Good Demeanor

Yes, the Ole Miss-Texas game is a big one, a game that will draw the national spotlight to Oxford and Ole Miss, but Rebel Coach Hugh Freeze has seen a loose and relaxed team through Wednesday's practice.

With the Texas Longhorns coming to town, and the national spotlight with them, the Ole Miss Rebels are not whipping themselves into a frenzy - yet.

It's been business as usual in practices so far, and Coach Hugh Freeze is glad of it.

"I like our demeanor this week. I like our coaches' demeanor too. It's all about business. We are not treating this game any differently than any of them, because it's really not. We have a lot of 'big' games," Freeze said. "If you don't learn how to prepare for them all the same, you get on a roller coaster and I don't like roller coasters."

After two wins, Hugh says the "buy-in" is good, but that's easy when a team is 2-0.

"It's hard to determine the buy-in percentage when things are going well," he smiled. "As the season goes on, that will be revealed more accurately, but right now, all is good."

Freeze felt the team's energy was good Wednesday.

"We were a little sloppy in the offensive line picking up some of the things Texas does - they do a lot of stuff and can cause some confusion. They can create negative plays - it's going to happen - it happens with everyone they play, but hopefully we can be right some of the time and catch them," Freeze continued. "The good thing is that we have had good energy while preparing for what they do.

"Another good thing out here is that our scout team has been phenomenal. This is the most difficult week for them to simulate our opponent because some of the stuff Tex as does is so different, but the scout team has been phenomenal with their effort. We have gotten a good luck, but it's tough to simulate the speed Texas has. It will take us a quarter to get settled in to adjust to the speed they have."

Freeze was asked about PK Bryson Rose, who is 0-4 on the year so far, and how he has practiced this week thus far.

"Bryson was solid yesterday and we will kick more field goals tomorrow. I expect another good day from him," Freeze closed.

Random Notes:

* OT Terrell Brown, who plays tight end on the field goal/PAT team, has been sidelined since last week with a sprained knee. He is still not practicing. He spends his time at practice on a stationary bike. No word on when he might return.


Mike Marry
Chuck Rounsaville

* Middle Linebacker Mike Marry said the upcoming game is not about Texas, it's about Ole Miss. "They are a good football team with good speed, but we aren't worried about what they are doing - we are worried about what we are doing and our assignments," said Marry, the team's leading tackler thus far. "We have to execute what we do and not worry about them. Do our jobs and everything will be OK. We're not worried about the Texas name. They have SEC talent, so we have faced that before. We have to run to the ball and keep our eyes in the right place. We have the ability to get it done, we just have to do it. We got better from week one to week two - a lot better. We put in more time in the film room and that has continued this week."

* Backup OT Patrick Junen missed practice today due to a minor sickness. He is expected back tomorrow. Patrick is Pierce Burton's backup at right tackle and plays right tackle when Burton moves to LT to give starter Emmanuel McCray a breather.

* DT Issac Gross did not practice Wednesday sue to continuing issues with a bruised/pulled calf muscle injured in the season opener. He is expected to play against the Longhorns, but rest is the best cure for his injury. Like Brown, he spent much of the day on a stationary bike to keep the blood circulating in the muscle. He is undergoing treatment twice a day. "He's got a little blood in taht calf muscle, but I think he will be fine," said Freeze. "I just wanted to hold him out another day. Nothing is structurally wrong. He's got some swelling in there, but he's tough - he'll be fine."

* With Gross out of the lineup today, senior Gilbert Pena has moved into his slot next to DT Uriah Grant. Pena has shown vsat improvement this season since losing 30-35 pounds in the offseason.

* For the second week in a row, Cameron Whigham is working with the number one defense at DE opposite C.J. Johnson. Whigham, who got his first start against UTEP, was number one for a week or so into fall camp, but relinquished the job in the latter stages of August to E.J. Epperson. He admitted last week that E.J. "outworked me" in fall camp and said he had learned his lesson about effort in practice. E.J. and freshman Channing Ward are backing Cameron up.

* Safety Ivan Nicholas, for the third week now, is still nursing a hamstring injury. He was not dressed out for practice Wednesday.

* It appears Chief Brown and Frank Crawford will take up most of the slack for suspended freshman Trae Elston as Rover. Trae has been backing up starter Charles Sawyer the past two games. Both Brown and Crawford are also capable of playing free safety behind Cody Prewitt.

* After showing improvement in game two against UTEP, the offensive line lineup will remain the same, as anticipated: LT McCray, LG Aaron Morris, C Evan Swindall, RG A.J. Hawkins, RT Burton.

* WR Collins Moore, who is trying to come back from a shoulder dislocation, reinjured his shoulder a bit in Wednesday's practice. He had to leave the field holding his shoulder and there was no contact involved. He returned after a few minutes, but it was obvious he is struggling.


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