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Practice #15, Aug. 18, 2011

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Severe thunderstorms entered the Memphis area Thursday morning, forcing changes to the practice schedule. The squad was supposed to be out on the field around 9 a.m., but got through meetings before storms hit and Head Coach Larry Porter decided to move practice later in the afternoon instead of trying to get everything done in the turf room.

A break in the weather allowed the team to get through walk-throughs and 25 periods of practice, so it was a very productive day. The team will have its third two-a-day session of the week tomorrow, before going into a closed scrimmage on Saturday.

After practice, Porter said that he was pleased that the quarterbacks had put together back-to-back decent days, and that the running game was starting to settle in.

"I like the physicality of our guys up front," said Porter about what he is seeing in the run game. "Our decision making with our backs is really growing and getting better. Some of the young guys like Joe Price and Artaves Gibson are making good decisions and they are scoring in practice. Billy (Foster) is a natural in terms of vision and being instinctive."

The Tigers continue efforts in training camp to prepare for the season opener against Mississippi State on Thursday, Sept. 1, at the Liberty Bowl. The game is being carried live on SportsSouth with a kick time set for 7 p.m.

"With this game being two weeks away, there is a sense of urgency to keep pushing and pressing for our guys to continue to grow and put ourselves in position, coming out of the scrimmage, where we can truly focus on Mississippi State," said Porter. "Right now it is about us. We are almost there. We have two practices left and then we go into Saturday's scrimmage and that is enough to define some things for us in terms of what we need to get done on the back end of this week."

The things that Porter said he will be looking for in this scrimmage will be rhythm, continuity, efficiency on offense, and having everybody operating on the same page. He also wants a clean scrimmage with limited mistakes on both sides of the ball. Defensively he wants to key in on discipline, tackling and pass defense.

Season and single-game tickets are available by calling the Ticket Office at 901-678-2331 or by checking out www.GoTigersGo.com.

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