Though the score was predictably one-sided against Southeastern Louisiana, No. 4 Ole Miss had no time to recuperate Sunday, as a nationally televised matchup with SEC East foe South Carolina lingers in four days.
"It's difficult," head coach Houston Nutt said of the quick turnaround. "Mondays are usually an off-day where the players have labs and such in class. There won't be an off-day this week.
"The advantage South Carolina has with the quick turnaround is they aren't having to travel. We have to make sure our guys get plenty of rest in the 48 hours leading to the game and the night before the game. That's important."
Scoring came fairly easy for the Rebels against SELA, as the offense racked up 500 yards of total offense in route to a 52-6 win in front of over 58,000 fans in attendance.
But the game didn't come without incident, as Ole Miss suffered through some bumps and bruises that will likely sideline starting fullback Andy Hartmann.
Hartmann, who recorded his first career touchdown with a two-yard reception in the second quarter Saturday, limped off the field with a knee injury late in the first half. Nutt said the senior will miss at least two weeks.
"I don't expect anyone to miss the South Carolina game except Andy Hartmann," he said. "In fact, I expect everyone to practice today, except Andy and Gerald Harris. Even Greg Hardy should be back today to practice. We had normal bumps and bruises from the game last night. We won't know about Gerald until tomorrow or later in the week."
With Hartmann sidelined, Nutt said the team will turn to a trio of candidates to fill the void.
The most interesting of the three, senior offensive lineman Mark Jean-Louis, is listed as the No. 2 center behind starter Daverin Geralds. However, the 6-foot-2, 355 pounder did see action at fullback late against SELA, strictly as a blocking back.
"We'll go with Daniel Hoffman, Derrick Davis and Mark Jean-Louis," said Nutt. "Mark has had a good camp and there is no need him sitting over there with us. He's big, physical and he likes to hit people, so we are going to put him out there and see what he does.
"Without Andy, we are kind of manufacturing fullbacks and think Mark, who did some fullback in the Cotton Bowl and last night, is a good choice."
Ole Miss heads to Columbia with its first 2-0 start since the 2002 season and its highest ranking since 1970. The USA Today Coaches poll also moved the team up one slot to No. 5 in its top-25 rundown this week.
The Rebels lead the all-time series between the schools 8-6-0. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
"It's a chance for us to make a statement on national TV," Nutt said. "We know how hostile it is there and we look forward to the environment. We respect USC and their athletes. Every SEC game is vital, but I think our kids are talking about this one because they (USC) came into our house and beat us last year right after we beat Florida."
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