Practice continues for Big 3

Published 7:23 pm Friday, August 11, 2006

All three of Mississippi’s Division 1A college football teams hit the practice field on Thursday in preparation for the upcoming season.

• In Hattiesburg, the Southern Miss football team had its first two-a-day practice.

“It went pretty well,” Head Coach Jeff Bower said. “This afternoon was a little better than the morning. We took the pads off this afternoon. We’re going to bang against each other in the morning, so we’re trying to get them ready for that.”

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There was a bit of bad news for USM, as senior center Robby D’Angelo had knee surgery this afternoon, following meniscus tear in yesterday’s practice and will miss 7-10 days.

“It’s not the knee he had surgery on this past spring, it’s his other knee,” Bower said. “If you’re going to hurt something in your knee, that’s what you want to hurt.”

• In Starkville, Mississippi State practiced twice again Thursday, and an onslaught of nagging minor injuries continued fro the Bulldogs.

“The injuries are really starting to slow us down on the offensive line,” head coach Sylvester Croom said following the morning practice. “And that’s starting to hurt our continuity and cohesiveness some.”

Sophomore offensive lineman Michael Gates joined the growing list of ailing big players Thursday, having been shelved by a concussion sustained one day earlier. Also donning a yellow (limited) jersey was junior offensive tackle J.D. Hamilton, who was upgraded from a red cross. Sophomore offensive tackles Calvin Wilson and Roland Terry , were held out with groin and back ailments, respectively.

• In Oxford, the Ole Miss football team went through their first of two-a-day practices Thursday, practicing in the morning and then again in the late afternoon on the practice fields adjacent to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

The squad worked out in shoulder pads and helmets for the third day in a row, continuing to work on individual position drills, situational scrimmages and 7-on-7 drills. The team spent part of the afternoon practice inside the Indoor Practice Facility due to lightning.

Several young players continued to impress head coach Ed Orgeron as did some veterans. “Marcus Tillman had another tremendous day,” Orgeron added. “Jeremy Garrett is really solid, and Kentrell Lockett is coming along. Patrick Willis had a fantastic day out there today. Overall, our linebackers had a pretty good day. I think for the first day of two-a-days the defense wanted to set the tone.”