The Rebels worked out for about about two hours, and Hugh Freeze was glad to see his offense bounce back from what he termed a disappointing performance in Friday’s practice.
“They responded, which is what you hope to see. They no question had more passion and determination. I was proud of the offensive staff and the way those guys responded to yesterday’s beatdown.”
Much of the field position was “offense friendly,” but as Freeze notes in the video here, you still have to finish those drives:
Quarterbacks were live, and that had something to do with finishing plays. It gave them a little extra time before the whistle was blown.
It’s unlikely you’ll see senior quarterback Robert Ratliff in a game, but he had some nice throws today, including one to Vince Sanders for a 37-yard gain in which Sanders made a nifty coach over the shoulder of safety Cody Prewitt.
Catches like that were not the norm. There were a number of drops causing the offense to leave plays on the table.
Here’s offensive coordinator Dan Werner:
Ratliff also had a 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Matt Brown.
Sanders later dropped a touchdown pass from Barry Brunetti when he had a step on Nick Brassell.
Brunetti and Maikhail Miller both made plays in the passing game too, but while there was productivity, there was also inconsistency.
Brunetti had a 6-yard TD pass to Cody Core in the back of the end zone. Miller had a couple of nice throws on slant patterns, one to tight end Jack Nuismer for a touchdown.
Brunetti had some impressive option runs, and both quarterbacks had rushing touchdowns. Miller drew oohs and aahs from the crowd when he scored on a 9-yard run off left guard, finishing in the end zone by knocking heads with the defender and barreling in.
Miller, the former Itawamba AHS star, is listed at 6-foot-2, 240.
Miller says his coaches know he’s more than a running quarterback:
Here are Miller and Brunetti in warm-ups:
The quarterbacks weren’t the only ones with good days on the ground. I’Tavius Mathers had a couple of nice inside runs, but it was early enrollee Mark Dodson, a freshman, who stood out.
Dodson is playing through an ankle sprain and was successful on the inside and on the edge. I had him for gains of 8, 8, 6, 4 and 20 yards. He high-stepped a defender for extra yards once and seemed to handle contact well. Those stats, by the way, are extremely unofficial. He likely had more carries, and the yardage gains are estimates.
But he looked good and joins Mathers and Jaylen Walton in making this a deep position behind Jeff Scott.
All in all it was considered a win for the offense. Defensive coordinator Dave Wommack didn’t think that was a particularly bad thing. There’s going to be give and take on football teams, he says.
The defense was playing without linemen Issac Gross and Carlton Martin and defensive back Dehendret Collins, who could have helped in run support. With Collins out there were more snaps for Mike Hilton, and was around the ball a good deal.