Practice Report: Wednesday

The Ole Miss Rebels practiced Wednesday under bright sunshine and moderate temperatures for August as the season opener nears.

Houston Nutt is ready for Saturday. He knows his players are, too.

"It's about time to play a ballgame," said the Rebels' first-year head coach. "It's been a good camp, but it comes to a point where you've got to put them out on the field. That's where we are."

The Rebels had a lighter than usual Wednesday workout. Normally that will be one of the full-pad, hard-hitting practices prior to a game. But this Wednesday they were in shells and simply continued to make sure things are as ready as they can be for Memphis.

"Without question the players are ready to play a game," said Nutt, mentioning that the Rebels are not the only ones in that frame of mind this time of year. "You could ask any coach or any player across America and they'd say they were ready to play."

Nutt says he wants to see his players perform and put what they've worked on all camp and the past several months on public display.

"I'm ready to see these guys under the lights," he said, "in front of their moms and relatives and thousands and thousands of Ole Miss fans. I want to see, see how they respond, see how they've taken to coaching, just ready to see it."

The players are in agreement with their head coach.

"This is the way it always is getting ready for that first game," said senior linebacker Ashlee Palmer. "Seems like it takes forever to get here. We've been through camp and all, and everybody's just ready to hit somebody in a different color jersey."

The Rebels were greeted at practice and throughout much of the drills with some piped in music from some speakers on the sideline of the practice fields. It obviously wasn't necessarily for their enjoyment but to get them more ready for playing before a live audience.

"It was the noise factor we were looking for, and hopefully it also created a little bit of energy out here," Nutt said. "Trying to hear the quarterback cadence with a noise level. Just trying to simulate some gametype conditions as best we can."

There were several different "types" of music presented during the practice session.

"We've got a lot of different tastes," Nutt said, smiling.

Some practice notes:

* Greg Hardy (foot) and Peria Jerry (knee) appear to be the only serious injuries currently plaguing the Rebels. Everybody else, as far as we could tell, was out on the field in some capacity and making progress. It might have been different in full gear, but that's the way things were today.

* Brandon Sanders and Jamarca Sanford had been in green non-contact shirts this week but were not in those today.

* It appears Lamar Brumfield is still at the No. 1 Sam LB, ahead of Allen Walker who had missed some time with a minor knee injury.

* Jacarious Lucas was still out. It is not quite certain when his academic situation will be resolved.

* With Lucas out for the time being, Andrew Harris' chances of playing have increased. He's now the sixth man in that mix.

* Peria Jerry said to a pro scout before practice that he'd be ready to play next week. Hopefully that is the case, and we shall see in the days ahead.

* The Rebs will practice Thursday, but again it will be a light workout, and will wrap up prior to Nutt's radio show, which airs from downtown Oxford Thursday night.

* Kickoff for Ole Miss-Memphis is 6 p.m. Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium/Hollingsworth Field. There is no live TV for the contest. Some 55,000 tickets have been sold, and walkup sales are predicted to move that number toward 60,000.


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