Nutt: 'It's a new week'

Houston Nutt lamented the opening-game 14-13 loss to BYU but said it's full speed ahead toward Southern Illinois.

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"It's a new week," Nutt said. "As much as that one hurts and we felt like we gift-wrapped a few things to help a good team win, it's time to move on."

They know how close they came to being 1-0 and upsetting the favored Cougars.

"You watch the film and the more you see it, it's just such a fine line. We beat ourselves and had so many chances to win the game," Nutt said. "We've got to learn from it, starting with taking care of the ball. Everybody can do better."

The Salukis come in after a 38-10 opening game win at Southeast Missouri State. Once upon a time these type games were considered sure wins. Not anymore, since Jacksonville State upset Ole Miss a year ago.

SIU and Ole Miss have played once before, and that was a 59-3 Ole Miss win in 1994 when Joe Lee Dunn was the Rebels' interim head coach.

"All you have to do is watch the film (of SIU)," Nutt said. "This is a good football team. We've got a real challenge, and we don't have time to feel sorry for ourselves. We have to be 100 percent focused."

Of major concern currently is the Rebels' offensive backfield. Banged up in the opener at the position, Nutt listed those who would carry the football in the running game this week.

"Right now we have Jeff Scott, Devin Thomas, and we'll probably move Korvic Neat back from the receiver slot to tailback. And we'll work tomorrow with Chief Brown and Cody Prewitt as well. Got to get a couple more guys in there ready to go because we're so thin."

Brandon Bolden is in a walking boot for a couple of weeks, and they will see how his slightly fractured ankle will progress. Enrique Davis hyperextended his knee against BYU and could see action against SIU. But it is doubtful.

"I'm hopeful (he will play this weekend), but he won't practice this week," Nutt said of Davis. "My experience tells me when you don't practice it's going to be hard."

Jeff Scott
Bruce Newman

Scott also had a leg injury early in the BYU game but returned to continue to play.

Randall Mackey is able to participate in this game after sitting out game one with a suspension. Nutt said Zack Stoudt will start at quarterback this week after replacing starter Barry Brunetti in the second quarter of the opener and going the rest of the way.

"We're going to start Zack Stoudt and we'll keep practicing the other two. But most of the reps are going to go to Zack Stoudt this week. We'll let him start the game, and we'll see how everything else flows."

More Nutt Notes:

On Aaron Garbutt and his first start: "For his first time out I thought he was very, very good and physical. There are some things to correct, but he really chased the ball hard. Did good things in pass coverage and run stoppers. He's only going to get better. Feel good about him."

On younger players and how they played: "I was excited about their focus all throughout the week as it got closer to the game. I think they're very mature. All these young guys had excellent camps. But the first game is their first time to see the speed and you're playing a very good team. Nick (Brassell) would be the first to tell you he rarely drops that ball and I don't think he will again. I was very pleased with how they played and how hard they competed."

On only 64 yards in 29 attempts rushing for his offense: "I was disappointed in some of the blocking. There were times that there was blocking and the (runner) didn't hit the hole. So it was a combination. I would like to have seen what would have happened if both (Bolden and Davis) had been healthy. There were a couple of plays that were blocked up that we could have hit a crease. Overall I know our offensive line can do better than that. And we played against a very, very good defense."

On Kentrell Lockett: "He got 49 snaps. The more the game went on, the better he got. He got confidence in his leg and got in a flow. I was really proud of that. We need him. I look for him to continue to get better."

On how the defense feels after a solid first game: "They feel there were some drives they could have gotten off the field sooner. There are some plays that could have been stopped. There is no way they're satisfied. They're happy because of the way they competed. They played extremely hard against a veteran football team. They know they have a long ways to go – we all do - and you can't rest on that first game."

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