The Bobcats practiced Thursday afternoon for the 15th time during fall camp. It was conducted in periods outside in Peden Stadium, with a total of 26 periods over two hours and 30 minutes. The Bobcats wore full pads. Here are The Post’s observations:
Absent: Elijah Ball (season-ending injury), Austin Conrad (leg), Tyler Tupa (leg), Javon Hagan (undisclosed), Andrew Meyer (leg), TJ Robinson (ankle), Juan Watkins (arm), Mason Bernhardt (undisclosed), Jerome Buckner (knee), Jalen Fox (undisclosed), Jamal Hudson (hamstring).
Returned: Kaieem Caesar, Justin Birchette, Marlin Brooks.
- For the first time in over a week, Hagan went through some visible conditioning as he ran and was put through some tests by the training staff.
- At this point, it seems that Conrad and Tupa are out indefinitely. Maybe an update Friday with it being the last day of camp.
- Caesar, Birchette and Brooks each went through the entirety of practice.
Sights and Sounds
- It’s becoming more noticeable that gameday at Peden is approaching. Workers throughout the stadium spent practice power-washing the stands. Looked like student section is almost finished.
- There were two scouts at practice, one from the Cleveland Browns and another from the Washington Redskins.
- Ohio was scheduled to scrimmage for the second time of camp, but due to the laundry list of injuries its had, the decision was made to take it easy. Still, there was a referee in attendance.
- With the absence of the scrimmage, the Bobcats have been treating the last few days of practice like a game week. It’s visible that they’re starting to prepare for Howard’s offense.
- Sook Center update: At least five workers were on the roof during practice, making sure that the central air was working and that everything had been finished. You could see from a distance that some were looking over the blueprint. As of now, it's set to open Sept. 1.
- With more and more focus on Howard, there was one 7-on-7 period and one team period where the first team offense and defense went against each other.
- In those two period, Nathan Rourke was 11 of 15 with an interception. He completed passes to Papi White (five); Connor Brown (three); Shane Hooks and Markel Davis (one each).
- The interception came in his second to last pass of the day, he misread the defender and threw it too short. Rourke was intercepted by De’Vante Mitchell.
- Rourke looked strong in the 7-on-7 period. With the goal of converting on third and five, he converted five times. His best pass of the day was on a fade to White for a big pickup.
- Quinton Maxwell finished 10 of 13 with two interceptions. His first interception came in the 7-on-7 period, which Mitchell grabbed again. The second followed two plays after Rourke’s, which was picked off by Jarren Hampton. In the 7-on-7 drills, Maxwell converted on third down six times.
- Hooks had a drop.
- With the absence of Hagan, Mitchell has been given opportunities to show his worth. He’s exchanged reps with the first team next to Kylan Nelson.
- Tariq Drake had a great pass breakup in 7-on-7 and almost came away with an interception. He tipped it away and the ball dropped right in front of him.
- With the full pads, the offensive and defensive lines competed in some drills at a full contact pace.
- The Bobcats practiced punt and kickoff in their special team periods Thursday.
- Here’s a quick list of players who were used as returners: Nelson, Ross, Hooks, Camryn Snow, Tyler Walton and Jake Neatherton.
The Bobcats return to practice on Friday at 1:30 p.m. Practice is open to the public. It will be the last practice of fall camp.