Readying For Troy

The Rebels resumed practice Tuesday in the Manning Center and it was as close to all hands on deck as it has been in weeks. Only CB Charles Sawyer and DE Carlos Thompson were MIA.

It seems like it's been a long time since the Ole Miss football team didn't have a laundry list of injured.

Tuesday, when practice began for the game Saturday morning against the Troy Trojans, Rebel Coach Hugh Freeze had nearly a full compliment of players.

Even TB Jeff Scott, who has been out since the Texas A&M game with thigh/bone spur/nerve issues, returned to the fold.

Scott was fielding punts and running plays full speed in Tuesday's workout in the Manning Center.

"It was good to have Jeff back today. It's been a while since he has been out here and he looked good," said Freeze. "He looked like his old self and will be able to go based on today."

Freeze said he was also pleased with the way the Rebel worked Tuesday.

"We had a good day. It was a work day today and they responded from the time they got up early this morning and lifted weights all the way through practice," noted Hugh. "They embraced everything we asked of them and they seemed hungry to make the most of our time in practice. It was a good day."

The Rebel offense has put up over 500 yards in the past two games. Is the yards/scoring ratio suiting Freeze?

"I think any time you are above thirty points a game you are doing OK, but I think we are a few points below where we should be," he said. "We had a time or two in the Red Zone against Arkansas we should have scored and didn't. We are a little behind, but not far.

"It is astonishing to me to look around the country and see the yards and points some teams are putting up, but I don't think they are playing the type of defenses we are seeing week-in and week-out."

Freeze is familiar with Troy. He played them when he was at Arkansas State and he has a working knowledge of their defense.

"They have given up yardage, but they are athletic. I think if we take care of the football and be who we are, we are playing with confidence and Bo is playing well," he explained. "Our receivers are playing better with fewer drops and our RBs are doing a nice job. Hopefully we are about to hit our stride.

"Troy has a different defensive coordinator, but they are very similar to what they did when I was at ASU. They play a little more man coverage, but the rest is very similar."

Random Notes:

* Safeties Trae Elston and Chief Brown both had shoulder issues in the Arkansas game and had to leave the game, but they both came back and finished the contest up. They were both practicing full speed Tuesday.

Bo Wallace
File Photo

* CB Charles Sawyer (quad pull) did not dress out Tuesday, and it looks as if he will not play against Troy. But he is getting better and it is anticipated he will be back for Missouri.

* DE John Youngblood, who had a concussion against Arkansas, will not play against Troy. In his spot, D. T. Shackelford and Temario Strong will pick up the slack.

* Redshirt freshman OL Daronte Bouldin recently squatted 562 pounds. Guess what? That's nothing new for him and not the best he has ever done. He can break the 600-pound barrier. How do I know? He did it in high school. Very strong young man, regardless of age.

* TB Kailo Moore did not play in the Arkansas game due to a thigh bruise he sustained last Thursday. He dressed out for practice Tuesday, but was limited. He is expected to be OK for Troy.

* LT Laremy Tunsil was suffering from flu-like symptoms against Arkansas and only played a little over half the game. Still, he was awarded SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week for his effort. He was full go at Tuesday's practice.

* Jordan Holder, Ja-Mes Logan and Elston were also fielding punts along with Scott Tuesday.

* Do you sometimes know something but it takes time to sink in? This just stuck with me. The Rebs will be graduating five of the top eight offensive linemen this year - Emmanuel McCray, Pierce Burton, Evan Swindall, Jared Duke and Patrick Junen. . . That leaves the cupboard a little more bare than ideal. Coming back will be Aaron Morris, Austin Golson, Tunsil, Justin Bell, Robert Conyers, Bouldin and Ben Still as the top candidates. Rod Taylor has committed to Ole Miss and transfer Christian Morris is reportedly about to be officially in the fold. (Avery Gennesy, come on down!). . The biggest concern will be at center. Will it be Conyers, Still, or Bell or maybe OL Coach Matt Luke will move someone else there and give him a look in spring. . . Bottom line? There's a lot of work to do on the OL between now and next season.

* With his 416 passing yards against Arkansas, Rebel QB Bo Wallace is in some tall company for single game passing yardage in Ole Miss history. He's now wedged between two Mannings at number two. Archie threw for 436 yards against Alabama in 1969. Eli threw for 414 against Arkansas in 2002. Pretty good day for the junior signal-caller.

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