Play Four Quarters

Houston Nutt wants his Ole Miss Rebels to put together a complete game of football. At Auburn Saturday night is the next opportunity.

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"We've got to play all four quarters," said Nutt, whose team fell to 2-5 on the season and 0-4 in Southeastern Conference play with a 29-24 loss to Arkansas in Oxford last Saturday. "The first two quarters were outstanding. Guys were really flying, executing, making plays. That 60 minutes is so important, and we've got to do a better job of those last 30 minutes and finishing."

Nutt said his team's effort meant it still had a chance to win in the game's final moments.

"After watching the film and putting everything to rest, I was really proud of our effort," he said. "I thought our guys played extremely hard. We've got to do a better job and finish."

Now it's back to the practice field to get ready for the defending national champion Tigers, who are 5-3 overall and 3-2 in SEC play following a 45-10 setback at LSU Saturday.

"I like the way we fought to the end, but again you're looking for that W," Nutt said. "You're looking for that win. I like the attitude we came to work with yesterday, watched the film, learn, get better. Let's start the (Auburn) week off right tomorrow."

Auburn is a team that runs the football with efficiency. The Tigers are currently ranked fourth in the SEC in rushing at 183.2 yards per game.

"We've talked really hard about we've got to be better tacklers," Nutt said. "We've got to be better run fits, especially against a team like Auburn. You know they're going to run the football. That's no secret. Everybody's got to be good tacklers."

More Nutt Notes:

On Auburn's quarterback situation a year removed from Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton leading the Tigers to a national championship: "They've used three different quarterbacks. They'll throw it. Again, it's no secret (that they'll run it). They'll still hand the ball to (their playmakers). We'll have to stop that."

Houston Nutt
Chuck Rounsaville

On playing so many freshmen a lot of minutes now: "We're throwing them out there, throwing the gameplan to them. They're accepting it, learning it, and playing extremely hard with a competitive spirit. Aaron Morris was outstanding for his first start and got better as the game went on. Really proud of him. Cody Prewitt going out there with his hand clubbed up like Patrick Willis covering kicks for us. It's that kind of attitude that I think they can be really special."

On if Auburn is vulnerable after a decisive loss at LSU: "I have no idea. I just know what I see on film, and that's every team is good. I'm more concerned about our guys and playing at a very high level for 60 minutes, not just 30 or 40. Every single play, every single series. Auburn goes to South Carolina and wins. They beat Florida. They've won a lot of games, and they are the defending national champions. That's carried them in games that were close. They finish them."

On being outscored decisively in third quarters: "The same fire, the same attitude we come out with in the first quarter has got to be the same in the third quarter. The first five minutes of the game and the first five minutes of the third quarter are so important. You can't look for things to go wrong. You've got to expect good things. That's the way you started the game. It's 0-0 (at halftime). Let's come out and let's play."

On Ja-Mes Logan not being on the two-deep: "Donte Moncrief, Tobias Singleton, Vince Sanders are coming on, as is Collins Moore. The young guys are pushing. We used him there at the end to run a route he was familiar with. He made a big catch for us. We haven't thrown him to the side, but there's some competition right there that's going on, and I like that."

On his team remaining in the game and fighting until the final moments: "I really appreciate the attitude and the effort of really going out and laying it on the line and competing hard. There was just a lull there in the third quarter that we didn't have field position, we didn't get a turnover, we didn't stop them. That adds up. But we could have said OK, this is what's happened the last three weeks and could have stopped playing. But they didn't. They kept fighting and had a chance until the end with the onsides kick. We've just got to keep building on that, keep getting better, keep improving. Our wins are going to come."

On what Nick Brassell and Donte Moncrief have to do to keep improving: The one thing you love about them is they're ready to compete. We saw that in the 10th grade, 11th grade when they came here on campus. We saw that competitive spirit, that fight they have. We love that. What they have to keep doing now is keep adjusting to the speed of the game. Defenders try to strip you all the way to the end. So look it in and take care of the ball. Keep playing the way you're playing. Film study is important. They have the talent to get it done."

On two redshirt freshmen defensive tackles Carlton Martin and Bryon Bennett and their progress: "They've gotten better. They've just got to keep coming and keep working. It's one of the toughest positions on the field, especially going against older men. Those guys are working and I love their attitude and the way they're fighting. They're getting better."

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