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Monday Night Football Practice Notes

monty closeup

“No matter who the QB is, we’re going to try to take him out.”

  • C.J. Johnson has had his fair share of hits on the QB the last two weeks, and doesn’t plan on making an exception this week, if his ankle permits it.  Who knows exactly who Malzahn will throw out there first, but you better believe the defense will have their ears pinned back to ensure they fail to find a rhythm.
  • If you’re worried about his ankle (you probably should be), it’s up in the air.  The coaches seem confident, but he was uncertain.  It was wrapped up and he seemed pretty laid back, but he always seems pretty laid back.  Just sit back and stay tuned in because we won’t know anymore until game time.

—  We should all aspire to be Alex Montgomery (the guy pictured above).  Maybe that’s hyperbole, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea.  A testament to perseverance and mental fortitude, Montgomery has fought his way back into the rotation.  “Fighting” would be a proper term, along with “grinding” and “working hard.” It was tough to crack into the deep rotation, but after taking some time to get his body right and staying mentally focused, Alex’s size will be an asset in blocking and catching at inside receiver this week.

His quarterback provided him some praise, “We need more guys like him.” 

“Obviously, we want him to use two hands at all times.”

  • WR coach Tommy Mainord on Dorian Baker, even though he doesn’t mind seeing spectacular one-handed grabs every now and then.

—  A perfectly timed Bye Week.  I’ve talked about it before, but now I mean this in a different way.  It isn’t just because the schedule was strenuous, it’s because of how this week works.  Instead of having three or four days to unwind and lose focus, the Thursday Night game gave them only one day to truly be away.  Stoops said on his radio show that he liked the format of the week because it was a break, but it wasn’t a huge one.

The ying and yang balancing this Bye Week is essential when dealing with injuries.  Jordan Swindle is back to 100%.  C.J. Johnson probably wouldn’t have been able to play last Saturday after rolling his ankle, but could be fine by Thursday.  Luckily, his running mate, Regie Meant, will be back in time to provide much-needed depth.  Patrick Towles had enough time to get a little cold out of his system.  And, if there’s another unfortunate injury on Thursday, they’ll have an extra two days to get healthy before visiting Mississippi State.

“They’re going to be hyped too.”

  • Jason Hatcher knows that this game could define the second half of the season.  He’s also well-aware that Auburn is in a similar situation.  The environment should play into the Wildcats favor, but you better believe Auburn will be bringing their big guns as well.

“When I walk across that white line, it’s business.”

  • Jimmy Brumbaugh will be friendly with his former coaches, colleagues and acquaintances at his alma mater until the rubber meets the road.  Football is supposed to be fun, but it’s also an occupation.  The goal is to win games.  He’s played his alma mater four times and doesn’t have a problem taking it to the Tigers.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR