Ole Miss Coach Houston Nutt was not certain what to expect in today's practice after the heartbreaking loss to Vanderbilt Saturday, but what he got was satisfying.
"We had good focus and concentration. Tuesday is always a long day and I was happy with the way it went," said Nutt. "I was really proud of the way the team responded. They went to work and had a good attitude about it. The scout team did a real good job for us and that's not an easy job."
The scout team offense had to simulate Tim Tebow. It took two Rebels to get as close as possible to giving the Rebel defense a representative look.
"It's not easy to simulate a Heisman Trophy winner," Nutt shook his head. "Derrick Herman played his part when we ran it, Nathan Stanely did Tebow's part when we were defending the pass. They mixed it in - that's the best we've got."
The Rebels fumbled four times against the Dores. How do you fix that, Nutt was asked.
"Say it a thousand times, rep it a thousand times, coach it hard. We had a good start because we didn't have a ball on the ground today," he noted. "That's where it starts, in practice. We have to do the same thing every day. We had roughly one ball on the ground per practice last week and you saw the results Saturday night. There is a correlation. We told them we don't want to see any fumbles this week in practice."
DT Jerrell Powe got 22 snaps against Vandy and Nutt said the big guy is getting better.
"He's doing better. So far, so good on conditioning and production. He got 22 snaps at roughly 4 seconds a snap," Nutt smiled. "He ought to be able to handle that. Come on.
"He's still got work to do. He's at 340 pounds now and I'd love to see him at 325, but we probably won't get that during the season. But you have to remember, when I first met him he was at 386 pounds. He's made a lot of progress."
Nutt said the Rebel offense has their work cut out for them against the Gator defense.
"They have speed at every position and they don't stay blocked," he said. "Tennessee scored 6 points against them. Miami scored 3 points, I think. Ain't much happening there boys. They are the real deal."
A key to the Rebel offense will be QB Jevan Snead rebounding from a poor showing against Vandy.
"He did real good throwing the ball today. We went best-against-best some today, something we had gotten away from a little, and got some guys in his face and he did a nice job," Houston closed. "He was 8 out of 11. Pretty good."
* Transfer Cornerback James Scott, who comes to Ole Miss from Ohio State, will get his physical Thursday and will begin practice Sunday when the Rebels return from Gainesville.
* No Rebels were injured in the Vanderbilt game. For the second week in the row, the team is healthy. Some players may not be 100%, but all are practicing and participating in contact drills.
* We asked S Fon Ingram if his suspension is over from an off-the-field incident after the Samford game. He said he will play against Florida. Fon was suspended for the Vandy game.
* For the first time since mid-August, SLB Allen Walker did not have some bandaging or bracing on the knee he injured in preseason camp. "I'm 100%," Walker said. Walker got his first start of the year against Vandy and is still running with the number one defense.
* Before the team drills began, all Rebel skill players had to go through a variety of ball security drills. After four fumbles (two lost) against Vandy, extra emphasis needed to be placed on ballhandling/ball security and that's what the coaches spent extra time on today.
* For a change of pace, the offense was wearing white jerseys today and the defense was in blue. Change of look, change of luck?
* Besides there being no new injuries, there were also no depth chart changes today on either side of the ball. Most notably, CB Marshay Green maintained his number one status for the third week in a row and nothing has changed on the defensive front, with Ted Laurent and Peria Jerry manning the tackle slots and Kentrell Lockett and Marcus Tillman holding down the top DE positions.
* DE Greg Hardy appeared to be moving around in drills without favoring his broken foot at all. Last week, even though he was practicing, you could see him favoring the foot slightly, but not today. It was still heavily taped over his shoe as a precaution and for extra stability. After the Vandy game, he said he expects to be 100% for Florida. It appears he is well on his way to that goal.
Practice Report: Tuesday
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