Ole Miss Coach Houston Nutt stated Monday the most critical thing the Rebels could accomplish this week was quickly turning their focus to South Carolina after coming off an upset win over Florida.
Did they accomplish that?
"We had a good week overall," said Nutt. "I get them for 3 1/2 hours a day. Everybody else has them the rest of the time, so when you are in uncharted waters, that's what concerns you. What has been said to them? How did it affect them?
"All I can see is are they on time for the training room and weights? Are they going to class? Are they practicing hard? For the most part, they have done all those things. Hopefully it's been good enough that we can go out there Saturday and perform well against a good team."
Nutt said there is no way the Rebels are underestimating the Gamecocks.
"Their defense is one of the tops in the country statistically and they have been giving their offense great field position," Houston closed. "You know with Coach (Steve) Spurrier and all the weapons they have on offense that they are dangerous. Plus, we have had some games where people have gone up and down the field on us, so we have to be tuned in and hitting on all cylinders."
* Nickel Back Marcus Temple was out of his walking boot Thursday and joined the team in practice, but his work, from what we could see, was limited. Nutt repeated Thursday he did not anticipate Temple being ready for the SC game and stated senior Dustin Mouzon would be the nickel back against the Gamecocks. If that is the case, the coaches have a lot of faith in Mouzon, who is a senior and was the starting CB the first couple of games. Dustin has plenty of SEC experience and should hold down the position well. "It gives me some comfort to know Dustin is an experienced player and he's had a really good week of practice. He's a guy who cares and I think he will do a very good job for us. We are really glad now that we moved those two wideouts (Marshay Green and Jeremy McGee) to corner last spring. That is really showing up now," Nutt explained.
* We won't know for sure until kickoff but based on being able to watch limited portions of practice, do not be surprised if WLB Patrick Trahan and MLB Tony Fein get another start, but the linebackers are definitely in a solid six-man rotation - as they were against Florida - so we don't see if there is any great significance in starting.
* Nutt said there would be competition this week for the starting right guard slot between senior Maurice Miller and Reid Neely. From what we were able to witness, Miller will get the nod.
* The Rebels used 10 defensive linemen last Saturday against Florida. Look for that rotation to continue against SC. All 10 were liberally moving in and out of drills today. At DE, they are Kentrell Lockett, Marcus Tillman, Emmanuel Stephens, Chris Bowers and Greg Hardy. At DT, it will be Peria Jerry, Ted Laurent, Lawon Scott, Jerrell Powe and Justin Smith. Smith appeared to be getting some extra looks Thursday, so we will see if that carries over to the game.
* SC TE Jared Cook is Reb Fullback Jason Cook's "little" brother at 6-5, 240 pounds. When he got past the brotherly love, Jason said Jared can "flat out play the game." He is the Gamecocks' leading receiver. "They put him all over the field and move him around a lot," Jason said. "He's pretty special, even if he is my brother. With Jared's size and speed, he creates matchup problems. He was timed last spring in a 4.4 40 at 242 pounds. That's Patrick Willis territory. We'll have our hands full with him."
Practice Report: Thursday
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