Practice Report: Wednesday

The Rebels continued their march toward a key SEC showdown with Auburn with a two-hour workout in helmets and shoulder pads under perfect football weather Wednesday. Read about it inside.

After Tuesday's practice, Rebel Coach Houston Nutt said he would need to see a "faster" workout Wednesday.

He says he got his wish.

"We had good intensity and good work with best against best. The kids were moving around well," said Nutt. "We sped things up from yesterday and that's what we needed.

"We worked hard on some special teams situations because we know there will probably be some tricks involved when you are facing Auburn. It was all good."

Nutt has been looking for week-to-week progress from every facet of the team. One unit that's giving him that is the offensive line.

"We've gotten better there. We are still not where we want to be, but we are doing some things a lot better. Against Arkansas, we wanted to use some clock and we were able to grind it out and eat clock. I really think we are asserting ourselves more on the OL," he continued. "Bradley Sowell at tight end has held us as well. He's got a real role now and has played a physical brand of football that is good to see in there."

It's been several years since the Rebs have played in a truly "meaningful" November game in regard to lengthening their season. Nutt said he can feel the extra push from the team he hoped to.

"The seniors started Sunday leading. They want to have a special month. They know what November means to them," Houston said.

DE Greg Hardy worked out some today, but he was still favoring his foot.

"I just don't know where he stands right now. Hopefully we'll get something out of him in November, but right now everything is a bonus," Nutt explained. "We had it X-rayed and there is no structural damage, but it's still sore."

With Hardy semi-out, Nutt has been pleased to see Kentrell Lockett elevate his game to another level.

"Kentrell has been so valuable to us. His improvement has been tremendous and look at the big plays he's made for us," Nutt closed. "He has really stepped up. I'm proud of him. He's also gotten a little bit bigger during the season, which has helped him."

Random Notes:

* Several Ole Miss fans have approached us about an issue they have noticed that - if true - could be a tip to opposing defenses. It has been said Reb QB Jevan Snead licks his fingers on pass plays after he has broken the huddle, but does not lick them when it's a run play. We asked Offensive Coordinator Kent Austin about that. He had already addressed it with Snead, who told him he licks his fingers on run and pass plays when he feels his hands are getting slick and he needs a better grip on the ball. Nutt and Austin watched some films to make sure Snead was not subconsciously revealing plays and the conclusion they came to was that Snead was not tipping pass plays with that "habit," but he has been schooled to make sure he's not falling into a detectable pattern.

* Senior SS Jamarca Sanford's shoulder is still sore, and he has been held out of some contact work the past two days, but he's expected to be ready to play against the Tigers. "He was a lot better today and will be better tomorrow," Nutt said.

* Depth-chart wise, nothing has changed since last week. DT Lawon Scott is still ahead of Ted Laurent, who had started the five games prior to the Arkansas contest; LG Reid Neely is still ahead of the injured Darryl Harris, even though Darryl can play if needed according to Nutt; and Marshay Green is still one of the top corners, even though senior Dustin Mouzon is expected to get some action at CB this week against Auburn. . . Also, OL Bradley Sowell is still working some at TE for the injured David Traxler, who Nutt said "may be" out for the year. You will recall Brad got 22 snaps against the Hogs and registered a high grade for his efforts.

* WRs Lionel Breaux and Markeith Summers got quality snaps against Alabama. That continued against Arkansas, but another name popped up against the Hogs as well in the WR rotation - freshman Andrew Harris. Look for that trend to continue as well.

* Hardy said his foot is getting better "slowly but surely." . . . "I'm just trying to clear my head up and get well," he said. . . Hardy said he has no thoughts about next year right now. "I'm just trying to get my foot well. I knew I'd be eligible for the draft this year, but I haven't been thinking about that," he continued. "I'm not thinking about any of that. I'm just a junior. I just want to get well and get my mind right about the injury."

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