Hugh Freeze/USA Today Images

Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze met the media Wednesday to preview Vanderbilt, among other topics

Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze previewed Vanderbilt, as well as discussed injuries and more, Wednesday afternoon following practice. Full transcript included.

Freeze wouldn't comment on any personnel matters.

On if he’s still confident in the core values of the program: “Absolutely.”

On the practice week: “It was good. Energy’s been good, today was good. We’re playing a team that gives people problems. They stay in every game and defensively they’re very good. Their scheme’s good, and they’ve given us problems. It’s going to be a good challenge, but I like the way we’ve prepared.”

On Shea Patterson’s approach this week compared to last week: “He’s a different guy, and he believes that he can get the job done. I don’t notice a lot of difference in his demeanor. Obviously another week of studying teams and seeing what he did wrong from last week, but we’ve also got to give him time to grow up, too. He’s only played one game. A lot of people believe him to be maybe further along than he is. He is special, could be special. But let’s also know that he’s only going into game two in the Southeastern Conference. But I expect him to play well.”

On Patterson learning on the fly Saturday, knowing Derek Mason will throw different looks at him: “Derek does a good job. He does a few different things than you’re used to seeing. There will be some of that, and you’re not quite sure which mixture you’re going to get game to game from him, so there’ll definitely be some learning on the fly.”

On Vanderbilt’s strength defensively: “Zach Cunningham’s pretty special, but their d-line is good, too. Their linebackers are talented.”

More on Cunningham, on being aware of where he is at all times: “That's tough because your blocking schemes are ID’d and me and you are working a combo to the mike linebacker whether it's him or whether it's somebody else. If you start trying to find him, it really messes up your first-level blocks. You really can't do that. You may can do some of that on third down in knowing where he is, but in the normal course of the game, you can’t.”

On if Cunningham is as improved a player as he’s seen: “I asked our staff, 'Tell me who recruited that school.' How'd we miss that one? A lot of people missed it obviously. Vandy didn't. Give them credit. But he's a great player.”

On Alex Givens: “He's doing good. Alex has got a lot of fight in him. Those o-line guys, man, we've got a group of warriors there. They're just hard-nosed, tough kids. All of them are hurting a little bit. They're playing more snaps than they need to, but Alex has done really well.”

Of if he said anything to Akeem Judd about stepping up with Chad Kelly out: “I let Derrick (Nix) do most of that with those guys. I congratulated him after a game like the other night. Thought he ran hard and got the tough yards when we needed them. Need him to continue that for the next two games for sure. ... Some games, you're calling a lot of runs and they're giving you the passes off of them and that limits his carries some, but we always want to run it. I think that's his third game with 100 yards plus and he's running it effectively right now. He'll get a lot of touches this week.”

On D.K. Metcalf’s rehab: “Good. We havne't made him do a whole lot yet, but I get an updated once a week on those guys like he, (Eric) Swinney and (Ken) Webster. Everything seems good.”

On the status of Kelly: “Surgery Monday. He's started rehab now with Dr. (James) Andrews and his crew. (Kelly is rehabbing in Pensacola, Fla.) I think he's going to stay in there 10 days and get the rehab started right.”


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