Preseason Report 08.05: Defense Shows Energy

Vince Sanders

Aug. 5, 2012

OXFORD, Miss. - The third practice of Ole Miss preseason football camp saw the Rebels work for two hours in shells on a cloudy Sunday morning.

One step closer to strapping on the pads, which is planned for Tuesday, the team was energetic on defense and got a lift from the freshman tailbacks, according to head coach Hugh Freeze.

"They're doing so much stuff defensively and brought great energy today on that side," he said. "There are a lot of moving parts, and we are struggling to pick it up right now.

"I continue to be impressed with some of our young running backs. They've got a little something to them."

The quarterback battle has picked up where it left off in the spring with Barry Brunetti and Bo Wallace in a dead heat. Freeze said the retention from the spring has been good but consistency is an issue.

"With decision-making and taking care of the ball, we go in lapses," said Freeze. "We'll have four good plays in a row where they do things that don't create negative plays, and then we'll have two or three that are disastrous. We still have a ways to go with both of them."

Among the receivers, sophomore Vince Sanders is trying to move ahead in the pack. The Macon, Miss., native hauled in 10 passes for 110 yards in nine games of action last season.

"I thought he has caught the ball really well," Freeze said. "We are going to need him. We are thin at a lot of places. A year ago, people would have said the receiving corps was one of our strengths, and while that may be true, I still don't like our depth there. I wish we had more bodies. But Vince has had a good camp thus far."

Sunday's practice is part of a day of activities for the players, including their first weight-training session since reporting to camp.  A team worship service was available to begin the day.

"We had a great, great service," said Freeze. "We will never do anything on Sunday where that is not an option for our kids and our coaches."

Preseason camp will continue on Tuesday. The next open practice for fans will be Saturday at 9:45 a.m., and Meet The Rebels Day will take place on August 18.

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