Thursday Practice Report

The Rebels are counting down the final days until the kickoff for the 2006 season. How are game preparations coming? Read about it inside.

Rebel Head coach, Ed Orgeron, was really happy about how his team prepared today.

"We had a real good practice today. Actually, it was a real spirited practice. Guys were really jumping around pretty good today. You can tell they are getting ready for a good football game. I was pleased with the effort our guys gave today. The guys are really coming together," commented Ed Orgeron.

News hit the wire this morning that Jerrell Powe was granted a a temporary restraining order to allow Jerrell Powe to enroll at Ole Miss immediately. What are Coach Orgeron's feelings on this issue?

"The decision will be decided by officials outside of this program. My job is to coach this football team and get them prepared for the season."

In the temporary restraining order, it stated that Jerrell could participate in football. Will this happen?

"That is the only comment I will make about Jerrell Powe."

How well have practices gone this week?

"Very well. We are excited about our preparation. They prepared well. We are ready."

Does Coach Orgeron wish he had anymore time to prepare?

"No, we feel like we are ready. It is time to do it, time to get it on. I think the Sunday game gives us a day extra to practice. This is really Wednesday of game week, and we are treating it as such."

Has anything new developed in the kicking battle between Justin Sparks and Josh Shene?

"No, still the same status. They are battling it out."

Coach Tommy West runs a sophisticated spread offense for Memphis, but Coach Orgeron will prepare his defense just like it was any other offense.

"The preparation for any offense is tedious throughout the week. We have to make sure that we have covered everything, so we are treating it just like any other offense."

Rory Johnson and Jonathan Cornell had great practices on Wednesday. Did they continue to improve today?

"Yes, they really practiced well today. They continue to make good progress."

How did the young receivers look today?

"It is still the same thing. Nothing has changed."

Dexter McCluster is going to have a huge roll in Sunday's outcome. He will be the returner on kickoffs and will start at receiver. How prepared is the true freshman?

"He is about as prepared as you can be for a freshman. I think he is mature. He is going to make some mistakes probably, but he is so talented, and he has worked so hard. He deserves this. That is where we are at."

It is rare to see a true freshman start in his first game on the offensive line, but that is exactly what John Jerry will be doing on Sunday.

"He is one of the best linemen we have, physically. Is he totally ready to play in a game? Probably not, but that is where we are and we plan on playing him."

Is there anybody more ready to get this first game under way than Brent Schaeffer?

"Yea, Coach O (laugh). I think Ben Jarvis is, I really do. I really think Ben Jarvis has been waiting around and practicing. You can see in his eyes this week the preparation he has gone through. He is ready. He has worked very hard."

Many players have been waiting for this day to come for a long time.

"I think you can see our team really coming together. That is what I like. I can sense that every day it is not like pulling teeth to get everybody up for practice. They like to practice, and I think that is really showing. Practice today was a spirited group out there. Guys were just flying around. They are talking among themselves becoming true friends and becoming a team. This is really a tight group, both the players and coaches."

Memphis is always fertile ground for Ole Miss recruiting. Does this place anymore importance on the game?

"It is not much more important than any other game. We recruit everywhere. This game is important for our team and to winning."

Does the Memphis game set the tone for the rest of the season?

"We have to see as the season goes on. Last year we won the first game and it definitely did not set the tone (laugh). We have to improve each week. I think we are going to make more improvement this year because we have a lot of young talent on our team, and as the season goes along, I think we will get better and better. That is my goal. Whether we lose or win this game does not make the season in my mind. As long as we prepare and continue to get better with this team, I will be pleased."

OM Spirit Top Stories