"We started out really good, but right toward the end, we started to lay too many balls on the ground with our center/QB snap exchange," Nutt stated. "Under center or shotgun, we just let too many get away from us. I know we can do better. I know we have to do better.
"We go in full pads tomorrow for the first time and we are going to push them a little harder. The main thing we will focus on is not beating ourselves on offense. The defense continues to run around and make plays, but we're going to get the offensive issues of the snap exchanged fixed."
Part of that issue is working three QBs and one - Randall Mackey - has never taken a snap under center.
"That's been a little hard for Randall, but Jeremiah and Nathan have done that before, but the centers are working with three different QBs all getting quality reps," he explained. "It's an adjustment, but Dave Rader has done a great job of bringing Randall along. He's always been in ano-huddle offense, but he's learning to run a huddle."
Nutt really had no other complaints.
"I think we are getting better. I can see everyone getting a little more comfortable, despite the fact we are throwing a lot at them. We are putting in the entire playbook in a hurry," he explained. "The new guys have their heads spinning a little bit, and we're pushing them to get on automatic pilot, but they aren't there yet.
"Yesterday, they didn't fight though some fatigue, but today I thought they did better with that aspect of it. We put them in some tough situations with third-and-long, and we didn't pick up a couple of stunts and twists, but we did some good things as well. We've got a way to go, but I've been proud of them and are pleased where we are right now."
When asked, Nutt had praise for senior WRs Lionel Breaux and Markeith Summers.
"They've been stepping up and doing things seniors should do. They want the ball and they are making some plays. I've been proud of them and with the job Jesse (Grandy) is doing.
"Beyond them, I am glad Vincent Sanders is here. I see him helping us. Sure, he's behind, but he's got good ability. Melvin Harris is a guy we think we can start to count on - he's made some plays. Ja-Mes Logan had a good spring and he's been consistent in fall. Those three need to keep stepping up."
Nutt was asked about freshman RB Nick Parker.
"We are playing him at TB and FB and he's handling it. He's tough. I really appreciate the toughness our freshmen have shown. The guys from South Panola and Madison Central, especially, come in ready to work and it doesn't faze them. They want to please and they are hard-nosed guys - we have a lot of freshmen like them," Nutt stated.
* Safety Coach Kim Dameron is searching for a fourth guy behind Johnny Brown, Fon Ingram and Damien Jackson, the established top three safeties.
"Brishen (Mathews) has been around football his whole life - his Dad is a college coach. He's played safety most of his career and knows a lot of things. He's a candidate. He moves good, he's smart and he learns quickly," said Dameron.
"Terrell (Grant) has only played safety 18 practices his whole life. We had to start from scratch with him. He's getting better, but we started from ground zero. He's athletic and he's not dumb, he's just getting comfortable. He's coming. He starts on the wing on the punt team and that will be a good start for him to get some action. He just has to keep coming. I get after him pretty hard to get him up to speed and I'm seeing him respond some.". . . . By the way, Dameron also commented on Jackson. "He made a big splash in spring because we had a lot of live work and that's where he excels. Right now, he's the third safety, but he's on the cusp of being a starter. If he has a great fall camp, he very well could be," Kim allowed.
* WR Coach Ron Dickerson, like every coach, can't afford to get satisfied, but he's not disappointed with his troops thus far either. "They are never where you want them to be. That's the nature of the profession. We have to keep working, but Markeith and Lionel have stepped up as seniors - making plays, helping the young guys, blocking, the little things," Ron noted.
"That's what you want from those guys, but they know and I know they have to keep getting better." . . . Dickerson likes the progress of Grandy. "He's got a lot of different roles and he's handling them. Ja-Mes is doing well in learning the offense and being steady," said Dickerson. "Vincent is showing good signs of things he can do well. He's done well considering we threw him in the fire.
"The one who has stood out the most has been Melvin Harris. He's making the plays I need him to make and he's become more consistent. He needs to keep going in that direction, but he's made a good impression so far. He's playing like he's 6-7 now and I'm pleased with that. Also, Korvic Neat has moved from TB to WR and he's doing some good things. Overall, we're progressing, but we need to keep working and staying on that path."
* On the injury front, frosh CB Cliff Coleman is out with an ankle injury and OLB Mike Marry dressed out today but he was limited with an aggravated hamstring pull.
* None of the four frosh the Rebs are waiting on - Bryon Bennett, Tony Grimes, Delvin Jones or Q. Mireles - had any movement on their eligibility issues today. That's a bit surprising to the Ole Miss folks. They thought Bennett, Grimes and Jones would be good to go by now, but they aren't yet. Q's deal is still up in the air. It appears more and more like JUCO WR Darrin Moore will be brought in. He's finished his JUCO classes and has his paperwork turned in to the NCAA. We'll keep you posted.
* An important part of placements is the holder. The Rebs are breaking in a new one this year - WR Richie Contartesi. "He's doing much better than he was in the spring. I think he's getting comfortable with that role now. I have confidence in him," said Special Teams Coordinator James Shibest. . . Speaking of placements, while there has been no live action yet - kicking with a rush - Bryson Rose appears to be more relaxed and more loose with his approach. He seemed a bit stressed in spring. Consequently, his kicking so far this fall has been more effective. He appears to be kicking with confidence and authority right now.
* Some may wonder why Brandon Bolden, who isn't real flashy, is the number one TB. Here's why - he can do it all well.
For instance, in today's pass protection drill against the linebackers, the only TB who blocked his man on every single chance was Bolden. He catches the ball better than any TB and he runs the ball effectively. He also takes care of the ball and can play TB, FB and WR. That's why he's number one.
* Brishen Mathews tucks his jersey under his shoulder pads, exposing a bare stomach. It's hard not to notice he has a huge tattoo on his stomach and chest. It's the Saints' "fleur-de-lis." Obviously, Brishen loves the Saints.
* You want to see someone who looks like a bullet? Send MLB D.T. Shackelford on a blitz. Gets there in a real hurry and in a foul mood. He's going to be special, if he isn't already.
* We've been asked about frosh WLB Clarence Jackson's speed. We finally got a first-hand look, and it's good. He had an angle on speedster TB Jeff Scott, but even with that, he walked Scott down on the sidelines and stripped the ball from Scott as he was going down. Meanwhile, Scott was separating from the rest of the defenders.
* A guy who seems to be making as many plays as anyone is 6th-year DT LaMark Armour. He's beating his OL at the line of scrimmage and is really being disruptive when he breaks through. He looks much better than he did a year ago, in this opinion.
* Quick Hitters: When frosh OL Jared Duke loses 25 more pounds, he's going to be the real deal. At 350, he's a tap too big, but he's got good athleticism and ability. . . . DE Gerald Rivers doesn't have the moves of Kentrell Lockett and Wayne Dorsey in pass rush yet, but he's got as much, or more, speed off the edge than any of them. Ditto that on freshman Carlos Thompson. . . Frosh OL Terrence Hackney is behind on his technique, and that won't work with Mike Markuson as your OL coach, but Mike thinks the Hargrave product is very gifted athletically and he likes his future. . . Bobby Massie was coming off the field after a pass rush drill and you couldn't help but overhear his conversation to OT Bradley Sowell. "I hope we don't play anyone any better than Wayne and Kentrell," he said, laughing. Sowell seconded that comment.
* The first day of full pads is tomorrow. Practice will begin at 5:20. It is open to the public. Time for some separation - it always happens.