Coach Norvell pleased with depth in final scrimmage before season opener

Coach Norvell pleased with depth in final scrimmage before season opener

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The Memphis Tigers are set to open the 2017 college football season at the Liberty Bowl in less than two weeks.

The U of M prepared for its August 31 season opener against Louisiana Monroe on Thursday by holding their final full contact scrimmage before tapering off for game week.

U of M head coach Mike Norvell was pleased with the effort he saw from the overall depth chart.

"I thought our guys came out and competed," Norvell said. "It was ones versus twos. The ones I thought did a really nice job, but there were still some twos; the second groups that showed that they belong. Really showed a little bit of the depth we have, and that guys can be counted on to be able to help contribute."

A big name who didn't see action in scrimmage was senior wide receiver Anthony Miller, who's been held out of practice all week with an undisclosed injury.

"We limited some guys," Norvell said. "Anthony, we've held him out for this week. He'll be back for some action next week. He looks great in what he's doing."

With Miller taking the week off and redshirt senior Sam Craft out for the season with a torn ACL, younger receivers have stepped up.

Sophomore John "Pop" Williams is one of those younger receivers. He finished Thursday's scrimmage with two touchdown receptions.

"That kid is having an unbelievable camp," Norvell said of Williams. "I love seeing him elevate his game, and the more repetitions he's been able to receive."

After an early morning practice on Friday, the Tigers are off Saturday and Sunday. Norvell said it's a deserved rest for his team before resuming practices on Monday.

"We go hard when we practice," Norvell said. "We condition. We do everything we can to make sure we're putting our guys in a position to be prepared for this game, and rest is a part of that. When we come back it's going to be hard and fast in preparing for this first game and our sole focus. Our guys will be ready for it."

Memphis versus UL Monroe is set for August 31 at 8 p.m. CT. The game will be televised live on CBSSN.

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