"We hada a good one today, guys," Coach Houston Nutt said as he addressed the media post-practice. "We just need to have another good day tomorrow and then take it to the field Saturday night for homecoming."
Nutt said with all the personnel adjustments the Rebs have had to make due to injury, it places a premium on the plan the coaches come up with for this week's game.
"We always want to give them the best plan possible, but it's doubly important when you are having to move players around and move players up," he explained. "I have asked our coaches for one thing - come up with a plan that will allow us to play fast and with good fundamentals."
Nutt said he will be looking for a couple of things this week against Louisiana.
"One, we need fanatical effort and be better tacklers on defense and on the kickoff and punt teams," he explained. "Two, on offense, we need to take care of the ball, move the chains, execute and be more consistent. Our goal is to limit three-and-outs to none if possible."
According to Houston, he feels his team has learned a valuable lesson the last three games.
"I'd always rather have a winning locker room to learn from, but we played three real good teams and had a chance to win a couple of them," he closed. "We fought hard, but we left each game wishing we had three or four plays back. What they have learned is that three or four plays make a difference in the outcome and you never know which three or four they are going to be. Consequently, you have to be at your best on every single play."
Random Notes: * WR Jesse Grandy, DE Carlos Thompson and TB Rodney Scott all missed Tuesday's practice with a stomach virus. They were all back at practice Wednesday.
* The Rebel coaches are trying to shore up their kickoff coverage team. In an effort to do so, they have added OLB Joel Kight and Safety Damien Jackson to the kickoff team first unit. "We need some more explosive athletes on that unit. We've been trying to save Damien and Joel from that because they play a lot of snaps on defense, but we need help," said Special Teams Coordinator James Shibest. "They are good on that unit."
* The Rebel squad will be losing 14 key seniors - 13 scholarship players and QB Jeremiah Masoli - off this year's team. That's considered a small senior class. Guess what? It gets smaller in 2011. The rising seniors on scholarship for next year will be: TB Brandon Bolden, LG Tank Washington, LT Bradley Sowell, DT Justin Smith, CB Marcus Temple, S Damien Jackson, DE Wayne Dorsey, TB Enrique Davis, WR Derrick Herman, OL Logan Clair and, if granted another year, DE Kentrell Lockett. That's 11.
* In Tuesday's practice report, Nutt was quoted saying the Rebs are down to three defensive ends - Dorsey, Jason Jones and Cameron Whigham. He said he did not mention LaMark Armour and D.T. Shackelford because LaMark will also play some inside along with his DE duties and D.T. could get time at both MLB and DE. There is even some talk of D.T. starting at DE and Mike Marry getting the nod at MLB if Jonathan Cornell can't go.
* Cornell (hip) was seen jogging Wednesday. His status for Saturday is still considered questionable, but he does not seem to be favoring the leg when jogging. "We have some hope, but not much. We won't play him if he's not close to 100%," noted Nutt. "If he can't go, we have to win this game without him. Mike Marry or D.T. will have to step up." . . DE Gerald Rivers (high ankle sprain) is out for the game against the University of Louisiana. . . Logan Clair remains on the injured list as well as his broken foot heals.
* LG Patrick Junen and TB Enrique Davis are both practicing but neither are full-speed yet. Enrique is three weeks removed from knee surgery and Junen is still hobbled a little bit with an ankle issue.
* S Damien Jackson returned to practice Tuesday after missing last week with a bruised knee. He appeared to be running around fine Wednesday in special teams drills.