Monday's SMU Practice Notebook

Monday morning's practice got a little visit from Mother Nature, a couple of showers came down during the three hour sessions. It didn't slow the Mustangs progress as they prepare for their season opener against Rice. Go inside Monday's Notebook for some interesting details of practice.

Learning how to strip the football

Coach Gansz had the players work on a strip drill after their normal routine to begin practice. In this drill a player would line up across from another player with the ball and Coach had them working on their ball-stripping technique. After the technique was properly executed, the players then learned how to use their strength to get the ball out of a ball carrier's hands.

A Defense in high pursuit

The defense worked on pursuit drills again today with laziness and sluggishness plaguing the team. The coaches did not seem to be happy with the majority of the reps in these drills, especially defensive coordinator Tom Mason.

Offensive skill players looking sharp

The first team offense took on a scout defense team in a 7-on-7 workout today, with Justin Willis once again running the majority of the reps with the first team. Willis' throwing was sharp, and even though Logan Turner was off of scout team, it seems to be Willis' job to lose. I think Coach Jones wants to go with experience, but who knows? It could all change before the Rice game.

A 1-on-1 showcase

It is no secret that Tom Mason will have his defense blitzing hard, blitzing fast and blitzing often. In order for a defense to be successful doing that, the secondary must be able to cover receivers in man defense. Today, the secondary had a good amount of work, going one on one against scout receivers, with freshman quarterback Winston Gamso throwing to them. Overall, the secondary looked good, only getting beat a couple of times on double moves made by the receivers. Junior safety Rock Dennis had a nice interception to note as well.

Defense is not an option

The first team defense took on a scout offense, and they were subject to mostly running plays. Winston Gamso was running the scout offense today, however, running might be a wrong choice of words. The coaches had Gamso running the option against the 1st team defense, and while Gamso's throws looked sharp, I don't think he is noted for his mobility. He did, however, give the team a good look, and the defense played the option extremely well. The ends were containing just like they should, and forcing the backs to string their runs outside, using the sideline as the great 12th defender. The players who were lining up with the first defense were as follows: DE- #42 Anthony Sowe DT- #94 Patrick Handy DT- #99Serge Elizee DE- #30 Adrian Dizer LB- #52 Pete Fleps LB- #40 Justin Smart LB- #36 Julian Herron CB- #6 Bryan McCann FS- #41 Tyler Jones SS- #10 Rock Dennis CB- #12 Derrius Bell

Full-Speed 1st offense

The first offense went against a scout defense in full speed practice. The offense looked good, completing many passes, however, the offensive line looks like they are struggling a little bit. I don't know if it's the new pass protection schemes that they are having trouble with, or if these are simply physical mistakes, but they need to come together as a unit. They appear to be playing as individuals, instead of as a cohesive unit. If they start working together, they have the opportunity to be very successful in protecting the quarterback, whoever that may be.

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