Still Focused On Winning

Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt said he can't be concerned about his job security when quizzed about it in his Monday press conference. His focus is on winning games.

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"I don't look at it like going into the office (and saying) uh-oh. This could be it. I don't look at it that way," said Nutt, in his fourth Ole Miss season after 10 seasons as head coach at Arkansas. "I'm in charge and responsible for about 120 guys. Love it here. But I know this, they pay me to win, and right now we're not winning.

"But I look at it the complete opposite probably from the way you look at it," Nutt continued, answering a reporter's question. "I take every single day and give it everything I have. I've done that since the first day I got here. Work from daylight to exhaustion every day. Trying to make a difference in a young person's life, and trying to win football games. We haven't done that this year, and I don't like that."

Nutt said nobody likes losing games, especially him.

"I hate losing," he said. "I think there are some players that feel the same way I do. They hate losing. You try to give them the best plan possible. So every single day you come to work and sometimes you stay up late at night thinking about what's the best plan we can give these guys so that we can win. It's all we think about."

Nutt said job security is simply something that can't consume him as he goes about his job of coaching the Ole Miss Rebels.

"But for me to kind of walk on egg shells and come in all nervous and worry about is this my last day or last game, or is this my last month, I don't look at it like that," he said. "I can't do that."

Houston Nutt
Bruce Newman

Nutt has always said November is the month people remember the most during a football campaign. This November, however, appears to be especially under a microscope as Ole Miss has stumbled to a 2-6 overall record and a 0-5 Southeastern Conference mark.

"Nobody wants to be in this position," he said. "The last thing on our mind coming in the first week of November is that we'd be where we are. You hate that."

Nutt said the loss of some key players has contributed to the Rebels' dismal season.

"You look back at guys that should be here, guys like Clarence Jackson, Patrick Patterson, Tig Barksdale. You look at guys that the bottom line was, for whatever reason, they didn't work out (and it) hurt your numbers. What makes you so hopeful are guys like Sederious Bryant. Cody Prewitt's going to be a really good football player. Keith Lewis. Those two redshirt freshmen are growing up in a hurry. Guys like Bryon Bennett and Carlton Martin. They're going to be outstanding. Offensively Aaron Morris is getting better each snap.

"I haven't mentioned Tobias Singleton, Nick Brassell, Donte Moncrief. All have made significant plays. Plays that are made by juniors and seniors, they're making them now. That's what gets me excited. We want to finish out the right way and get these guys a lot of hope. There's only one antidote and it's winning."

Ole Miss has its best chance to win a game in a month with a contest Saturday afternoon at Kentucky. The Wildcats are 3-5 overall and 0-4 in league play.

"I know the players want to win," Nutt said. "It doesn't matter who it is, it's the next game, it's the most important game. They're a team a lot like us. I know what I want (my players) to get excited about, (and that's) playing for 60 minutes. Everybody doing their job. Play with a lot of passion and energy and let's win. Get a victory."

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