Practice report, Thursday

The Ole Miss Rebels wrapped up their full-speed practices for this weekend's SEC encounter with Arkansas under beautiful skies in Oxford. Read what Coach Ed Orgeron had to say about this week's preparations inside.

Coach O: We had a really good week of practice this week, which followed up on a good week last week. Our guys are excited. They really respect Arkansas. They have two great backs and an excellent defense. It's going to be a war.

Q: Talk about your team's attitude this week having to put last Saturday behind them.

Coach O: It's been good. We have a system here where we put everything behind us on Monday and move on. I think my team has done a good job of doing that.

Q: You mentioned Felix Jones and Darren McFadden and the challenge of containg them.

Coach O: We've actually done a good job against Arkansas' running attack the last two years, but we had Patrick Willis in the lineup. We had very good linebackers. I think we will be in position Saturday, but it's a matter of getting them on the ground. That will be the question.

Q: What are the keys for you this weekend?

Coach O: We have to take care of the football on offense. We've had more turnovers than I would like the last two games. We have to keep the ball away from Arkansas' offense and score points. We can't completely shut down Arkansas but we have to do a good job of tackling and getting them in third down situations where we can make some big plays.

Q: Your Defensive Coordinator John Thompson has a history at Arkansas. He knows a lot about Houston Nutt and that offense. Advantage?

Coach O: John is very familiar with them and I think he will do a great job Saturday. It is an advantage. John is very smart and has been around the SEC for years. He's helped a lot this week.

Q: You said earlier this week you were goin to sit down with Seth Adams about his interceptions the last two weeks. How did that go?

Coach O: It was good. He knew excatly what he did wrong and was prepared for the meeting. He had about three pages of notes written out and knew exactly what the defense was and what he did wrong.

Q: You don't have Patrick and Rory, but have you developed some semblence of normalcy with the LBs now?

Coach O: Ashlee Palmer has practiced better the last two weeks because he had been healthier. He's making a lot of plays for us. We are still missing that extra umph without Patrick, but Brandon Thomas is in the right places and is making some plays. Ashlee is also getting in the right spots more often.

Q: Last year, Jones took the opening KO back. How important is it to get off to a good start Saturday?

Coach O: That is always important. They have a great system with their kickoff returns and we will have to be very smart with what we do to defend that in coverage.

Q: You said the OL did a very good job last week. Are you sticking with that group or will John Jerry be the guy at RG?

Coach O: We will try to rotate some players and John will play a lot.

Q: All we hear about with Arkansas is about those two RBs, but what about their defense?

Coach O: They are very good. They lead the SEC in third-downs and they have a very detailed blitz package. They always have a lot of speed and skill up front.

Q: Your WRs were saying earlier in the week that the Razorbacks play a lot of man coverage and they like that challenge. Your thoughts on their secondary.

Coach O: They are very talented and with their rush up front, it's a good combination.

Q: Coach Nutt is catching some heat this week. What are some of your comments on what he is going through?

Coach O: I love Houston Nutt. He's a fantastic coach and a good frined. I've known Danny (Nutt) for a long time. I wish him the best. I am in no position to talk about any coach catching some heat, I promise you. (laughs)

OM Spirit Top Stories