The Ole Miss football team again took to the practice fields adjacent to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Thursday, marking the team’s final practice before the team’s second scrimmage of the spring season Saturday.
“Every drill was competitive down to the wire,” head coach Hugh Freeze said. “The defense found a way to win all of them, I think. We have to start believing more in ourselves offensively and there are still so many things that we have to get cleaned up.”
Freeze was pleased by quarterbacks Barry Brunetti and Bo Wallace's effort and attitude during practice Thursday.
“Our quarterback’s heads are still swimming a good bit with all the stuff we have in for when we get routes tagged to runs and when we don’t and that’s caused us to have some negative plays,” Freeze said. “But, as far as the competition and the attitude and effort, I was much, much more pleased. There were good things that happened both offensively and defensively. I wish we could have finished a little better offensively but if they had done that, I’d be saying I wish we could have finished defensively better.”
In addition, Freeze said that the quarterbacks need to have more consistency and be able to have both the quarterbacks and receivers on the same page.
“The quarterbacks need some consistently and to keep us out of negative plays,” Freeze said. “We have way too many negative plays. Right now I don’t particularly judge them on who makes the great plays but can we just function and not make negative plays. Some of that was not all them today because, again, we had runs called and we should have had a route on the outside and they were giving it to us and our quarterbacks are taught to take that and we weren’t on the same page as the receivers.”
Senior Randall Mackey, who during this week’s practices has seen time at receiver after starting six games as quarterback last year, had a good day at practice according to Freeze.
“He’s a talented kid,” Freeze said. “That’s one thing I think we’ve always been able to do in our offense is have kids that can make plays and we found the way to get him the ball. We still have a long way to go with him to get him ready for the fall but he certainly had a good day today.”
Junior Emmanuel McCray earned praise from Freeze Thursday as Freeze said he has been a consistent player during spring drills.
“He’s had one of the more consistent springs for us up front and I think he wants to do well and he buys into the little things we ask him to do,” Freeze said. “If he can stay healthy I think he’ll be a kid we can really count on.”
Page 2 of 2 - Saturday will mark the second scrimmage of the team’s spring season. The scrimmage will take place at 10 a.m. in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and is open to the public.
“In the scrimmage, offensively we are looking to stay on schedule and take care of the ball,” Freeze said. “Defensively we want to keep doing what they are doing and keep playing with great passion, attitude and energy.”
Spring drills will culminate with the annual BancorpSouth Grove Bowl, Saturday, April 21 at 1 p.m. at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. CSS will televise the intra-squad scrimmage live.
Other events of Grove Bowl Week are the Rebels' Choice Awards on Monday, April 16; the Chucky Mullins Award Banquet on Thursday, April 19; a free concert in The Grove with Gavin DeGraw and special guest Craig Morgan on Friday, April 20 and a weekend baseball series against Arkansas.