Eyes Forward

Three weeks, three losses with LSU on the horizon. For Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze, it's ancient history. The message he's always sent his team, in good times or bad, is to look forward. Looking back - win or lose, serves no purpose.

Sunday afternoon is the deadline Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze imposes on the team for carryover.

"We look at the game from the day before, teach and correct and then it's over," said Freeze, after Wednesday's practice in the Manning Center. "There's nothing else to say or do and we better be giving 100% of our attention to the next opponent."

In this case, the next opponent is a doozie.

LSU, undefeated and in the Top 10 in the nation, is next in line and the Rebels are focused on nothing but the Tigers.

"I wish we could have gone outside today - I love this kind of cooler weather, but the rain drive us inside and we got plenty done today," said Freeze. "I think our defensive plan is a good one. We have a few mistakes to clean up, but I like what we are doing there.

"On defense, LSU is very good. Coach John Chavis has been around a long, long time, he knows exactly what he wants to do and he has the athletes to do it. I know their offense is getting a lot of attention right now, but everyone understands the type of defense that is expected at LSU and nothing has changed about that. They still have those athletes over there."

Jeff Scott
File Photo

Random Notes:

* While the injury list has been daunting this week, there appears to be a chance - a chance is not definitive, by the way - that LB Temario (neck) and DT Issac Gross (ribs) - are heading toward getting healed up enough to give it a try Saturday against LSU. Both were held out of Wednesday's practice, but both were working with trainers in the end zone of the Manning Center on some light drill work. Both have declared their intention to play. "It looks like we are going to get them back," said Freeze. "Temario surprised us today and is moving around a lot better. It would be a bonus to get them back. Temario has been phenomenal on special teams. He loves to play the game and he is physical. It will be good to have him."

* If Tailback Jeff Scott cannot go Saturday, it looks as if, from drills in practice, Korvic Neat will take over punt return duties. Neat returned punts most of last year when the tailback spot was so thin that the coaches did not want to risk Scott. Neat has been hurt (knee) some this year, but is healthy now after minor surgery. "Korvic will be backed up by Trae Elston in case something happens," said Freeze. . . Scott's status is still being labeled as questionable. He did not practice Wednesday. "I really don't expect him back. If he dresses, it would still be hard for me to put him out there ahead of those other guys after missing all of our gameplanning and everything else," said Freeze. "I don't look for him to dress though.". . . . Freeze noted he feels good about I'Tavius Mathers and Jaylen Walton, who he expects to handle most of hte TB duties. "I think we will be fine there," he noted. "They have come a long way in their development and we trust them in all phases. I think they showed against the Aggies they can make plays."

* Without Mike Hilton, who will not play against LSU, it appears as if senior Charles Sawyer, who is just now rounding into form after offseason shoulder surgery, will get the nod in his place. Sawyer will be backed up by freshman Derrick Jones, who saw his first action at CB against Texas A&M last week. At the other corner, Senquez Golson will start and recently-reinstated Carlos Davis and freshman Bobby Hill will back him up.

* In case you missed our tweet and message board post today, sophomore CB Anthony Standifer has been dismissed from the team for breaking team rules. Whether or not he will be allowed to come back in the spring has not been decided yet.

* LSU is a power team. They come right at you on offense with a Pro-style, play-action package comprised of brute force and athleticism. A stop-us-if-you-can mentality that they have believed in for many years. Obviously, the Rebel defensive charge is to stop the Tiger run game. With three main defensive ends - C.J. Johnson, Robert Nkemdiche and Carlos Thompson - out for the game, DC Dave Wommack is looking, both philosophically and out of necessity, to go bigger, meaning there will be some looks where Wommack will use Defensive Tackle Bryon Bennett at DE and put senior 260-pounder Cameron Whigham at the other DE slot. The philosophy is to fight fire (power) with fire.

* The Rebels had an unexpected visitor on campus today - rapper Wale. "The kids loved it," said Hugh. "His presence gave us some energy. Anything that can break things up in the middle of the season is a good thing. We appreciate his visit. He's is a really nice young man."

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