Nutt's offense wasn't where he wanted it to be, especially in the turnover department, as botched center to quarterback exchanges had landed on the ground for fumbles.
"We had a good practice today," Nutt said.
"We had a lot of enthusiasm today. I thought our guys bounced around, for the most part. We ended with a two-minute drill. Offense did much better today than yesterday. I was proud of that."
First-team repetitions were again split between quarterbacks Nathan Stanley, Jeremiah Masoli and Randall Mackey. No new developments were given in the case of Masoli's NCAA clearance waiver, a delayed process entering its third week.
Nutt said the team began to focus on Jacksonville State, who Ole Miss hosts in its season opener Sept. 4.
"We'll start zeroing in here on out," he said.
Nutt has one of the strongest defensive lines in the Southeastern Conference, featuring such talents as seniors Kentrell Lockett and Jerrell Powe. The unit has continued to impress in preseason camp, according to Nutt.
"They're doing a great job," Nutt said. "They understand the cause better. They believe in what (defensive coordinator) Tyrone (Nix) is going to call. It seems like they're a step faster."
Former Memphis head coach Tommy West was at practice today, seen speaking with Nutt on numerous occasions. He observed all 24 periods, leaving as the sun came down and practice concluding with the team huddled at midfield.
"Just football," Nutt said of the conversations between the long-tenured head coaches. "I'm sure he misses it. He was just out here watching it."
* Wide receiver Markeith Summers, who missed Wednesday's practice due to class, was back in full pads today.
Notable, though, is yesterday wasn't the first missed practice for Summers. The rising senior was sidelined for a portion of preseason camp due to injury. Melvin Harris, making a move this fall, has been the replacement when Summers is unavailable. Harris will be relied upon heavily, as his camp has been, arguably, the most impressive.
Summers has been pleasantly surprised with the depth built at wide receiver, especially considering the limited numbers at the position when camp began.
"I'm glad them boys are stepping up," he said. "They give us a better chance if everybody's playing good. I think our group is good. I think we're going to shock a lot of people."
* It's been said before, but a heated competition is brewing at center between sophomore A.J. Hawkins and true freshman Evan Swindall. For the second day in a row, Hawkins ran with the starting unit, though Swindall got his repetitions.
Junior Rishaw Johnson, firmly entrenched at right guard, has had high praise for both center candidates. Still, Johnson believes Hawkins may have the upper hand due to experience.
"It's a real good competition," Johnson said. "I like both of them. A.J.'s got a little bit more experience, though. Evan's coming along, but I think A.J. might be the guy. Both of them are good. (Experience) is the whole thing. But A.J.'s got to be more consistent snapping the ball."
* The list of walking wounded, already featuring freshmen Mike Marry and Cliff Coleman, grew today. Of course, Marry was in shirt and shorts, while Coleman remains in a boot and on crutches. Marry is dealing with a lingering hamstring injury and Coleman a stress fracture. Surprisingly, defensive end Delvin Jones wasn't dressed.
Jones had his right knee significantly wrapped to protect some fluid that has built up. Freshman offensive lineman Jared Duke was also in shirt and shorts.
* On a positive note, freshman linebacker Ralph Williams was back in full action. Williams, dealing with what Nutt termed "compliance issues," missed the previous two practices. As reported yesterday, there was an unfortunate oversight on some paperwork Williams was supposed to sign but failed to do so. He's apparently good to go now.
* Special teams is always a focus for Nutt and staff, with the early periods of practice usually dominated by some form of kickoff, kickoff return, punt or punt return. Thursday was a lot of kickoff, with an impressive mix, from backups to starters, comprising the starting 11.
"If you'll look hard," Nutt said, "we don't mind putting some starters on there. You're looking for speed. We got to put the best guys out there. That's a good chunk of real estate you've got to win."
Alongside placekicker Andrew Ritter, from left to right, are Charles Sawyer, Derrick Herman, Damien Jackson, Brandon Sanders, D.T. Shackelford, Lekenwic Haynes, Rodney Scott, Clarence Jackson, George Helow and Johnny Brown.
Sanders, a member of the linebacker rotation and unsung hero, has carved a role in special teams - a role he's proud of.
"A lot of guys think if they're just playing special teams, they don't have a big role," he said. "The way I see it is if I'm on special teams, then I want to bust my tail – every play, every kickoff, every kickoff return, every punt. No matter what it is, I want to give it up for my team. If that's what I'm asked to do, then I'm going to do it."