After eight days and 10 practices, Southern’s preseason football camp enters a new stage Saturday.
The Jaguars will hold their first scrimmage from 9:15-11:15 a.m. on the practice field. It’s open to the public.
Coach Dawson Odums was putting the final touches on the itinerary Friday but said Southern would run more than 100 plays in the controlled scrimmage.
“It’ll be the ones against the twos,” Odums said between practices. “We’ll do a whole bunch of stuff. We’ll be backed up, run red zone, goal line.
“I’m looking for discipline, communication, no penalties. We want a good, clean scrimmage, and we want them to protect one another, practice hard and compete.”
Ex-White Castle RB a Jaguar
The Jaguars got deeper at running back with the arrival of former White Castle High standout Tyre Bracken, a transfer from Southern Miss, for the afternoon practice.
Bracken, 5-foot-8, 186 pounds, played in 10 games and started six for the Golden Eagles last season. He averged 3.1 yards on 47 carries.
He helped lead White Castle to the 2010 Class 1A state title as a junior.
Comings and goings
Several players will miss the scrimmage because of a rash on injuries that have hit during camp, though so far the injuries seem relatively minor.
FB Brian McCain was the latest Jaguar to miss practice as he sat out Friday because of a bruised left knee. “If it was gameday, he could have played.”
Odums said he was awaiting the results of an MRI on PK Greg Pittman, who injured the knee on his right (kicking) leg when it got rolled in practice Thursday.
“He said it felt better today, which is a good sign,” Odums said. “We’re just waiting to see if it’s good news or bad news.”
CB Dionte McDuffy has been sidelined since taking a knee to the helmet in Wednesday morning’s practice, but he should be cleared soon.
NT Jaylen Jordan has been cleared to begin practice in the wake of a car accident he was involved in July 31, but is not ready for contact work.
No empty tanks
Odums had the Jaguars run “gassers” from sideline to sideline at the conclusion of a two-hour workout Friday morning. It added to what was already going to be a taxing day as Southern came back in the afternoon to complete its second two-a-day in three days.
“It’s just a test,” Odums said. “It’s all about a mindset. I’m looking for somebody to have the body language that says, “Aw, man,” but we didn’t get there, which is a good sign.
“You don’t know what the game is going to call for. A little extra running isn’t going to hurt them, and they handled it like I thought they would.”
Three observations of note from Friday’s practice:
1 Coaches often make players do push-ups after they make a mistake in practice, but the Jaguars have made that unnecessary. It’s not that they’re flawless, it’s that players are policing themselves and routinely dropping to the ground and doing pushups after they make a mistake.
2 WRs Randall Menard (foot) and Justin Morgan (ankle) aren’t practicing, but both kept their injured legs loose during Friday morning’s practice by walking a few laps around the practice field perimeter. They seemed able to cut effectively while doing makeshift cone drills in the p.m.
3 The defensive line has been disruptive the last few days, especially when the second and third teams have been on the field.