Practice Report: Thursday

QB Michael Spurlock

The Rebels completed their full-speed preparations for Saturday's SEC shootout with Kentucky with an hour-and-a-half practice in shoulder pads and helmets. Coach Ed Orgeron was pleased with the week's results.

The Rebels capped their full-speed practice for the Kentucky Wildcats - who are invading Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Saturday at 1 p.m. - with an hour-and-a-half shells (shoulder pads and helmets) practice that emphasized all the plays and sets in the gameplan, Kentucky's looks on offense and defense, situations and working against the clock with last-minute scenarios.

"We finalized all our gameplan installation and started fine-tuning things today. It was a good Thursday practice," said Ole Miss Coach Ed Orgeron. "The guys got after it this week. I think we are in good shape physically and good shape mentally for the game."

The coaching staff continued schooling Robert Lane on his transition to fullback. It's an "experiment" that is working, according to Coach O.

"That move is going very well. He's doing a really good job. He adds another dimension to our offense and is another guy who can make plays. We intend to get him the ball and see what he can do. We are excited about him and how he can help us," Orgeron continued.

Orgeron said the "concerns" about the Kentucky game are the same ones he expressed Monday and the Rebs have been working on those facets of the Wildcats' game.

"They spread their offense out and like to runs screens and draws. We have worked hard on their screen and draw games this week," he noted. "On defense, I really respect Mike Archer, their defensive coordinator. We have prepared for a little bit of everything. Their whole staff is experienced and we expect them to have some surprises in store for us."

Random Notes:

* TB Brandon Jacobs was not at practice today. We were told he is back in the hospital with some more bad "luck." Brandon was bitten on the arm by a spider and it swelled his arm up enough for him to have to seek extensive medical attention. There is no word on how long he will be out or hospitalized, but he is expected to make a full recovery.

* All the players - LEO Corvelli Haynes, WLB Kelvin Robinson, DT Jeremy Garrett, MLB Patrick Willis - who were in Blue jerseys earlier this week, were in regular jerseys today. Certainly that does not indicate they are healthy, but it does mean they can play some against the Wildcats. . . . Today, Haynes and Chris Bowers split snaps at LEO, K-Rob ran all snaps with the number one defense, Willis ran all No. 1 snaps at MLB and Garrett was back with the number two defense at DT alongside frosh Peria Jerry, the other backup DT.

* Junior WR Milton Collins was not at practice for the second day in a row. We understand he is having some personal problems. He is, however, still on the team. We verified that through Coach O.

* WR Burnell Wallace was not at practice today. No reason was given, but nothing is "wrong." He will be at the walk-through tomorrow.

* LG Thomas Eckers missed yesterday's practice due to class, but he was back today and was splitting time with Andrew Wicker, who appears to be over his shoulder injury that sidelined him last week, with the number one offense.

* Rob Park had another productive day punting - kicking seven times into a breeze for a 42.5 per punt average.

* In team drills, with a 25-second clock, the Rebs had no delay of game problems. Here is the breakdown: (Ones) Spurlock incomplete to Espy. . . Spurlock to Biddle 25. . . Spurlock keeper 12. . . Screen to McSwain 12. . . (Twos) Ethan Flatt to Matt Pierce 22. . . Flatt to Robert Hough 7. . . Incomplete. . . Flatt to Robert Lane 9. . .(Ones) Spurlock to Hough 7. . . QB sack McKinley Boykin. . . Spurlock to Hough 6. . . QB sack Patrick Willis. . . (Twos) Flatt to Carlos Suggs 6. . . Flatt to Lane 3 (Dontae Reed). . . (Ones) Spurlock incomplete. . . Spurlock to Espy 6. . . Incomplete. . . Spurlock to Antonio Turner 5. . . Spurlock to Hill 4. . . Pass broken up (Willis). . . QB sack Corvelli Haynes. . . (Twos) Flatt to Biddle 16. . . Flatt to Suggs 12. . . (Ones: 40 seconds from the 50, no timeouts, field goal to win the game) Spurlock to Espy 12. . . Spurlock to Espy 10. . . Spurlock to Turner 6. . . Will Moseley's 40-yard field goal blocked by Jayme Mitchell.

* At the end of practice, the entire team and coaching staff gathered tightly around the PKs as they attempted game-winning field goals with a stiff crosswind. Coaches were blowing whistles in their ears and players were doing everything but touching the PK and Park, the holder. . . Moseley made the first one from 32 yards. Robert Bass missed from 32. Matt Hinkle missed from 47. Then Moseley missed twice before hitting, all three from 47 yards out.

* The Rebs will have their walk-through tomorrow before heading to Tupelo to spend the night. We will not have a practice report tomorrow.

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