Fall Camp #22: Notes

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The practice intensity rises as Minnesota looms on the nearing horizon.

  • Freshman DT Antwaun Woods was approved by the NCAA Clearinghouse to rejoin the team, but DE Greg Townsend is forced to sit out, while he waits to be cleared.
  • George Farmer (a.k.a. Gophers QB Marqueis Gray) left practice early with an undisclosed injury that did not appear serious.
  • Otherwise, the injury report is clearing up a bit.  Christian Tupou (knee) and Kyle Prater (photo by John McGillen) were sidelined during the session.  Tupou continues to deal with periodic soreness in his rehabilitated knee.
  • OG Abe Markowitz (foot) remains out, so freshman Marcus Martin and veteran Martin Coleman are battling for that spot.  "He's really had a great week," said Kiffin about Martin, who has lost 18 pounds in the last two weeks.  "We've got to force him in there to see if he ends up redshirting or playing for us."
  • In preparation for Minnesota, the offense has installed the 1st, 2nd and 3rd down packages.  They will work on the goal line and red zone game plan Friday.
  • The coaching staff emphasized turnovers on both sides of the ball today.  The defense won the battle forcing a pair of miscues.  Shae Horton stepped in front of a Matt Barkley pass early in the session for a pick-six.  And later on, Lamar Dawson made a great read to step in front of a wheel route by FB Soma Vainuku. 
  • RB Marc Tyler worked with the ones and twos early in the practice, but moved to service team during the scout session.  "We're really trying to beat him up down on service team and make it game like," Kiffin said about getting him back in shape. 
  • The head coach admitted that they do not have a depth chart at running back.  D.J. Morgan impressed today with several long runs.  "D.J. is becoming more consistent where we feel better about him," Kiffin said.  "He's still got to pick up the protection side of things, which is hard for all young running backs."
  • The redshirt freshman agreed with Kiffin's assessment.  "It's more protections," said Morgan about his needed improvements.  "Last year, I was a redshirt and down on scout team, so I didn't really learn any plays.  Now, this is still kind of my freshman year."
  • The running back group is happy to see Tyler return if only because more backs means more rest.  "We're having fun and we're all getting more rest," Morgan said.  "He's just more focused.  He's taking advantage and he's very helpful to all of us."
  • While Cody Kessler may not be the clear cut #2 quarterback, he was thrilled to be named the back-up.  "It's an honor and it's an opportunity," Kessler said.  "You are kind of one snap away."
  • The true freshman was told early in camp that scrimmages would make the difference.  Kessler's passing efficiency statistics have been eye-popping.  "If you think you want to earn a it on film, don't talk about it," Kessler said Kiffin told him.  "You have to show the confidence and levelheadedness on the field to not try and force things."
  • Practice time for Friday is still up in the air.  
  • Here's Lane Kiffin...

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