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August 12, 2013

Notes: Offense rebounds after first scrimmage


Hugh Freeze talks after Monday's practice

OXFORD, Miss -- Bo Wallace called Saturday's scrimmage struggles in the rain a learning experience.

On Monday, the Ole Miss quarterback and the rest of the offense came back with the best effort of fall camp. The offense didn't have a single turnover during team portions of practice and stayed on schedule to come out ahead of the defense for the day.

"I think today was our best day yet," Wallace said. "I'd say it was our best day, and we took care of the football. None of the quarterbacks threw an interception, so that means it's a good day for us."

Head coach Hugh Freeze is always up for talking offense first, and he agreed with his quarterback's assessment.

"It was good, really good day," Freeze said. "(Defensive coordinator) Dave (Wommack) probably doesn't think it's a great day because the offense certainly answered from Saturday and created a lot of big plays and scoring plays in the red zone competition and third down competition they won too. No turnovers, quarterbacks took care of the ball. It was a better day offensively. Defensively we gave up too many big plays. Execution was pretty good coming off a day off."

Freeze said preseason scrimmages are never as good or as bad as you first think, and that proved true again. Wallace was 6-of-11 on the stat sheet Saturday, but three of the incompletions were classified as drops, and Freeze said there was only one especially poor decision.

Wallace hopes the precipitation and difficulty can be used as learning experiences.

"The scrimmage wasn't that bad," Wallace said. "We just put ourselves in holes by not staying on schedule on first down. That killed us, and it's a couple decisions here and there that made that scrimmage bad. We knew that (the rain was a problem) out there, so we were trying to work through it. It's really frustrating as a quarterback playing in the rain like that."

The offense's inefficiency during practices has been a recurring storyline throughout camp, but Wallace doesn't see much different this year than last year. He believes most of the time when that happens it's due to the defense's built-in advantage.

"We're not planning for our defense so a lot times when you're out there you're guessing what they are doing," Wallace said. "In game week you plan and know what they're doing. With our defense we don't know. We're working on our stuff and guessing what they are going to do."

FREEZE UPDATES INJURIES: Mark Dodson, Robert Nkemdiche, Issac Gross and Evan Engram were among those full speed at Monday's practice. With the opener two and a half weeks away Ole Miss continues to manage the recovery times necessary for a multitude of players.

Gross won't practice tonight, as he continues to be limited to one practice per day. I'Tavius Mathers suffered an ankle sprain Saturday, and his return is unknown. Kailo Moore continues to work through concussion protocol after a hit sidelined him late last week. Carlos Thompson and Cameron Whigham have each returned to practice after "dings to the head."

Senquez Golson was dressed Monday but the staff continues to be very cautious with his hamstring ailment.

"We're just making sure," Freeze said. "He's definitely getting better. That hamstring could be something you're fooling with all year if you don't get it well."

C.J. Johnson went through Monday's practice.

REBEL RUMBLINGS: Wallace said Laquon Treadwell is getting used to the heat and can run around longer at max speed the last couple days… Freeze was asked which freshmen would likely play against Vanderbilt: Antonio Conner, Derrick Jones, Nkemdiche, Bobby Hill "is coming on," Treadwell, Laremy Tunsil, "several of the tailbacks but too early to tell," Austin Golson, Quincy Adeboyejo, Evan Engram, "quite a few will be out there." That was off the top of Freeze's head and not necessarily an all-inclusive list.


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