Tigers open fall camp with first of 29 practices
MEMPHIS, Tenn-Excitement, and the level of expectation, is sky-high as the Memphis football team opened fall camp Friday at the Billy J. Murphy Complex on the University of Memphis campus. Picked to finish first in the west division of the American Athletic Conference and with a slew of players named to preseason award watch lists, there will be a lot to look forward to in the next month and beyond.
“I thought the guys had great energy and came out understanding that today was a great start,” Memphis head coach Mike Norvell said. “It was a much better first day than we had this time last fall. It was good to see. It was fun to see a lot of newcomers and we split up practice as best we could to get as many reps as we could with the new guys. I thought it was a good day.”
The Tigers will spend the next 33 days preparing for the season opener, a special Labor Day weekend/Thursday night game against Louisiana-Monroe Aug. 31. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. (CT) at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
A new wrinkle this season will be the absence of two-a-day practices, due to new NCAA legislation. Instead, Division I football teams around the country started practice a week earlier than in previous seasons.
“We have had to adjust a lot on our practice schedule. I always liked starting off camp with split practices but we are not able to do that this year. On the same hand, we have to do what’s best for our players. We are trying to make sure that they have enough time to be a student but also maximizing all of the opportunities we have with the 29 practices we get before the first game,” Norvell said.
For the second consecutive season, Memphis will travel up I-40 to Jackson for three days at the University of Memphis Lambuth Campus. The retreat-style getaway is designed to bring the team closer together while continuing preparations for the season.