Practice Report - Thursday

Ole Miss finished up its final full speed practice of the week Thursday with a two-hour workout in shorts and soft shells. There was an emphasis on special teams and detail, as the Rebels looked loose in anticipation for Saturday's 11:30 CDT showdown at No. 4 Florida.

"It was a good week," Houston Nutt said. "Time now to get ready to go in a tough environment. Against a team that hasn't made many mistakes and is playing very well. We have to play our best game, no doubt about it."

Kicker Josh Shene missed his first field goal of the season last week against Vanderbilt, but the 47-yarder hasn't derailed the junior. Nutt has been pleased with Shene's week.

"He's gotten better, very consistent until that kick last week. Good week in response. Really proud of him."

There are no new injuries to speak of, and the Rebels are as healthy as they have been all season. The depth chart is also the same for Saturday. One question mark involves the number of snaps Greg Hardy will see.

After playing 11 plays last week, Hardy has felt good in practice, but his level of participation for Florida is still up in the air.

"I'm excited to have him back, but he is coming," Nutt said. "For a guy that missed training camp, he looks good. Hard to tell how many snaps he will see."

Ole Miss hit Florida with a couple deep balls last season to stay in the contest, the same type plays the Rebels have just missed so far in 2008.

"We always try to (hit deep balls), but they aren't giving up much this year," Nutt said of the Gators. "Much improved defense. Well try to attack them there. Make some plays."

The major strength for Florida is special teams. The Gators have scored a special teams touchdown each game this season. Returner Brandon James is the player that makes Florida go.

Nutt has spent time developing a way to slow James down.

"We have a couple things weve been working on all week. We'll see how that goes. I have to keep that down though. Need all the help we can get. Look at Brandon James, Tennessee thought they were in lanes. Downhill, he is gone. Speed kills."

Focus was an issue against Vanderbilt, but Ole Miss played its most complete game the last time it was away from home – in Winston Salem, N.C. against Wake Forest.

"We mentioned that we have had really good road discipline," Nutt said. "It is us against the world. I'm excited about it. The game time doesn't matter. 11:30 is fine."


The following numbers show how some players have improved their weight since reporting.

Gerald Rivers – up to 236 from 222

Justin Smith – up to 277 from 260

Ferbia Allen – 234 from 220

H.R. Greer – 225 from 238 as they slim him down to build him back up

E.J. Epperson – 253 from 240

Also, Greg Hardy currently weighs 272

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