Spring Practice Report 03.22

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Evan Engram
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Evan Engram
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

March 22, 2014

OXFORD, Miss. — Two weeks away from the annual Regions Bank Grove Bowl, fans got their first glimpse of the new-look Rebels with the first open practice of spring practice. The Rebels competed in a variety of different situations Saturday in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

There were explosive plays for the offense and turnovers for the defense, but the defense got the better of the offense in the overall competition, 15-14, as Trae Elston broke up a pass on the last play of the team's seventh practice of the spring.

"There were a lot of explosive plays," head coach Hugh Freeze said. "The defense took the ball away some. They stopped the run most of the day. There were some good things and a lot of things for us to build on. I told them after it was over, `Now, let's add execution to attitude and effort for the next two weeks.'"

Among the offensive highlights were a couple of touchdown passes from Bo Wallace in the various competitions, one to Evan Engram, a second to Laquon Treadwell and a third to Quincy Adeboyejo. DeVante Kincade also had a touchdown pass to Cody Core.

"The ones on offense, we had a really good day," Wallace said. "We're light years ahead of where we were two years ago, especially the defense. They are really bringing it, and we're still moving the ball, so that's encouraging."

"He's excited about playing outside," said Freeze of Treadwell. "He's been phenomenal in practice. The last couple of days, he's dropped a couple of passes that are not normal for him, but I'm not concerned. He's going to be a special player out there for us. He's a physical blocker. He's a big guy who can catch it with people in tight coverage on him."

Behind Wallace, the competition for the backup quarterback position continues between Kincade and Ryan Buchanan, with Jeremy Liggins and Kendrick Doss also figuring in the mix.

"They're both right there," said Werner of Kincade and Buchanan. "We're going to keep on grading them and see where they end up at the end of the spring, but I'm pleased with both of them. They both have a long way to go, but they're working hard and they're both going to be really quarterbacks for us someday."

In the running game, Wallace noted the progress of Daronte Bouldin and Ben Still on the offensive line, while the coaches were pleased with what they saw from a pair of running backs in Jordan Wilkins and Eugene Brazley.

"I was proud of the way Wilkins finished a couple of runs at the end," Freeze said. "Brazley also finished his runs and showed what we think he has. Jaylen (Walton) and I'Tavius (Mathers), too. We're happy with all of those guys. They did a really nice job in the last period of picking up the blitzes, which you have to do in this league."

"You can see that both of those made some nice runs and get downhill quickly," Werner said. "Brazley has really good vision. He probably needs to get more and north and south, but he will make you miss. He's going to be tough to tackle."

The Rebels will return to the practice field on Monday afternoon, closed to the public. Saturday morning's practice will be open to the public.

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