Back and forth weekend

Posted on Apr 8 2013 - 3:54pm by John Luke McCord

The Ole Miss football team practiced twice over the weekend. On Friday the defense dominated, while the offense gained new life when the Rebels went live on Saturday. Ole Miss will practice today, Wednesday and Friday before wrapping up spring practice with the Grove Bowl on Saturday at 1 p.m.

It was two drastically different days for the Ole Miss football team, which had two practices in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium over the weekend. The defense got the best of the offense on Friday, but the offensive responded on Saturday when the Rebels went full contact.

On Friday, Ole Miss football head coach Hugh Freeze proclaimed the day a huge success for the defense. The offense was never able to get going and struggled even to get a first down.

“Hope the red team (offense) responds,” Freeze said on Friday. “That happened to us last spring, and I thought they responded. We didn’t fight today. I thought the blue team (defense) had tremendous energy.”

On Saturday morning, Freeze got his wish. The offense responded in a big way.

The key for the turnaround for the offense was going live. Senior quarterback Barry Brunetti and sophomore quarterback Maikhail Miller were able to take off running and not have the play blown dead upon contact, which played to their strengths.

“It gives you an accurate representation of who we are,” Freeze said. “It’s always a risk, but I’ve always done that if we have two or three guys who tend to do that somewhere toward the end of the spring.”

While it appeared to be the best day of the spring for the offense, it could have been better.

“Had a chance to make some more plays and didn’t,” Freeze said. “We had some drops that were probably touchdowns. We had a couple blown protections on times I thought we were going to have open people downfield.”

Although his unit wasn’t at its best Saturday, defensive coordinator Dave Wommack feels this could be a positive for this team.

“(Friday), the (defense) came out and dominated, and then (Saturday), it didn’t seem like we ever stopped them for a first down,” Wommack said. “I think it’s good for our team because we have a bunch of kids that are passionate on both sides of the ball, and they want to come out here and get better.”

Until Saturday, the offense had struggled to put together a full practice that was impressive, as one would expect the offense to look without its starting quarterback.

Regarding the quarterback position, Freeze said he wanted signees Ryan Buchanan and Devante Kincade to come in this summer and compete to make the quarterback position more competitive.

Freshman tight end Christian Morgan did not practice over the weekend due to a knee injury. According to Freeze, he will have an MRI today. Freshman running back Mark Dodson was also nursing an ankle injury on Saturday. However, he practiced through the injury and looked good despite it.

On the offensive side of the ball, the injury list is as follows: junior quarterback Bo Wallace, junior wide receiver Donte Moncrief, junior offensive lineman Aaron Morris, senior offensive lineman Patrick Junen, junior offensive lineman D.J. Bailey and senior wide receiver Korvic Neat, in addition to Morgan.

The following are on the defensive injury list: junior defensive end C.J. Johnson, sophomore defensive tackle Issac Gross, senior defensive back Dehendret Collins and junior defensive tackle Carlton Martin.

Practice resumes today at 8 a.m.

For continuing coverage of Ole Miss football, follow @JLgrindin and @thedm_sports on Twitter.