Except for two delayed flights for LB Tony Fein and RS frosh FB H.R. Greer, the Rebels reported this afternoon in Dallas to begin preparations for the 73rd Coton Bowl Classic January 2 against 7th-ranked Texas Tech.
(Fein and Greer will be in later tonight, we were told.)
Ole Miss Coach Houston Nutt was ready to get the week rolling. The Rebels held a team meeting tonight and will begin practice in the monring at 11:30 at SMU. Tomorrow's practice, for any Dallas-area Rebels who can make it, is open to the public.
"We are here to play an important bowl game, but we also want these deserving young men to enjoy the whole bowl experience," said Nutt. "We know why we are here, but we also want this week to be a reward for a job well done during the regular season."
Houston, who missed last year's Cotton Bowl that included the previous team he coached, was thrilled to be back in Dallas.
"To be one of the teams to play in the last Coton Bowl in Cotton Bowl Stadium is an honor," he said. "There is so much tradition and history associated with this game. It's an incredible event and to close the door on this chapter of its history is special."
The Cotton Bowl Classic will move from Cotton Bowl Stadium to the new Dallas Cowboys' facility next season.
The game also has special significance for Rebel sophomore Quarterback Jevan Snead.
"I'm from Stephenville, which is just down the road from Dallas," said Snead. "When you are a kid growing up, you dream of playing in the Cotton Bowl. My dream is coming true.
"There will be a lot of people there from my home. I wanted this bowl badly when I realized we were in the running for it."
The Rebels understand the task at hand. The Red Raiders were 11-1 in the regular season.
"They have a prolific offense and an underrated defense," said Nutt. "We understand the type of opponent they are, but we are also here to win. We have played other great teams and have our share of excellent wins. We want to prove we belong. This is an important game, a big game."
But the Rebs will mix pleasure with business. They will have the opportunity to see the NBA Dallas Mavericks twice, the NHL Dallas Stars once, eat all the prime rib they can hold at Lowry's Steak House at the Beef Bowl, have a banquet hosted by Fox Sports and Frank Caliendo and have a free arcade night on New Year's Eve.
"We are going to work hard and we are going to have fun," Nutt closed.
The Rebs have arrived in Dallas.
They have their game and play faces on.
Let the week begin!
Cotton Bowl week begins!
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