Back At It

The Ole Miss Rebels are coming off a big win in Tuscaloosa and have been rewarded with a Top 5 ranking. Now, it's critical to forget all that and get ready for Vanderbilt in Oxford at 6 p.m. Saturday.

"We have to count on our leaders in the locker room to be mature enough to put last Saturday behind them and get after it this week," Hugh Freeze said at his Monday press conference.

That "process" began Sunday with the weekly "truth" meeting, but it picked up for real with Tuesday's practice.

Defensive Tackle Robert Nkemdiche has become one of the team leaders, in action if not vocally.

"We have an in-the-moment mindset this year," he said. "It's in our DNA. We don't think about last year or the year before.

"We are focused on today and we are determined to stay that way. We don't have to come off any kind of high from beating Alabama because we expected to beat Alabama. Now we have to move forward and not look back."

Random Notes:

* It took Marquis Haynes roughly 59 minutes to finally hit the Alabama quarterback, but when he did, as Jake Coker was throwing a deep pass, it probably iced the game as Coker's throw didn't have much on it and CB Tony Bridges intercepted it. That was Haynes' highlight, but his big test would be how he would hold up against Alabama's vaunted run game. Turns out, he did well, grading 84%, which is a solid 'B'. Then, the icing on the cake - the hit on Coker and the ensuing pick.

* The injury bug bit at Tuscaloosa, but maybe it wasn't as bad as first reported. Both Center Robert Conyers (knee) and RG Rod Taylor (shoulder) were injured in the Bama game, but both practiced Tuesday. . . The only two who did not practice were RG Justin Bell, who injured his ankle while he was having "his best game ever" against the Tide, and Husky Tony Conner, who had knee surgery today. Bell is expected to take his walking boot off later this week and be available for Saturday's game.

* Aftermath of the young OL. We couldn't get a "grade" on RT Sean Rawlings, RG Jordan Sims or LG Javon Patterson, but we did get this. "We didn't notice Sean, which is a good thing," said OL Coach Mat Luke. "He did well against those big bodies. Javon had a real good game. He wore down late some, but he competed and played a good game. Sims was surprisingly good when he came in for Justin and then Rod, both injured." In talking to the strength coaches. Javon is further along strength-wise, but Rawlings and Sims both "have high ceilings, and we can say one thing for certain - all three are incredibly hard workers who want to be good."

* As Freeze said Monday, A.J. Moore is the leader at Husky in Conner's absence and freshman Zedrick Woods has been moved to Husky. Chief Brown is also in that mix. With Woods now at Husky, C.J. Moore is Mike Hilton's backup at Rover.

* We didn't make much of it, but Laremy Tunsil did not practice Tuesday. The only thing to conclude is that he should not be expected to play against Vanderbilt, but even that conclusion could be premature.

* Starting OL today? From left to right - Fahn Cooper, Patterson, Conyers, Taylor and Rawlings.

* The two or three times the media was allowed to watch August practice, PK Gary Wunderlich was struggling, hitting only around 50% of the field goals we saw. So far this season, Gary is 100% and was 3-3 against Alabama in a hostile environment. Can you say "gamer?"

* WR Quincy Adeboyejo has five TD receptions this fall already. He is tied with six other receivers in the nation for the top spot in TD receptions. What is the difference in Quincy this year and last year? "Confidence and maturity," he said bluntly, Makes sense.


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