Practice Report: Wednesday

Just about every coach in the country believes in the adage that games are won in practice. Preparation during the week is a major factor in victory on Saturday. Ole Miss Coach Ed Orgeron can certainly be counted in that number. Read about today's practice inside.

"We had a good practice today. The guys are coming along. Things are going well," Ole Miss Coach Ed Orgeron said after putting the Rebels through the normal Wednesday practice in shells.

"We haven't discusssed the Alabama game since Monday and everyone is focused on Arkansas. We used crowd noise today - with different (Arkansas) songs - to try to get a feel for the big stadium environment we will face, like Alabama's, in Fayetteville. I think we will be ready to play. Our players understand the magnitude of this game and I think our players remember last year and how we played well until the fourth quarter. I think we are prepared to play for 60 minutes this year and see what happens."

The Rebel wide receivers were one post-practice topic today.

"I think they are doing well. Mike Wallace and Shay Hodge have stood out some this week," O said.

Coach O mentioned earlier in the week the Rebs would have to be sure tacklers against the Hog tailback tandem of Darren McPhadden and Felix Jones.

"We work on techniques and emphasize the little things daily. We'll have to do a good job of that this week with those tailbacks," he noted.

The Rebels - as everyone reading this is aware - have a freshman PK in Joshua Shene. Coach O said the last-minute signee from last February is working out just fine. Shene is 6-8 in field goals this year, including a 3-3 effort against Alabama last weekend.

"We found Josh at midnight on the internet the night before Signing Day. There were a couple of guys we were looking at but we weren't convinced they were better than what we had," Orgeron recalled. "Joshua had gone to a combine and the combine results were on the internet. (Special Teams Coordinator) Chris (Rippon) showed him to me and I thought he looked pretty good. So we got him.

"I think he was surprised we called him. He was set to go to another school, and we had to do some quick talking, which we did, to get him. It's rare to sign a kid sight-unseen, but it's turned out pretty good so far."

O wouldn't get into specifics, as is his policy, on injuries, but he did make a general statement.

"We have a bunch of injuries. I'm not going to say who, but we have a bunch who are hurt and won't play in the game. Some of them have been playing a little bit, but some of those probably won't play this week," he allowed.

Coach O repeated a mini-scouting report on Arkansas.

"Arkansas has a good freshman QB in Mitch Mustain, the best RB in the SEC, besides ours, in Darren McPhadden, they have a great 6-6 wide receiver and a new offensive coordinator who likes to run trick plays similar to the one we ran against Memphis. They have hurt people with their trick plays," he stated. "They use a blitzing defense, have 17 quarterback sacks and are very good on third down."

Today, senior MLB Patrick Willis was named a Semifinalist for the Lombardi Award.

"It's very well-deserved. He's a great young man who has come on and played some of his better games in the last three games. He's really coming. The play of (WLB) Rory Johnson has really helped him," O ended. "Last year, our DL was more experienced. They did a lot of things right and he was free more. They drew double-teams. Now, our guys are not drawing double-teams and the offensive guard is coming off on him. He's not as free as he was last year and he's still producing."


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