Open Week Workout

The 10th-ranked Ole Miss Rebels are in the midst of an open week, but that doesn't mean no practice. Coach Hugh Freeze worked the Rebels in the Manning Center Tuesday and will hold practices Wednesday and Thursday as well before giving the team a couple of days off. Then, it's back in the game week grind Sunday.

Open week doesn't mean off week.

Even though the practices will not be overly physical, the Rebels will practice this week, Tuesday-Thursday.

Tuesday, the Rebs practiced in full pads in the Manning Center and held a "normal" Tuesday workout, getting some early work in on the next opponent - Arkansas, November 22nd at 2:30 p.m. on CBS in Fayetteville.

It's no exactly a "no rest for the weary" scenario, however. Coach Hugh Freeze is going to give the team two full days - Friday and Saturday - off before the grind toward the tilt with the Hogs resumes Sunday.

"We got back to some individual drills today. During the season, we scale that back more than I like, but today we did a good 30 minutes on indo, which is good for everyone," said Freeze. "We also worked on some of the gameplan for Arkansas and then we got some good work in one-on-ones, pass rush and skelly. It was a good day.

"The indo stuff this time of year is very good. It gets you back to basics and fundamentals that you may have let slip a little in the course of a year. In the one on ones, I was impressed with Dayall Harris, Sammie Epps and Demore'ea Stringfellow on offense. TB Akeem Judd looks the part and is physical. Shawn Rawlings is starting to look the part. On defense, Victor Evans, Breeland Speaks and G-Mac have a chance to be special."

Freeze and company will be facing, in the Hogs, a potent run game.

"They have good players. They have a physical OL, their tailbacks are good. They understand who they are and do a good job of coaching that and scheming you," he continued. "They are very physical."

The players who are injured will not practice this week, Freeze said.

"We had a two-week plan to get them back for the Arkansas game. They are doing more stuff this week, but they won't practice," he noted. "I expect everyone other than the ones out for the year ready to go for Arkansas."

The Rebels will be facing a potent run offense in the Hogs and the last two they have faced - LSU and Auburn - have gained over 250 yards on the ground. The solution?

"Those two are really good rushing teams. We made some mistakes, but those teams usually get their share of rushing yards. It's not realistic to expect anyone to stop them cold, but we could have done better and we can get some of it corrected before we play Arkansas," Freeze added.

Random Notes:

* After the Rebs shut out Presbyterian College, 48-0, last Saturday, Defensive Coordinator Dave Wommack was asked who of the backups, who got a lot of meaningful snaps, played well. He said he'd have to see the film to evaluate. After that evaluation, the "verdict" is in. "FS C.J. Hampton and Rover (SS) C.J. Moore played very well. I was really impressed with the way they carried out their assignments and executed without busts," said Wommack. "I was also pleased with the way (Husky) A.J. Moore performed. He missed one tackle he probably should have made, but he's going to be a good one. (CB) Kendarius (Webster) has been playing a lot so I already knew he was going to do well, and he did. I also liked the way (MLB Demarquis) Gates played. He played a pretty clean game."

* Left Tackle Laremy Tunsil did not practice Tuesday. The thinking here is that he will not practice all week as he rests an ailing bicep.

* TB I'tavius Mathers and Rover Trae Elston both sat out the Presbyterian game with concussions. They had been cleared to play, but there was no need so they got a couple of more days to rest as a precautionary measure. Both practiced Tuesday.

* Left Guard Aaron Morris (quad muscle) also did not practice Tuesday and it is anticipated he will not practice the rest of this week, aka, Tunsil.

* Placekicker/Punter Gary Wunderlich did not play against Presbyterian because he was nursing a hamstring pull in his plant (left) leg. He did not practice Tuesday.

* The Grill at 1810 has now been open for roughly nine months. How has that helped the team? S&C Coach Paul Jackson believes it has made a big difference in the team's development. "We made huge gains in our winter and summer offseason programs and I think a big part of that was because of the Grill," said Jackson. "When you couple our workout programs with proper nutrition that is readily available, you are going to get good gains. The Grill has been very beneficial to the team."

* Did TBs Mark Dodson and Jordan Wilkins make a case for more opportunities with their performances against Presbyterian Saturday? The simple answer is "yes." Even though the Blue Hose didn't provide a lot of opposition, both turned the heads of the coaches. Don't be surprised to see more of them moving forward.

* Senior LB Keith Lewis did not practice Tuesday. Lewis sustained a concussion against Presbyterian and is expected to be out the rest of this week.


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