Tuesday Practice Report

When all hopes of a winning season and a bowl appearance are lost, there's only one thing to do that is acceptable. The Ole Miss coaches challenged the Rebel players and got the response they were hoping for with an energetic and enthusiastic practice in full pads.

The Rebels held a full contact practice today on the practice fields and showed signs of life, despite their record and their last outing versus Arkansas. Their pride was challenged and, according to Coach David Cutcliffe, they reacted in a positive fashion in the rugged workout.

"The past two days, we have practiced better than we have been practicing. We have shown more energy and emotion and enthusiasm. As I told the press Monday, we challenged the players and I am pleased with the way they have responded to this point in the week," Cutcliffe stated. "If we continue on this path the rest of the week, it will show on Saturday. We will play better. I am proud they are responding and are still continuing to try to get better. We even looked better today throwing and catching the ball."

It was apparent the Rebs were into the practice with the amount of solid contact that was taking place in the team drills. There were even some tempers flaring with some extracurricular pushing and shoving after some particularly intense play in the trenches.

There was one change in the depth chart that was noticeable. FS Eric Oliver has been replaced in the starting lineup by B. Brown due to a minor disciplinary issue. Eric will not start against LSU, but he will play.

Defensive Coordinator Chuck Driesbach was also pleased with today's work.

"We called on their pride and challenged them to focus and give us everything they've got from now until the end of the season. We tried to motivate the scout team to have more pride and energy. We challenged them to give us a good LSU look this week and they have responded as well as they can," he noted. "We have not accomplished some of the things we have accomplished in the past few years by giving up and we don't intend to start now when things aren't going our way."

Cutcliffe said in his Monday press conference that he would find the players who want to play and compete with energy and enthusiasm. It appears that message was received loud and clear. There will not be a lot of personnel changes, it doesn't look like, but if today's workout was any indication there will be no duplication in the effort department that was given, or not given, against the Hogs.

On the injury front, WR Matt Pierce pulled a hamstring and is questionable for Saturday's game against LSU. In his place in the rotation, Larry Kendrick appears to be getting more snaps. . . DT Andrew Wicker went through some "thud" work today but was held out of the full contact drills. His level of soreness tomorrow moring will go a long way in determining his readiness for the LSU game. He appeared to be moving around very well today, a little over two weeks since having his knee scoped. . . KO specialist Wesley Bryan sprained his ankle late yesterday in a punting drill. He did not practice today, but said he expects to be back by Thursday. . . LB Garry Pack was in a yellow jersey today, nursing a sore shoulder, but he went through most drills and even had some light contact. He is still working with the second team, which indicates he expects to play against the Tigers. . . DE Jayme Mitchell (broken foot) and DE Corey Mills (groin injury) are out.

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