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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Tigers football players grateful to return to gameweek practices

After going nearly one month between games, the Memphis Tigers football program has a new appreciation for getting back on the field.

MEMPHIS, Tenn — There is nothing quite like gameweek. 

After going nearly one month between games, the Memphis Tigers football program has a new appreciation for getting back on the field.

"It takes more than talent to play college football," offensive lineman Obinna Eze said. "You've got to love the game."

This year also requires patience when a COVID-19 outbreak occurs. The Tigers now appear to be on the other side of theirs and are grateful for the chance to get back on the practice field. 

"Sometimes you take things for granted that you are just used to having every single day, until it's not there," offensive coordinator Kevin Johns said. "And it really makes you appreciate it. Today was a tough, 25 period practice, one of our big grind days. And kids had a smile on their face, flying around, and just enjoyed the fact that we're able to play a game, and have the health to do so."

The opportunity to be together again has brought new energy to the players.

"We came back out here and everyone was just uplifted and ready to roll," running back Dreke Clark said.

"It's not just being on the field," Eze said. "There are just so many things we enjoy about this game, like the brotherhood in the locker room and just that time spent. So we're really, really thankful and grateful to have all of that back."

The question remains: How will the morale boost translate Saturday against SMU? The Tigers will be in Dallas to play their conference opener, and just their second game of the season.