Bounce Back

Game one to game two improvement is expected, almost an adage. For the Rebel quarterbacks, Dave Rader sees that coming due to the effort they put in this week preparing for Tulane. Read about it inside.

It's said football teams usually make the most progress between the first and second games.

That's mainly because coaches have some actual game film to show players and correct by and players getting the first-game jitters behind them.

And even though the Rebels had a staggering loss in the opener, the Ole Miss coaches are looking for that inherent leap in improvement this week as they prepare for the game with Tulane in New Orleans Saturday night.

From Co-Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach David Rader's perspective, he's seen that type of effort thus far.

Dave Rader

"I have seen a real good effort to concentrate and execute this gameplan. I have also seen a real good effort to press on after a tough loss," said Rader. "We needed to get that last one behind us quickly and I appreciate that our players have tried to do that."

Getting over the last one was not a matter of choice. It was a matter of necessity.

"It's not a whole lot of fun to be in the position we found ourselves in Sunday, but you have put it away," David stated. "One of the reasons I love this game is that it is a microcosm of life. You get knocked down and either you deal with it or you stay there.

"There's no telling what will hit you in life and you have to learn to get off the mat. I know that sounds like coach speak, but it's true. You learn from every situation, even your failures. Our kids have chosen to press on."

Rader's main focus, of course, is "pressing on" with the development of the Rebel quarterback position, which is now a two-man race with Nathan Stanley and Jeremiah Masoli now that Randall Mackey has opted to redshirt.

"In the first game, they both had similar stats, but Nathan actually graded higher," David stated. "His efficiency was a bit higher, but both did good things and bad things in the game."

Masoli was limited in his reps last week due to the uncertainty of his eligibility for the 2010 season, but this week, as the Rebs prepare for the Green Wave, Jeremiah is getting equal reps.

"This week, getting equal reps, has helped him solidify some things in his mind about our offense. There were still a couple of things out there dangling a bit, but he's cleared some things up and is making more plays this week now that he understands things better," Rader allowed. "He's more confident in the system and as a result he's making more plays in practice."

Like Coach Houston Nutt, Rader did not tip his hand how things were going to play out this weekend against Tulane in terms of who gets the call, who gets the most reps, who starts, etc., but he's pleased with the way the week has gone from the guys under center.

"We made a few costly mistakes in the opener at the quarterback position, but they are working hard to eliminate those," Rader closed. "I think we'll play better this week and go from there."

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