Tuesday Practice Report

At Tuesday's practice, it was time to put the ugly remnants of the season opener to bed and move forward. Another test awaits in New Orleans just five days from now. Read about the workout inside.

The Rebel baseball team has a saying after a loss - flush it.

That's exactly what the Rebel football team was embarking on in Tuesday's practice - putting the disappointing and unexplainable loss in the season opener to Jacksonville State behind them.

After all, they don't have the luxury of dwelling on the past with another game just five short days away.

"It was good to get back on the practice field today. We attacked the meetings and practice the right way - with a lot of energy," said Coach Houston Nutt. "It's the only thing we know to do - get back out there and get after it to get that bad, bad taste out of your mouth. This was good medicine today but the medicine we need the most will be Saturday night."

Nutt said the Rebs worked hard on defensive line penetration, something lacking against JSU.

"We're better than what we showed. We have to have a better rush, fill the rush lanes better and penetrate better. We have to do everything better up front," he noted.

Houston was not ready to name a starter at QB yet. The practice reps were split down the middle between Nathan Stanley and Jeremiah Masoli.

"It was half and half," he said. "We haven't decided on a starter yet."

Defensive Coordinator Tyrone Nix also addressed the media after Tuesday's practice session, starting with his film eval of the JSU game.

"We played three quarters of good execution and playing within the scheme. Then we had a quarter of major disappointments and lack of leadership," said Nix. "We did not play anywhere close to our standards."

Nix has respect for Tulane, the next opponent.

"I see an offensive team who appears to be on a mission on film. They will give us a lot of looks, they are multiple," he continued. "It's an offense that's very multiple by formations and plays. The quarterback seems to be sharp and knows where to get the ball.

Tyrone Nix

"Their running backs are downhill guys with speed and power and their offensive line are really big guys, several 6-6, 6-7 guys and over 300 pounds. They look like guys who can mash you if they get their hands on you. They seem fundamentally sound."

Tyrone is pleased with the possibility of having Kentrell Lockett and Fon Ingram back for the Tulane game.

"The thought of that brings a smile to my face. They are ballplayers, they provide leadership. When things don't go according to the script, they help right the ship and take charge," he explained. "I'm glad they could be back. We couldn't get them back at a better time, but we are going to prepare as if we aren't going to have them just in case something doesn't work out with them."

Random Notes

* Senior Safety Fon Ingram returned to practice in full gear today after scope surgery on his right knee for a lateral meniscus issue less than two weeks ago. Fon not only practiced, but Nutt said he had two interceptions during practice. "Thank goodness we have him back," said Nutt. "I was surprised with how much we missed him." Fon was penciled in to be the starter at free safety alongside fellow senior Johnny Brown before his injury. JUCO transfer Damien Jackson took his place against JSU and led the team with 11 tackles, but he had some issues in some key coverage situations.

* Freshman OLB Mike Marry, who has not been "right" since early in August after hyperextending his knee and pulling his hamstring, was dressed out in full gear for today's workout. "He's a physical young man. He had a good middle drill today and we're glad to have him back out there," Houston stated.

Mike Marry

* OLB Joel Kight injured his ankle in the opener, but he practiced today full speed, although the left ankle was heavily taped. He looked to be running well in the early going of practice.

* Senior Defensive End Kentrell Lockett was not dressed out Tuesday. He will take a stress test in the morning and if all checks out, he will practice Wednesday afternoon with the team. While nobody is offering Lockett's absence as an excuse for Saturday's defeat, it was evident his vocal leadership and high energy play were missed. "He has confidence, knowledge, leadership, energy - we missed it all last Saturday," Nutt added. Lockett's replacement, sophomore Gerald Rivers, played 72 snaps against JSU, which is more than the coaches ideally want from that position.

* Based on Tuesday's stretch lines, where the media gets a cursory look at the depth chart, there were no obvious changes on the first two units.

* Freshman Tailback Jeff Scott had a foot issue after Saturday's game, but he was dressed out and running some during Tuesday's practice. "He's limping some, but I hope to have him back full speed by Saturday," said Nutt. Scott had a couple of nifty kickoff returns in his debut as a Rebel and showed his speed and quickness.

* RS freshman LT Emmanuel McCray got good marks, we were told, for his limited play at tight end against JSU when the Rebels lined up in "heavy" sets. McCray, at 300 pounds with decent mobility, gives the TE slot some extra bulk and push when needed. You will recall two years ago that starting LT Bradley Sowell was used in the same role his RS frosh season.

* While the lack of experience of the offensive line has been questioned since last spring, and showed some in the opener, it's encouraging to see the scout team OL for this year and think of the future. Matt Hall, Chris Gill, Terrence Hackney, Patrick Junen, Chase Hughes and Terrell Brown - all big-bodied younger players, are on the scout team that will give the Rebel defense practice looks this season. . . . When you throw in WR Vincent Sanders, RB Nick Parker, WR Terrell Grant and QB Evan Ingram, the offensive scout team is pretty impressive from a physical standpoint and should provide a competitive look to the Ole Miss defense.


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