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Due to heavy rain in the Oxford area most of the day Monday, the Rebels practiced in the IPF Tuesday as their preparations for this Saturday's contest with Tulane resumed and heated up.







It's reasonable to believe one might, if one were the Ole Miss football coach, need to look out for a possible "hangover" from the Ole Miss football team after they were humbled by Texas Saturday night.

But after Tuesday's workout in the Indoor Practice Facility, Coach Hugh Freeze did not detect any of that.

"This was our best Tuesday yet, on both sides of the ball," said Freeze. "I thought the energy was great and I was very pleased with the bounce back. We were excited to get back on the field and try to do it better next time."

Freeze said he is excited about taking his team on the road.

"I do think there is something about bringing a team together when you are on the road. Hopefully it will draw us a little closer as a team," he said.

Trae Elston has been elevated to number one Rover, which Freeze noted in his Monday press conference.

"Trae will do fine. He will make mistakes, like Channing (Ward), Anthony (Standifer), Mike (Hilton) and all the freshmen, but Trae will be OK - he's going to be a really good player," Freeze stated.


Charles Sawyer
File Photo

Rover Charles Sawyer, who has been number one there, has been moved to number one CB ahead of Senquez Golson. Freeze liked what he saw.

"He looked good. I will look at the film tonight, but I thought he did real well with the switch," he said.

For his part, Sawyer said he feels comfortable with the change.

"I feel good at corner. I haven't played corner since a few days in spring, but it will come back to me as I get adjusted," he said. "The difference from CB in the boundary and Rover is that it's basically all man-to-man at corner. At safety, there's more to read. Mentally, corner is easier, but physically it's not."

Sawyer said he feels at home.

"I came here to play corner and I think it is a more natural position for me," he continued. "I'm happy with the change. The last time I played CB, we were more press than off-man coverage. When we do press, it is natural to me. Off-man, I have to get used to.

"The coaches saw the problems we had defensively against Texas and have made some needed changes, throughout. I like what we are doing."

Random Notes:

* Apparently, there was very little residual affect from the Texas game in the injury department. Slot Korvic Neat sat out Tuesday's practice with a pulled groin and DT Uriah Grant has a hand issue that may prevent him from playing against Tulane, but that was about it as far as "new" injuries are concerned. Neat's status for the Tulane game is questionable. . . OL Terrell Brown is still out with a sprained knee, but that happened nearly two weeks ago. . . Ivan Nicholas returned to practice after missing two weeks with a hamstring issue.


Channing Ward
File Photo

* There have been no changes on the offensive line, but Freeze said the Rebels are going to have to start using more than five as they gradually turn up the tempo in their offense. "Five can't do it. We have to plug some other guys in at times, have to," he noted. Likely candidates are G Justin Bell, T Patrick Junen and C Ben Still.

* Freshman WR Cody Core made himself more visible in practice with two or three excellent catches. On one, QB Maikhail Miller led him a bit too far on an out route, Cody went horizontal to the ground fully extended and snagged a bullet with not much more than his fingertips. The rest of the receivers sprinted toward him, congratulating him on a picture perfect reception. What's holding him back? "He's just got more to learn and he has to be consistent in running the right routes and doing the right things when his number is called," noted Freeze.

* With Neat out today, Philander Moore and Collins Moore took up the slack in the slot. Philander had a short TD catch in the tempo drills. "Philander will probably start, but we have to get Collins more reps. He has missed a lot of reps with injury," Hugh added. "We still have not made a decision on Collins yet. We have six games - he can play in three - and still get a medical redshirt. We are still playing it by ear to see if he can go or not for the full year, but we will need him this week. Hopefully his shoulder will hold up."

* Expect to see more of #11, Mr. Channing Ward. He took a lot of reps Tuesday with the number one defense at defensive end. Channing has improved quite a bit over the past two weeks and had a decent showing against Texas, earning him some more PT, or so it appeared in Tuesday's practice. "I don't know if he will start yet or not. E.J. (Epperson) had to go to Jackson today for a class. Channing will get more snaps because he needs more before we get into SEC play," Freeze said. "He's getting better. He's just raw. He gets caught up with single blocks sometimes because he doesn't realize how good he can be. He needs to start escaping those blocks faster and going to make a play. He gets a little distracted, but he's definitely talented. He looked good for a big boy trying to run down a Texas wideout on the sweep. He's got speed."


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