FOOTBALL: Scrimmage notes, observations

Saturday was the second scrimmage of August camp for the Rebels. Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt says he’ll really begin to work on getting two teams set now and focusing the reps on those two groups.

With that in mind a lot of the backups and young players got a lot of turns to shine. Freshman running back Devin Thomas got a lot of early carries and did well with them, running behind the first-team offensive line. It should be pointed out that Thomas was never running against the first-team defense, which did not play.

Junior Cordera Eason, the starting tailback, carried three times and looked strong. Affter a 2-yard loss, he had a 27-yard touchdown up the middle and a 30-yard gain. On both of those runs he broke tackles at the line of scrimmage.

The pecking order following Eason was freshman Brandon Bolden for a couple of touches, then Thomas, then freshman Enrique Davis and sophomore Derrick Davis.

A lot of folks have specuated that Eason would fall off the map in camp, but that hasn’t happened. He’s been solid and has been improved, particularly with his ball-handling, since the spring.

Bolden has looked good, but none of the newcomers have looked so good that you knock Eason out of the top spot.

The only new addition to the injury list before the scrimmage was fullback Jason Cook, who was wearing a boot on his right foot. It was just a precautionary measure, Nutt said. During the scrimmage cornerback Jeremy McGee got his bell run pretty good and did not return.

With the starting defense out backup tackle Lawon Scott got in some nice work. He made some plays and confirmed the belief that depth up front can be pretty good. Sophomore Ted Laurent, who left spring drills as the starting nose tackle but had arthroscopic knee surgery just before camp, was dressed in full gear but did not get on the field.

I’ve been waiting to see a “wow” play from nose tackle Jerrell Powe, and I saw it for the first time yesterday when he pushed No. 3 center Brent Smith deep into the backfield and clogged things up for a teammate to come in and make the tackle. Powe got the loudest cheers of the day a few plays earlier when he smashed into the backfield and knocked down Billy Tapp. The problem was he was off-sides by a good three steps.

The defense in general did a good job of making plays and forcing a few turnovers from the offensive reserves. It wasn’t only a defensive show, however, as Enrique Davis did have some nice runs, and backup quarterbacks Billy Tapp and Nathan Stanley had some nice completions.

Justin Sparks and Rob Park both looked pretty average punting the ball. Sparks had some nice kickoffs, m mostly going inside the 5. I don’t recall Joshua Shene missing a field goal, and he was kicking mostly from the 33- to 43-yard range.

— PA

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3 Responses to “FOOTBALL: Scrimmage notes, observations”

  1. oxfordrebel Says:

    PA, sounds to me like from the reports that you’ve posted as well as things written on other peoples blogs, Eason may be sharing several touches with Bolden, HDN seems to really like this guy. I expect to see Eason as the main RB and used for more ground-n-pound runs, and Bolden will be given the opportunity for finesse plays that need speed like outside runs and inside cut-backs…

  2. roastbeef1 Says:

    Eason really impressed me at the scrimmage eventhough he only had a few carries. Not too explosive but he showed more agility than I gave him credit for. I recall the Powe offsides play and it gave me a good laugh. As for Shene, I think he missed one field goal from like 47 or 48 but had the leg though, just pushed it.

  3. djrebel Says:

    It’s hard for me to tell on field goals when they’re close. I really think three backs will play, and it may be that Enrique ends up with more carries than Bolden, because I think Bolden will be doing other things. I’ve just seen him in more formations, though at last watch he wasn’t No. 2 on punt returns. That was McCluster.

    I thought Eason showed good balance and strength in the scrimmage. The freshmen are good, but nobody’s done so much at this point that you take the position from Eason.

    — PA

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