Practice Report: Wednesday

We lost count on how many days the Rebels have been forced to move inside for practice due to rainy weather this year, but it's been "a lot." Thank goodness for the IPF. Wednesday, the Rebs practiced indoors again as they continue preparations for UL-Monroe. Read about it inside.

For the first time in a couple of weeks, Ole Miss Coach Houston Nutt was not glowing about his team's practice performance.

He still called it an overall "good" practice, but. . .

"We didn't finish the practice the way we needed to, but the early part of practice was really good," said Nutt. "It's time to get ready to play. We need to get into game mode. I'll expect a better finish Thursday."

The UL-Monroe Warhawks have given up a lot of rushing yards this year and, coincidentally, the Rebels' running game has become more productive and grooved in the past few games.

"We are going to run the ball against them. We have to execute and take care of the ball, but we will absolutely run it - that's no secret," Nutt closed. "We want to stay as sharp as we were against Auburn and keep climbing. That's what you worry a little bit about with an open date - staying sharp and keeping your timing, but our goal is to come out sharp against Monroe and be ready to go."

Random Notes:

* Senior Fullback Jason Cook, who has missed the last week or so with a concussion he got in the Auburn game, dressed out for practice today in shoulder pads and helmet, but he had a yellow jersey on signifying no contact. That's a step in the right direction, but it also means he has not been totally cleared yet. Odds are he will be cleared for Thursday's practice and the game Saturday, if he has no further setbacks.

* Junior WR Shay Hodge missed Tuesday's practice with a bruised heel, but was dressed out Wednesday and practicing.

* After the stretch period, Nutt brought the troops up for a few one-on-one, bull-in-the-ring type contact drills with the redshirts. The loudest roar? DE Gerald Rivers plowed through TE E.J. Epperson and was mobbed by the defensive players.

* Junior DE Greg Hardy seemed more spry Wednesday than he has been in several weeks. He showed no noticeable limp in running drills and seemed to have a more positive body language in everything he was doing. Could this be the week Hardy makes a comeback to some playing time? We'll see, but what we saw in practice was encouraging. "He moved around real well - again. We remain hopeful," Nutt noted.

* Ever since LG Darryl Harris' elbow injury in the Alabama game, junior Reid Neely has moved into the starting rotation on the OL. Even though he and Darryl are splitting reps in practice, Reid seems to have an edge on Harris for the time being. "Reid has a great attitude, tremendous character and a super work ethic," said Nutt. "He was disappointed when he missed most of camp with that Achilles problem and he got behind fundamentally. It took him a while to get back, but now he's back and is doing well. He kept a good attitude through the whole injury/rehab process and that's why he is playing effectively now."

* For the first time since his knee injury in the season opener, LB Don Hargroder attended a practice. He said the knee surgery went well and he's on his way to recovery. He's been rehabbing behind the scenes and feels he'll be ready to come back next season.

* DE LaDerrick Vaughn approached Wide Receivers Coach Ron Dickerson this afternoon about possibly playing some WR in the future. "He told me he could catch the ball, so we worked him out a little with some routes at the end of practice," Dickerson stated. "I know he can run and he did a pretty good job catching the ball, actually. I told him to come see me tomorrow and we'll try to see if his idea takes us anywhere. When a kid has a dream, you always want to give him a chance, so we'll see how it develops."

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