Practice Report: Tuesday

The Ole Miss Rebels were ready – ready to practice outside as usual this afternoon. Then came a series of tornado sirens, remnants of Hurricane Gustav, which forced the Rebels inside - not to practice but to hunker down.

According to their head football coach, the players really never did get ready again after that. Perhaps things were a little better toward the end of the day, or by the end of practice, which by then was night.

"We're creatures of habit," Houston Nutt said. "When we changed schedules and things were later, boy we just didn't get started the way we wanted to get started. We finished a little better toward the end, but we've got to have a much better one tomorrow."

Nutt said the Rebels face a tough top-20 foe in Wake Forest. He knows the Rebels have to prepare better than they did today to have a chance to win the game.

"Wake Forest has gotten 65 turnovers the last two seasons," said Nutt, whose team, like the Demon Deacons, is 1-0 on the season. "They capitalize. They are disciplined. They're well-coached. There's a reason why they've been to bowl games. There's a reason why they've been to a BCS bowl game. It's really simple to see. You can't have practices like this, just because the schedule was a little different or out of sync. We did that today. We have to be mature enough to say ‘It's time to practice.' Just because we're an hour and a half late can't make any difference."

The Rebels first went into the IPF and sat on the floor in the hallway and tunnel area leading to the stadium. Then they moved out to the IPF playing field to prepare for practice. They tried to break up into group meetings with their respective coaches. Then more sirens and so they headed back to the hall/tunnel area.

An hour and a half after the normal start time, the Rebels got things underway, but not underway well enough to suit their coach. Or in his words to beat a team like Wake Forest.

"We wanted to stay outside," he said. "But there was too much going on and we couldn't. We still had a lot of wet-ball drills. We put balls in buckets of water, and for the most part we were pretty good."

Nutt said he and his staff still are still making plans for the game to be played at 3:30 p.m. (Eastern) Saturday. But he doesn't know how the weather, mainly due to tropical storm Hanna which could be a hurricane by the weekend, will play out.

"I hear it's headed that way," he said. "We've got to be prepared to play in a downpour. What I understand is they don't make a decision on that until 24 hours before kickoff. Well, we'll already be there, if we can get there, if it's possible to fly in there. It will be interesting to see how that plays out."

The word here is that the decision on a 24-hour window is an Atlantic Coast Conference decision. Some feel because of scheduled TV and the unusual circumstances of the storm coming in, that a decision could perhaps be made earlier. But all of that is up in the air as of Tuesday night.

Practice Notes:

Cassius Vaughn dressed out and practiced. "He's a whole lot better. I was glad to see him here, I know that," Nutt said.

Peria Jerry practiced again. "Peria made it all the way through," Nutt said. "He didn't get every rep, but he's getting closer. I expect him to be ready to give us a little bit this weekend, which is great news."

Nutt on Greg Hardy, who was in a walking boot but was at practice in street clothes: "It's hard to say (when he might be ready). Probably a couple of weeks."

Concerning WR Jacarious Lucas, Ole Miss officials are awaiting a waiver from the NCAA on his clearance, and it will likely be another two games before it is done.

Preston Powers, a third-year deep snapper, has made some strides in his time at Ole Miss. As a freshman his snap to punter time was .8 seconds and now it is .65 seconds.

Freshman Derrick Herman got into the Memphis game for four plays on special teams.

Herman said he is pleased former Cleveland High School teammate, wide receiver Terrell Grant, will be a Rebel. He said he is a terrific athlete, but there is really nobody to get him the ball in high school. He said he would be good here since that won't be a problem.

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