Nutt: 'It's been tough'

Houston Nutt said injuries continue to haunt the 2010 Ole Miss Rebel football team. Two MRIs on two key players were done Sunday.

Results are hoped to be available on Jonathan Cornell (hip) and Damien Jackson (knee) Monday. Gerald Rivers has a swollen ankle and will be evaluated further tomorrow as well.

"It's just been one of those years," Nutt said of the many injuries that have plagued the team all season. "It's been tough."

After a 51-31 loss to top-ranked (BCS) Auburn Saturday, Nutt's third Ole Miss team stands 3-5 overall and 1-4 in Southeastern Conference play. Up next is Louisiana-Lafayette at 6 p.m. Saturday in Oxford.

"We can still become bowl eligible this season," said Nutt, who took his first two Rebel teams to Cotton Bowls and won them. "We're in a position now that our back is all the way against the wall. This is a big game for us. It's homecoming. We need to win it, obviously."

Houston Nutt

Nutt said the team has to approach this game like it would any other game, even though it is a non-conference foe.

"We've just played top 15 teams back to back to back and gave tremendous effort," he said. "We have to get back up for this one. We've got to reach down and give more."

The Ragin' Cajuns are 2-6 with wins against Arkansas State (31-24) and North Texas (28-27). The Rebels and Cajuns don't have a common foe this season. However Louisiana-Lafayette lost to SEC member Georgia in the season opener 55-7.

Nutt said no matter who is ahead this week, it still comes back to his own team.

"I'm more concerned about us," he said. "We have to continue to work and improve."

Nutt said tackling continues to be a problem – and a surprise.

"We've got to do a better job getting our guys in position," he said. "We've got to do a better job fundamentally and tackle better as we head into November."

Nutt said don't discount the loss of Kentrell Lockett, and that goes for more than just his play on the field.

"When you lose a guy like Kentrell Lockett early," Nutt said, "it's tough. He was a tremendous leader for us."

The injuries and the season continue.

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