Physical Theme Continues

Ole Miss Coach Houston Nutt promised Monday that he would "bloody some noses" this week with more physical practices. He did it Tuesday and Wednesday and followed suit on Thursday, but Thursday's workout was shorter. Read about it inside.

Being physical is a mindset for a football team.

The mindset was not ingrained in the Rebels enough through five games to suit Coach Houston Nutt, so to get that mentality more imbedded, the heat was turned up in the contact department this week in practice, culminating with Thursday's shorter, but still physical, workout.

"I saw us get tougher this week," Nutt noted. "That's all we did for three straight days and the guys didn't back up or back off. We were hitting each other in the mouths and playing very physical football this week. We have to continue that right through next week's game and for the rest of the year."

Nutt was pleased with the progress Quarterback Randall Mackey made this week coming off his first start of the year against Fresno State, a successful outing.

"Randall has been in a good rhythm this week. He's been getting the ball out quickly," said Nutt. "He's going to have to continue that right up and through the Alabama game because he's going to facing the best defense in the country.

"He's watched film and understands that, so he's been working hard to build off next week and continue to get better."

Wayne Dorsey
File Photo

While the Rebs were focusing a lot on the physical part of football this week, they also installed some of their gameplan for Alabama.

"We got a good start on the things we want to do," said Nutt. "We didn't get it all in, but we feel good about where we are in installation of the gameplan."

Alabama has one of the top defensive units in the country, obviously and statistically, but their offense ain't shabby either.

"They will try to shove it down our throats," Houston stated. "We have to do a whole lot better job of getting off blocks than we did last week and being better tacklers. They have the best OL we will see and Trent Richardson is probably the best back we will face all year. We worked hard on getting our fits, getting off blocks and being better tacklers this week."

Now, the Rebels will get a couple of days off. They don't have to focus on football again until Sunday at 2 p.m. when practice resumes.

"They need it (time off). They have been going hard since early August and this will be good for them," said Nutt. "I just told them that I didn't want them running home to Florida and things like that. Tomorrow (Friday) is still a school day and 2 o'clock Sunday will get here faster than they think. My understanding is that there will not be a lot of guys on the road. Most will stay here and just rest, which is what I prefer."

Random Notes:

* Senior CB Marcus Temple missed practice Thursday due to an illness in his family. He is expected back for Sunday's practice.

* LB Rudy Wilson missed Thursday's practice due to a light concussion he got Tuesday. He should return by Sunday if he continues to progress.

* For part of Thursday's workout, Patrick Junen was running with the first team offense at left guard and Evan Swindall was at center.

* All position coaches were on the road recruiting Thursday. Nutt, OC David Lee and DC Tyrone Nix handled practice. Nutt and Nix hit the road recruiting early Friday morning.

* In pass scale, Mackey was lighting it up in the passing game and his number one target on the day was none other than freshman Tobias Singleton, who caught numerous passes during the 15-minute session. Is Tobias ready for a more expanded role? If that session as any indication, he's well on his way.

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