The gridiron Rebels returned to the practice fields for their 12th practice of the spring Monday morning. It is only the second time practice has been held on the practice fields, and head coach Hugh Freeze was pleased with the energetic and upbeat pace to the morning session.
“Thought we were going to have to come out and manufacture some spirit for them, we probably did early, but I was really pleased with how they responded to a Monday morning,” Freeze said.
After reviewing the tape from Saturday’s practice, Freeze saw what he suspected: The offense dominated. He cited improved quarterback play and the defense being less fundamentally sound.
Entering the last week of the spring, Freeze has a very simple request of his offense.
“Negative plays, we need to cut those out and stay on schedule,” Freeze said. “We can have an incomplete pass on first down, just not a minus five, minus three or a turnover.”
Freeze notes that accomplishing his offensive goals could be difficult because of injuries on the offensive line and the amount of schemes the defense is running at the offense.
On the defensive side of the ball, Freeze has two things he would like to see as well.
“Cut out the big plays and then penalties,” he said. “We had too many penalties in the scrimmage. Sometimes, we get bad with our eyes and can give up a big play.”
Freeze was asked about how much he will be able to expand his offensive line rotation in the fall.
“I wish I could tell you,” Freeze said. “We had so many out (this spring). I expect (signees) Laremy (Tunsil) and Austin (Golson) to play.”
Freshman basketball guard Martavious Newby decided earlier in the spring, following the conclusion of basketball season, to try his hand at football. While he has had a class conflict with morning practices, allowing him only to attend one practice, Freeze is unsure of his future with the team.
Freshman tight end Christian Morgan was due to have an MRI Monday morning. The results were still unknown as of the end of Monday’s practice, but should be in and reported after practice on Wednesday morning.
Junior wide receiver Vincent Sanders rolled his ankle late in practice on Monday, but the injury does not appear serious.
Junior defensive back Nick Brassell was rotating in with the first team on Monday before also going down late in practice; he walked off on his own strength and his injury also appears to be minor.
The Rebels will resume practice at 8 a.m. on Wednesday.
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