Ole Miss defensive tackle Issac Gross is excited for the Rebels to win their first road game of the season

Ole Miss nose tackle Issac Gross loves to spoil a Saturday night for opposing fans.

While he enjoys playing at home, winning on the road is just as special for Gross.

"I don't know about the other guys but I like to go in somebody else's home and kick butt," Gross said.

Gross and Ole Miss experienced losing at home at the hands of Arkansas last season as the Razorbacks won a shootout in double OT. Gross sat out that game with a neck injury and watched Arkansas carve up the Rebels' defense for 605 yards on offense. The 53-52 loss to the Razorbacks also ended Ole Miss' SEC title and College Football Playoff hopes.

"It hurt man," Gross said. "That was most of my class last year in the locker room. Watching those guys get down because they know what that game would have put us at with the SEC Championship."

While Gross says the loss to Arkansas left a "mark" on the Rebels he says good coaching and leadership have helped Ole Miss swallow the loss and move on. As the Rebels prepare for Saturday's matchup against Arkansas, Gross has given words of advice to younger players to prepare them for the hostile environment awaiting Ole Miss in Fayetteville. 

"I tell them to lock in," Gross said. "'We're here and we have a job to do. This is what we train all week for. This is what we practice all week for."

So we're not talking or lollygagging and pointing at anyone behind us. 'When we're out here, let's handle business.'"


What makes playing at Arkansas different than other SEC road environments?

"It’s very hostile. It’s a SEC game. There’s already attention built up. It’s like every week when you play a SEC game, it’s like the next SEC game is gonna be even more intensified. It doesn’t matter about the record. We’re in the same division so that being said it’s at a high capacity just because we’re playing for our side at the end of the year.”

Are those Hog Hats distracting?

"No sir. When I step out on the field I worry about what’s going on between the 100 yards and that’s it. Everything else going on behind me I have no concern.”

What kind of mark did the loss to Arkansas last year leave?

“Anytime you take a loss, there’s always a mark. Last year I was benched because of the neck injury. I was sitting on the sideline. Yes it was a bitter taste that we lost to them, but the way we go on about it, like any other great team, we leave it in the back of our head until 365 days when we meet them again and say 'ok now we get to fix it.'"

Any lingering complications from neck injury?

“I feel great. I don’t feel anything. I’m always waiting on the next Saturday. Every week just waiting on the next Saturday. Waiting on Tuesday and Wednesday so I can go back to work. Waiting on Saturday so I can make a bill on my resume. I just feel great.”

Any rehab?

“I haven’t been to rehab on anything since I’ve been back. The weight room helps out with all that stuff.”

How Arkansas' offensive line has changed from last year to this year?

“Different guys come in every year and they have a job to do. I don’t really want to say how they’ll compare, but I just know they’re gonna come out and they’re gonna play hard. Of course, (Denver) Kirkland isn’t there. That was a good guard they had last year. I liked him a lot. He was a good guard. They look good up front man. They’re gonna play hard. They’re Arkansas and they’re in the SEC. Gotta respect them for what it’s worth. They’re gonna play hard.”

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