LSU Special For 'BB'

Obviously, the 2011 season is not how senior RB Brandon Bolden wanted to end his Rebel football career, but he believes Ole Miss has two more shots at a modicum of redemption.

Ole Miss senior RB Brandon Bolden envisioned something much, much better when he opted to return for his senior season at Ole Miss after flirting with turning pro last January.

He didn't anticipate an ankle injury in the first game of the season against BYU that would sideline him or slow him down for several games.

And, for a player with a history of never getting into trouble, being suspended for a game for skipping a practice wasn't on his to-do list either in his final year when he's trying to impress NFL scouts.

But, as the saying goes, it is what it is, water under the bridge. All he can look forward to is his last two games as a Reb.

Being from Baton Rouge, the one this week against number one LSU holds an extra incentive.

Brandon Bolden
File Photo

"It's not just me, we have several players from that area. We always enjoy playing them," said Brandon, who is 2-1 in his careeer against LSU thus far. "We are going to be fighting to get a win, the same as every game. It's a little special because I am from there and they are number one, but it's still just another game we need to compete hard in."

Bolden, like most, was dumbfounded the way the Rebs played against Louisiana Tech.

"I really thought we were ready, despite all the stuff that happened last week," he stated. "We just didn't take how we practiced to the game field. Everybody went out there fighting, but it just didn't pan out, kind of like the whole season has gone."

He knows LSU is a different "animal."

"The guys who have played them before have told the guys who haven't that this is a different deal," he said. "We have told them they have to be as intense and tuned in as they can be. LSU is not as big as Alabama on defense, but they are faster. They close a whole quickly.

"We just have to quit shooting ourselves in the foot. Penalties, turnovers, it's just been almost epidemic this year. If we will stop those things, we can compete. We always play these guys tough. I see no reason we can't do that again. I know they are on the top shelf of college football, but you see upsets every Saturday on this level. Why not us?"

Bolden will be taking the field for the last time in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

"It will be very emotional. I hope I don't cry. I've loved it here and will miss it," he noted. "I will be OK as long as I know in my heart that everyone left everything on the field at the end of the game."

The Rebs wrapped up game preparations for the Tigers Thursday.

Coach Houston Nutt was asked the standard Thursday question: What are the keys to the game?

"As everyone knows, LSu is very physical. We hve to match that toughness," he said. "We have to be very physical in stopping the run and being able to run the ball ourselves some.

"LSU has been very selfish on defense. Those guys are very fast across the board and one of the fastest secondary groups I have ever seen. That secondary also has length. Except for the Honey Badger, they are all tall and active. And all of them are ballhawks."

Nutt got back to a theme he's been preaching, to little avail, all year.

"We can't help them with penalties and turnovers. On defense, we have to make them go the long way. We have to keep their receivers in front of us and not let guys like Ruben Randle get behind us like he always seems to do," he continued. "And, of course, we have to be strong on special teams."

With QB Randall Mackey suspended, Zack Stoudt and Barry Brunetti have taken over that position.

"I have been very proud of the way both those guys have handled this situation," Nutt stated. "They have both come in for extra film work on their own. They have been very intense in the way they have practiced."

Nutt said Stoudt and Brunetti will both play.

"We will start with Zack, but Barry will play. We have not scripted when, but he will play," said Nutt. "When he does get his shot, it won't be for a play or two. He will get a series and we will give him a chance to get a feel for moving the team."

Random Notes:

* Senior Damien Jackson, who was beaten out by freshman Cody Prewitt a couple of games ago at the safety slot, has been moved to Spur. Starting Spur Aaron Garbutt hurt his hand in the Louisiana Tech game and had to have surgery Monday on one of his fingers. Jackson, who played Spur in August but was moved back to safety before the opening game at BYU, is familiar with the position. "I think Damien will do a good job closer to the line of scrimmage," Nutt assessed. . . Freshman Keith Lewis will back up Jackson and is expected to play "a lot."

* With Korvic Neat and Jeff Scott also being suspended, that should create an opening for more playing time for Philander Moore and Collins Moore at slot and possibly for Nick Parker at running back.

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