8-28 Football Practice Notebook

Andrew was at SMU football practice and has Q&As with Kevin Pope and Shakiel Randolph plus he takes a look at the running backs.

Kevin Pope Q&A

Shakiel Randolph Q&A

Q: How are you feeling about playing Baylor?
SR: I feel good, I’m from Waco, and I tell people, my high school, Midway, is their stomping ground. Most of the guys go to Baylor. But anyways, we’re excited for this weekend, and it’s a great opportunity. We’re just looking forward to going there and showing everyone what we’ve been working on.

Q: What will it be like for you to go to Waco and play?
SR: I’ll tell you what, it’s exciting. I’ve been thinking about it since school let out (in the spring), in summer workouts, that’s all I’ve been thinking about. You’re going back home in front of your home crowd, and plenty of support is there. So we just want to go down there and put on a show.

Q: Will you have a lot of family and friends there?
SR: Oh yes, definitely a lot of friends and family, even ones that go to Baylor.

Q: What have the coaches been emphasizing on defense this week?
SR: The main thing is playing physical, getting aligned and communicating, because at the end of the day, miscommunications will lead to touchdowns. I feel like if we play bend-but-don’t-break defense, we’ll be okay.

Q: Coach Jones talked about having a one-snap-and-clear mentality. Do you think the defense has done a good job of keeping that mentality?
SR: “You’ve got to have that mentality anyway. Playing Division I football, you’ll have good plays and you’ll have bad plays. The main thing is you can’t get too high and you can’t get too low, you’ve got to stay even-keeled and play the game.

Q: What have you been focusing on individually this season?
SR: The main focus is staying in the film room, putting in some extra time, and learning opponents’ tendencies, because at the end of the day, that will give you that extra competitive edge.

Q: How do you think the secondary has looked in practice so far?
SR: I’ll tell you what, we have a lot of talent back there. We have a little lack of experience, but I feel like we’ll make up with that by spending extra time in the film room and putting in extra reps, just doing extra things that will speed the process up and bring the younger guys along.

Spotlight: Running Backs

Darius Durall and K.C. Nlemchi looked great catching swing passes out of the backfield and taking it up field. Not much of an emphasis was put on running between the tackles. Line, Pope, Nlmechi and Durall all saw time at running back. Pope showed good blitz pickup during the team portion of practice. Nlemchi and Durall were working with the second team during the team portion, while Pope was working with the ones.

Football Practice Notes


Matt Davis was practicing.

Neal Burcham was fantastic today, hitting his throws on the back shoulder and corner routes.

Daniel Gresham made a great over the shoulder from Burcham before getting tackled by A.J Justice.

— Next play Davis hit Cedric Lancaster deep for a touchdown.

— Lancaster caught a nice TD over the middle from Burcham.

— Davis fumbled while scrambling in team, but was able to pick up his own fumble.

Shelby Walker made a fantastic grab through the arms of Montes near the goal line.

— Davis showed his great speed taking off from the 20 and leaving everyone behind for a TD.


— Shakiel Randolph made a nice one handed swat on a pass to Stephen Nelson.

John Bordano had a solid day in coverage

— Defense was once again dealing with Darrel Colbert as they were simulating Baylor's offense.

— Bordano with a nice interception over the middle on Darrell Colbert.

Ajee Montes almost picks off the next pass, got two hands on it.

— Montes picks off Neal Burcham on a over thrown pass that was tip.

— Montes had a great day, was around the ball a lot and could have had a few picks.

— Practice definitely picked up intensity late in practice.

— Team worked on kickoffs with Deion Sanders Jr, Der'rikk Thompson, Darius Durall and Darius Joseph back receiving kicks.

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