Wednesday Practice Report

All eyes are on Ole Miss Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli this week as he tries to overcome a concussion he sustained in the Louisiana game. Read today's update on him and the Rebels inside.

Will he or won't he?

That's the question swirling around the Rebel football camp this week and all Rebel fans can translate without too much difficulty.

For the few scratching their heads, will senior Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli be medically cleared to play against Tennessee Saturday after getting a concussion in last Saturday's Louisiana game?

Unfortunately, there is still no definitive answer, even though Masoli showed improvement at Wednesday's practice, according to Football Trainer Tim Mullins.

Jeremiah was still not allowed to take part in any contact work, but he was working some first team reps with sophomore Nathan Stanley in more drills than he was yesterday.

Jeremiah Masoli

"He did a little more today, but still no contact. His symptoms are improving, but we have to look at everything again tomorrow and see how he's doing then," said Mullins. "Jeremiah did limited reps with the first team.

"We ran some exertion tests this morning and this afternoon. We'll see how he responds tonight and how he comes back tomorrow. That's key."

Exertion tests are run to see if he develops any symptoms from the concussion - headaches, nausea, dizziness, etc.

"We try to get his heart rate up to about 80-95 percent for about 15 minutes. We get him on the stationary bike, treadmill and let him run some. We do that twice a day to push him some and see what happens with his heart rate up," Mullins explained. "Of course, you can't simulate contact, but you can see how he responds to heavy activity."

Coach Houston Nutt said the Rebs had a good practice Wednesday.

"We were focused and had good energy. I feel good with where we are right now. We need a good mental day tomorrow and then it's time to play," said Nutt. "On Jeremiah, we are very hopeful, but we don't know anything for sure yet. He also had a little cold or something today, so that didn't help.

"He did more than he did yesterday, so that's a good sign."

Houston said the Rebels are basically having to install two gameplans.

"It helps us this week that last week Nathan Stanley got to play. We've added a few more things for him this week and we'll go from there. We're working two scenarios hard. and we'll see how it pans out," said Nutt.

UT's defense has impressed Nutt.

"DE Chris Walker is an excellent athlete - quick and disruptive. Their middle linebacker and outside linebacker (Nick Reveiz and LaMarcus Thompson) are also very active players.

Houston Nutt

"Their free safety, Janzen Jackson, is fast and effective," he stated. "They are not real big, but they move, they slant and disrupt. You can see why they played with the bigger teams they have faced because they are quick and fast and they make plays. You'd think you could knock them off the ball, but nobody else has really."

Random Notes:

* DE Gerald Rivers (ankle) practiced again today but he was still favoring the ankle. "He was doing good today until he tweaked it a little about the middle part of practice. We'll see how he is tomorrow morning," said Mullins. "Gerald was full speed early, but twisted it up a little bit during practice." His availability for the UT match is uncertain. If Rivers can play, it's anticipated he will be in the DE rotation with D.T. Shackelford while the other side will be manned by Jason Jones and Wayne Dorsey. If Rivers cannot go, look for more action from true frosh Carlos Thompson, most likely. DT/DE LaMark Armour will also fit into the equation when the Rebel defensive coaches are looking for a bigger lineup.

* Middle Linebacker Jonathan Cornell (hip) looks to be 100%, or very close. He practiced full speed Wednesday and all indications are positive for his return to the lineup. With Cornell's return, that will give DC/LB Coach Tyrone Nix more options in his rotation, which will include Mike Marry, the freshman who replaced Cornell last week and led the team in tackles.

* Freshman TB Jeff Scott (calf pull) and sophomore Center A.J. Hawkins (ankle) looked to be ready to go and missed no practice reps, we were told, on Wednesday.

* Freshman Safety Brishen Mathews missed yesterday's practice with an illness, but was back in the fold Wednesday. Mathews did not get much playing time against Louisiana because Damien Jackson returned to action after sitting out the Auburn game with a bruised knee.

* An injury that has gone under the radar a bit concerns RS frosh OG Michael Brown. Mike has had a back issue the past couple of weeks and is trying to take some injections to ease the pain and curtail inflammation. The hope is that he can avoid surgery if that procedure works. We'll keep you posted.


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