Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze moved his troops inside the Manning Center on Wednesday and even though they were in full pads, it was more of a half-speed, mental workout than the more physical variety from the day before. Continuing to install the gameplan for Saturday's tilt against Alabama was the focus.

Install, install, install.

Delete, delete, delete.

Fine-tune, fine-tune, fine-tune.

That was the order of the day Wednesday as the Rebels practiced in full pads in the Manning Center and drew one day closer to the big Southeastern Conference matchup with Alabama Saturday afternoon.

Like Tuesday, Freeze was happy with the workout.

"We've got some things to clean up and some things to take out that we installed, but the kids have been focused and loose and have had a good attitude," he said. "I'm pleased with the way they are handling a game of this magnitude. A game of this magnitude is a first for everyone in this building, really, and I like the way they are approaching it."

Freeze said it's important to guard against putting in "too much" offense or defense for one game.

"We have that temptation every week. We watch so much film and when we see something that works against our opponent, we, as coaches, want to try it, so we install it. Then we get it on film and sometimes it doesn't look so good. It's a constant process when you are gameplanning," he explained. "Sometimes as coaches, we think a little too much of ourselves and we try to guard against that.

"You want your kids knowing what to do, playing fast and executing. We want them to play physical. We don't want them playing confused or with a cluttered mind. We don't want to give up a big play because we were confused. If you give one up, you want it to be because they just beat you and were just better than you on that play."

The magnitude of this game has a special meaning for Freeze.

"Having been born and raised here, I understand the passion of our fans and what a day like the one Saturday means to them. It is very rewarding to be involved in bringing them this kind of excitement," he closed. "It's also great to get our university, the Grove and all the pageantry we have here seen by the nation. We feel we have a unique place here and we want to showcase it. It's an exciting time."

Random Notes:

* If for one moment, we can put aside the excitement of the huge game between Ole Miss and Alabama, which is almost impossible to do, a little reflection might be OK. Think back almost three years ago. The Rebels had just come off a dismal, worst-ever, 2-10 season. The storied Rebel football program was in the dumpster. Discipline was bad, academics may have been worse and the talent level - due to attrition - was way below SEC standards. Enter Hugh Freeze and his staff. Just a scant 2 years and 10 months later, Ole Miss has been to two straight minor bowls, has put up two winning records and is now 4-0. The Rebs are now at full force with 85 scholarship players, compared to 64 when Freeze took over. Academics, other than a normal one or two players a year, are no longer a reason for nailbiting. Discipline issues have dwindled. The confidence level of the players has gone from rock bottom to a new high. And the expectation level of every Rebels has gone from nil to off the charts. The transformation, no mater what takes place Saturday, if you are fair, has been nothing short of remarkable. From trash bin to Game Day. Kinda unbelievable.

* Simulating Alabama Wide Receiver Amari Cooper would be hard or anyone at any school to do that has scout team status, but freshman Wide Receiver Dayall Harris is making the most of his assignment of portraying Alabama's dangerous #9. "He drives us crazy," smiled Rebel Defensive Coordinator Dave Wommack. "He runs great routes and he can run by you in a flash. He is doing a fantastic job on the scout team this year. I think he will be special in his career."

* LG Aaron Morris missed practice Tuesday with an ankle injury sustained in the Memphis game. "I got it rolled up twice," he said. "The first time wasn't too bad, but it weakened the ankle. When it happened the second time, it kind of did me in." Morris, who had his best outing against Memphis and looked more like the Morris pre-ACL injury of 2013, returned to practice Wednesday and is expected to be ready to go against the Tide. A full force Morris will be essential to the Rebs' cause.

* On the defensive scout team, going against the Reb offense, three players have stuck out. DT Breeland Speaks is posing as Alabama DT Jarran Reed and DE Garrald McDowell is effectively simulating Tide DL D.J. Pettway. . . Also, freshman DE Victor Evans has put on 20 pounds since his arrival at Ole Miss and he is exhibiting first-step explosion as good as anyone currently on the squad.

* Wednesday, Markell Pack, Trae Elston, and as Freeze told the media Tuesday, RB Eugene Brazley were fielding punts. Brazley seemed to have a good handle on the new duty, fielding the five or six we witnessed with ease and comfort.

* A player who will be key Saturday who has not been mentioned much is freshman Punter Will Gleeson. Will has done a great job thus far this season and in what could turn out to be a field position type of game, that will have to continue. He has successfully "flipped the field" two or three times this year and will most likely be needed to do that again Saturday a time or two. So far, he's been a weapon, and somewhat of a surprise weapon.

* CB Senquez Golson sat out Tuesday's practice with a tight hamstring, but he was dressed out and going through drills Wednesday. He is expected to play Saturday. For insurance, the coaching staff kept Derrick Jones at exclusively at cornerback.

* Practice will be closed Thursday, as usual, and no interviews will be granted the rest of the week to the "regular" media. Obviously, CBS and Game Day will be given a little leeway with access, which is only fair since they don't arrive until Thursday.

OM Spirit Top Stories