Football: Tuesday practice report

The Commodores opened their last week of Spring Practice with a two-hour session Tuesday that concluded with a 30-play scrimmage. The four-series scrimmage mirrored most of the team's full contact sessions this spring: just as one unit appeared to have the upper hand, their counterparts made plays to reverse the momentum.

The defense responded initially Tuesday, though quarterback Jay Cutler directed the offense to a pair of first downs on its first possession.  Despite two first-down completions to WR Erik Davis and effective running by TB Kwane Doster and Cutler, the drive stalled after a penalty and incomplete pass.

The defense, led by sacks from LB Otis Washington and DT Aaron Carter, a blocked pass by DE Antoine Morgan and a jarring tackle of Doster by Washington and DE Jovan Haye, clamped down during the next two possessions.  QB Steven Bright was superb during the final possession.  Starting from midfield, Bright hit TE Nick Getter and WR Kevin Williams for first downs to overcome offensive penalties, and teamed with TB Ron Bullock to run an effective option attack. Bullock continued his solid spring performance, concluding the drive with a three-yard TD carry.

"We added a few new things, a couple of wrinkles that we may try again this Saturday," Johnson said.  "We need to get better every time we step on to the field and only have three more opportunities.  I expect this team to have excellent practices in each one of those opportunities."

Geisinger, Holloway Wear Gold Jerseys

Wonder which linemen the coaches thought were effective in the practice/scrimmage last Saturday?  The answer, according to Coach Johnson, is junior OT Justin Geisinger and sophomore DT Trey Holloway. Both were awarded gold jerseys prior to practice Tuesday. Geisinger, an All-SEC candidate and the only two-year starter returning on the offensive line, has been among the most consistent and impressive Commodores this spring.  Holloway, who played sparingly as a redshirt freshman last year, has improved with each spring practice.

Commodore Captains to be Announced Saturday

Johnson said Tuesday that captains for the 2003 Commodores will be announced to fans Saturday just before the Black & Gold Scrimmage.  Each Commodore will vote for at least two captains.  Last year, the team selected three seniors: center Jamie Byrum, CB Rushen Jones and WR Dan Stricker.

The Commodores' Upcoming Schedule

 The Commodores are scheduled to return to the practice field Wednesday and Thursday, at 4:00 p.m., then remain away from practice Friday in preparation for the Black & Gold Scrimmage on Saturday that concludes Spring Practice.  Inclement weather can force a change in the practice schedule. The Black & Gold Scrimmage starts at 2:00 p.m., and is free to Commodore followers.  Gates into Vanderbilt Stadium will open at 1:00 p.m.  Depending on ticket availability, Vanderbilt fans that attend the Black & Gold Scrimmage will receive free admission to the Vanderbilt-Ole Miss baseball game that starts at 4:00 p.m., at Hawkins Field.   

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