With two days until the UnderArmour All-America Bowl, Team Silver returned to the practice field for the morning session, their lone practice of the day, and they came out in helmets, and for most of the guys from warmer weather climates, in sweats.
It was another chilly practice on Thursday morning, and the early going was work on special teams. Jeff Locke continued to feature long kickoffs in the practices. Watching him stay loose during practice, while the offense and defense is going at it, is entertaining. He'll constantly work on aiming and pinning his kicks, trying to hit the pylon in the end zone, and he's got tremendous accuracy.
Thursday morning's practice definitely played into the hands of the offense, with most of the work being in the two-minute drill, but the defense had their moments.
The one comical moment was when the wind caught hold of a Kyle Parker pass and basically dropped it to Dee Finely and Terrance Parks, who were standing as if they were returning a punt, waiting for it to come down. At the last moment, though, the ball sailed over their heads and fell into the hands of T.J. Lawrence. A classic case of the DBs not catching it at its highest point.
That play, though, was one of the only rough moments for Parks, who had another solid performance.
Parks broke up a couple of passes from E.J. Manuel and Nick Crissman and had a near pick of another Parker pass. Parks has been a thorn in the QBs side at times this week.
Finley also had a nice breakup, showing no lingering effects from his missed pick and ensuing razzing from the offense.
Nigel Carr has to be taken in account each time he's on the field. He continues to excel in pursuit, and had the pads been on, he probably would have had some big hits on the receivers.
Of course, another practice went by with Daquan Bowers making some key plays. On one play, he was double-teamed by Antonio McClain and Jamie Harper, but sliced right through them to make a hurry of a Parker pass.
No player on Team Silver has starred like Bowers has, and he continues to live up to his rep as the nation's premier pass-rusher.
Curtis Cunningham also had a nice play, batting away a pass by Crissman, though center Braxston Cave caught it and ran for a few yards before he wisely held up.