Ole Miss defense

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 10, 2007

Rebel D step up to challenge; offense struggling with pass

By Daniel Snowden

Univ. of Mississippi

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OXFORD – The Ole Miss Rebel football team continued practice on Tuesday, on day four of fall drills. It was the final day of helmets and shoulder pads, as the Rebels will suit up in full pads beginning tomorrow.

“The guys picked up pretty good today,” said head coach Ed Orgeron. “I though we had a very spirited day. We had some emotional, fired up meetings this morning and I think that carried over to practice. It dipped a little in the middle of practice, but they picked it up at the end.”

Orgeron was pleased with the play of the defense today.

“The defense dominated the run drill today. Peria Jerry had an excellent day. Tony Fein played the mike (middle linebacker) and did some good things. Jonathan Cornell played outside linebacker and Jamie Phillips played the other outside linebacker. Those guys did a good job.”

The defense was challenged after yesterday’s practice and Orgeron was impressed with how the unit responded.

“I think the defense was challenged all day. It started early in the morning by each coach. In fact it started last night. There were a few words said and some challenges. During stretching the offense was jawing a little bit and the defense, which I am very proud of, kept their mouth shut and showed through action. They really got after it today.”

Freshman All-America kicker Joshua Shene also had a strong performance during drills.

“Joshua Shene had a great day kicking the football,” Orgeron said. “He hit over 50 yards a couple of times.”

Orgeron was not as happy with the passing game, which struggled during today’s drills.

“We struggled throwing the ball today. We had some balls batted at the line of scrimmage. We didn’t do as well in the passing game as we have been.”

Ole Miss will continue pre-season camp in preparation of the season opener on the road at Memphis on September 1. Fans can come out and see the team at the annual Meet the Rebels Day, which will be held on Saturday, August 18, on campus at the University of Mississippi.