Prepping For The Swamp

Two undefeated teams - Ole Miss and Florida - will square of in The Swamp Saturday, just a few short days away. The Rebels went back to practice Tuesday in preparation of the key match for both teams.

"The Swamp is another one of those venues that you know about growing up and you dream about playing in," said DeMore'ea Stringfellow, who transferred to Ole Miss from Pac 10 Washington. "It's one of the reasons you come to the SEC, to play in these kinds of stadiums and venues."

String and the rest of the Rebels will get their chance in The Swamp Saturday at 6 central time, thus intense preparations starting Tuesday in full pads on the practice fields under overcast skies.

"We did not prepare the way we should have for Vanderbilt. I think we learned our lesson," Stringfellow continued. "We started challenging each other Sunday in our 'truth' meeting and I think everyone is tuned in now.

"We better be, or it could be a long day in The Swamp."

Random Notes:

* Nose Tackle Woodrow Hamilton earned the starting role ahead of Issac Gross, now out for the season with a neck injury, because of better movement. Why did he suddenly get faster and quicker? Simple. Last season, Woody played at 327 pounds. He felt sluggish and was relegated to being an "anchor" on the DL, not much of a threat for a pass rush. In the offseason, he lost nearly 30 pounds and gained the elusive commodity - speed. It's paid off - he won the job ahead of Gross and JUCO transfer D.J. Jones, but the word from inside the team is that Jones is pressuring Woody for the starting nod. What a great situation for the nose tackle slot.

* Speaking of Jones, he's had some sore hands early in the season that have affected him a little, but now he has taken a page out of Robert Nkemdiche and Woody's book and is taping his hands and, particularly, his thumbs. He has gotten instant relief from constant pounding and his hands are healing up.

* DC Dave Wommack had reason to smile Tuesday after watching the game film from Vandy. Yes, there were issues, but not from where he expected them. The Husky tandem of A.J. Moore and Zedrick Woods "graded very well - I was real happy for their first game in place of Tony (Conner)." Also, he said, the linebackers had "their best game of the year." Where were the issues? With some veterans who usually don't make mistakes, henoted. "We can fix those quickly - it was just one of those games."

* Many have asked why CB Tee Shepard has not been playing more. The simple answer is that he has been beaten out by sophomore Kendarius Webster, but the more thorough answer is that Tee has been in a little slump since his suspension for targeting. The thought is that he will snap out of it soon - good players do have slumps in all sports. In the meantime, Kailo Moore and Carlos Davis are getting as many CB reps as Shepard.

* Cale Luke, a walk-on wideout and part of the famed Luke clan (Tom's son) in the annals of UM football, blocked a key punt against Vandy Saturday and it was a big play in the game, but other walk-ons have been contributing on special teams as well. LB Luke Davis plays on three special teams' units. TE Hunter Thurley is a special teams stalwart as is LB Tayler Polk and, of course, Cale. There are others, too, but those have been the standouts thus far.

* Justin Bell was taking reps with the first team at right guard after sitting out the Vandy game with a bum ankle. . . RG Rod Taylor was dressed out and practicing, but he was working with the twos Tuesday. . . Laremy Tunsil was dressed out and practicing, but not with the first or second teams. He is awaiting word on his NCAA issues, which will hopefully be resolved this week.

* Free Safety Trae Elston injured his elbow in the Vandy game, but he is fine and practicing this week with no padding or anything on the 'bow. . . WR DeMore'ea Stringfellow tweaked his ankle against Vandy, but he too practiced Tuesday and is fine.

* Many people have asked if WR Quincy Adeboyejo was hurt during the Vandy game. The answer is 'no.' Laquon Treadwell, Stringfellow, Markell Pack and TE Evan Engram were the guys Vandy turned loose more often and the guys QB Chad Kelly saw open. Quincy - probably based on his five TD catches already this year - was getting more defensive attention, thus the results.


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