right time.

* Dropped passes are going to happen to the best of them. Dex had one, Markeith had one and Breaux had one. They will all catch the next one. They are too good not to. But you know who is not likely to have a drop? Senior Shay Hodge. No doubt, best hands on the team.

* Frosh WR Jesse Grandy doesn't look like he's running real fast, but when he pulls away from defenders, the proof is in the pudding. Why does it appear that he's not moving as fast as he is? Because he's as smooth as Peter Pan peanut butter.

* It was good to see the coaches insert RS frosh PK Bryson Rose in the game for a couple of PATs. He's likely to be the placements guy next year when Josh Shene is gone and he needs the experience. 2-2 is a good start.

* It's been raining in Oxford - it seems - for 40 days and 40 nights. It's supposed to rain most of this week as well. Wonder how we got Saturday's window of no rain with the threat all around us and rain both Friday and Sunday? Must be divine intervention.

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