New Starters?

The Rebels practiced Tuesday as the game against Kentucky in Lexington this Saturday looms. Ole Miss is still searching for that magic formula that will bring them an SEC victory.

After coming up empty again at Auburn, the Ole Miss Rebels went back to the proverbial drawing board Tuesday as they began preparations for Saturday's match with SEC foe Kentucky in Lexington.

"We had perfect weather and a perfect attitude. It was a good practice - we just have to follow it up with a better one tomorrow," said Coach Houston Nutt. "I was proud of the way the guys went about things."

The coaches are entertaining some new (freshman) faces in the defensive lineup - Cody Prewitt in place of Damien Jackson at safety, Keith Lewis in place of Aaron Garbutt at Spur and Serderius Bryant at linebacker in place of Joel Kight.

"We are just putting guys out there who are going to keep making plays for us. It's not that we are canning the others - they will play too, but right now, those guys have been productive and deserve a shot," said Nutt. "Those guys started on special teams and they have grown. They have no fear, they run to the ball and they make plays. They show up. Serderius has a lot of enthusiasm and plays that way. If Cody hadn't broken his hand, we probably would have already seen this move. He has great height, speed and ball skills. Now, his hand is much better."

Freshman Nick Brassell will continue to play both ways, as taxing as that can be.

"We ask a lot of him, especially the way we run him deep quite a bit, but he's shown he can handle it," said Nutt.

Defensive Coordinator Tyrone Nix echoed what Nutt said about the changes, except he added a caveat.

"The final decisions will not be made until Thursday, so they have to keep competing," said Nix, "but we are leaning that way right now (with the freshmen starting). Serderius has matured during the season and we feel he can give us an extra burst. He plays with a little extra juice and that can ignite the other guys.

"Cody is the starting safety right now. He has earned our trust. He deserves a shot. He has all the tools and his hand is better now."

Nix expects to play a Kentucky offense that is similar to Ole Miss' O - improving.

"They can be explosive. They play with two quarterbacks, both big kids. The biggest thing is they are improving every week - a lot like us," Nix explained. "They have been striving for consistency just like we have on both sides of the ball.

"We will have to be focused and consistent against them."

Random Notes:

* Serderius said he's pumped at the opportunity to start. "I always give everything I have and Saturday will be no different. It's all about heart," he said. "I'm really excited. I've worked hard in practice and have done some good things in games, so I guess this is my chance. All the freshmen are playing with pride and setting ourselves up for success now and in the future."

* When DE Wayne Dorsey went down with a broken arm against Alabama, some other players had to step up. One who has is Cameron Whigham. Whigham didn't tear up the stat sheet against Auburn when he split time with Jason Jones, but he did show he is now back in good form after a knee operation at the first of the year. Whig played physical at the line of scrimmage and had a couple of tackles, one behind the line of scrimmage. Senior Kentrell Lockett also had his best game of the year. Of the Rebs' top four remaining defensive ends, three are dealing with coming back from knee issues - Lockett, Whigham and Jones. The hope in the football camp is that those three will continue to improve and continue to get their true form back. Last week was a positive step for all three.

Collins Moore
File Photo

* Freshman Wide Receiver Collins Moore reported to Ole Miss in the summer weighing 172 pounds. He quickly gained to 202 - too quickly in fact. Now, he's down to 195 and is learning to play with the extra weight. Consequently, he's getting more game snaps each week. He's certainly starting to look the part.

* Dorsey and CB Marcus Temple, who broke his foot against Alabama, were at practice Tuesday. Dorsey had surgery on his arm and said he is progressing nicely. Temple is in a walking boot and on crutches, immobilized for another four weeks, he said. Both seem to be in good spirits, all things considered.

* Freshman Safety Cody Prewitt broke his hand in a freak accident two weeks ago. He had successful and then played in a club much like former LB Patrick Willis played with some of his junior season. Tuesday at practice, Cody was no longer in the club. His hand is heavily taped and he is wearing a glove, but he can use his hand now to catch a ball and he can grab with the hand. Quick, but not full, recovery.

* Don'[t be surprised to see more of freshman Wide Receiver Tobias Singleton in the Kentucky game. He's been practicing well the last couple of weeks and has gotten his feet wet in games in spot duty and on kickoff returns. It might be his week to get more action and more opportunity to shine.

* WR Vincent Sanders rolled his ankle in the Auburn game and looked a little gimpy Tuesday, but he was still practicing.

* For the third week in a row, it appears Center Evan Swindall and LG Aaron Morris will remain with the first team OL. The combination must be working - the Rebs rushed for 220 yards on 44 carries against Auburn.

* Word around the IPF today is that freshman WR Tyler Baker had the best Halloween costume on the team. Baker dressed as Lt. Dan of Forrest Gump fame.

OM Spirit Top Stories