Thursday Practice Report

Ole Miss Coach Houston Nutt was fidgety after Thursday's practice. Part of it was from the cold, but most of it from anxiousness. Read about it inside.

Ole Miss Coach Houston Nutt has been happy with this week's practice as the Rebels continued preparations for the LSU game in Baton Rouge Saturday afternoon, but he seemed a little antsy when addressing the media.

His first remarks cleared up why.

"We had a good day today, but I'm really anxious, anxious to get back on the field and play another game," he stated. "Anytime you play bad the week before, you just can't wait to tee it up again.

"That's one thing I like about basketball - they can play the next night. We can't, we have to wait a whole week for a chance to get the bad taste out of our mouths."

As he and other coaches have noted all week, the challenge to getting that "bad taste" out of their mouths is number 5-ranked LSU, whose defense is the top-rated unit in the SEC, but whose offense can also be formidable.

Houston Nutt

"Their offense has done enough in every game to win except one. They are explosive. Terrence Toliver and Rueben Randle, big tall receivers, Steven Ridley, a powerful back, speedster Russell Shepard - they are all explosive athletes," Nutt assessed. "They use two QBs - Jordan Jefferson is more elusive and he throws strikes, but Jarrett Lee can really throw it.

"They also have a good offensive line. You can see why they are number 5 in the country."

Nutt has also has concerns about return specialist Patrick Peterson.

"He's something. He keeps you up at night. He returns kicks, punts and then goes and covers the best receiver. He's a big, physical guy," noted Nutt. "You have to mix things up with where you kick the ball because if they get a feel for what we are doing, he's special."

Nutt said WR Jesse Grandy (shoulder), CB Charles Sawyer (knee) and WR Ja-Mes Logan (Achilles tendon) will all be ready to play by Saturday and have gotten progressively better all week from a health standpoint.

While the Rebs have struggled this year, one player who has performed admirably and effectively is junior TB Brandon Bolden.

Brandon currently has 840 yards rushing and is averaging 6.3 yards a carry. He's also scored 11 TDs.

Brandon Bolden

"He's having a great year," said RB Coach Derrick Nix. "Brandon is playing hard, taking care of the football, he's been a good blocker at fullback, he's covered punts, he's caught ball out of the backfield - he's just done everything we have asked of him.

"Brandon has had a great attitude. Despite some of the games we have lost, he has been a constant plus for us on offense. We lean on him and he has responded. I think he enjoys that we count on him so much and he likes to compete."

Nix said Bolden's improvement from last year in the run game stems from one thing.

"I made a cut-up of his runs from his freshman year and from his sophomore year and asked him what he thought the difference was," said Derrick. "He said he was not getting upfield quickly enough last year as he did when he was a freshman. He's back to getting up the field quicker and taking his creases and going.

"He knew he had to get up the field quicker and he's done that. He's also shown that he can break tackles, he can bounce it outside when he needs to and he's got enough speed in the open field to make big gains."

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