Practice Report: Rebs work through tough practice

It was a tough Tuesday practice for the Ole Miss Rebels today as players and coaches battled some fatigue, some injuries, and some bumps and bruises but still managed to get good work in.

"We got a lot of Memphis work done on both sides of the ball, and it was better today," said Ole Miss Coach David Cutcliffe. "The thing that enouraged me most was that we competed hard versus each other. I thought this was much better than what we had. It had the flavor of gameweek, and that was good work." The practice began in the heat of an August summer day, but the sun gave way to clouds, and by the end of the practice rain threatened. Shortly afterwards the rain indeed arrived. Probably the most notable moment of today's session came fairly early in the practice when junior RB Brandon Jacobs was hurt. "Brandon Jacobs hurt his (left) knee, and we're in the process of assessing that," Cutcliffe said. "Hopefully I'll know more tomorrow where that is. There could be something to it. We'll just have to wait and see. We also had a few more people miss some practice time." An MRI was being done on Jacobs' knee tonight. * Trainer Tim Mullins and his staff were busy during and after the practice. An update on the injured are: FB Rick Razzano - concussion, could be back tomorrow; DT Andrew Wicker - toe, out for now and maybe back Thursday; OG Doug Buckles - concussion, back possibly tomorrow; DE Corey Mills - neck, full go now; WR Kerry Johnson - hamstring, questionable for tomorrow; WR Mario Hill - hamstring, good; WR Cameron Myers - knee, out for now; DT Daniel Booth - calf muscle strain, improving; DE Cory Robinson - hamstring, good; OL Maurice Miller - knee, x-rays tomorrow. * Everything today was pointing toward improving against Memphis looks but also in preparing for tomorrow's scrimmage at 4 p.m., which is closed to the public. "Tomorrow we'll have scrimmage work in the stadium," Cutcliffe said. "It will be as gamelike as we can be. We'll look at a lot of things full-speed versus Memphis. We'll have a lot of looks at what we expect to see in the ballgame on both sides of the ball. I want to see execution on defense, offense, and in the kicking game. We'll play it as much like a ballgame as we can." * Assistant coach Jay Hopson gave the winning edge talk to the defense today, while assistant coach Matt Luke talked to the offense. Hopson stressed loving the game and having love for each other as teammates but most of all having fun. Luke talked about 100 percent effort all the time and giving it their all. * Special teams set the tone for the day as early the Rebels worked on punt coverage and punt return as well as field goal. All getting some time as punt returners were Mike Espy, Taye Biddle, Larry Kendrick, and Mico McSwain. * In later drills there were highlights here and there including a one-handed catch by McSwain of a QB Paul Eck pass in the left flat that drew some oohs and ahs from those watching. Also freshman WR Carlos Suggs made a nice catch of a Micheal Spurlock pass though he was well covered by Eric Oliver. RB Jamal Pittman made also had a nice one-handed catch during the drills of a pass from Eck. * The Rebels ended the practice with running and conditioning. * Junior C Chris Spencer said he's been pleased with the team's preparations so far, and he can feel gameweek coming on. "You can tell guys are starting to really think about Memphis. Guys are doing things and doing them well. We've got a great unit, and a lot of experience. We just gel together as a unit, and you can tell it's getting better every day." * Junior DB Travis Johnson, wearing his old high school number - 9 - this year, said the preseason has been good for the defensive secondary. "We've had a great camp this year. We're pushing through now to that first game. We've got a great coach back there (Jay Hopson). We're in game-shape. We're looking forward to Sept. 4."

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