The coach has a point. The Rebels' post players are almost as hefty as the 6-4, 300-pound Harrell and the 6-3, 275-pound McBride.
Pearl's characterization of Curtis, Williams and Parnell as "defensive tackles" was somewhat whimsical but Hardy is, in fact, a scholarship football player at Ole Miss.
"Hardy's a big kid ... a really good defensive end," Pearl said. "But, compared to Curtis, Parnell and Williams, he's small. Those are big-body kids."
Making sure those "big-body kids" don't dominate the action on the inside will be quite a challenge Wednesday night for the undersized Vol post duo of 6-7, 233-pound Duke Crews and 6-4, 205-pound Dane Bradshaw.
The biggest challenge - literally and figuratively - is the massive Curtis. The burly junior from Chicago produced 20 points and 12 rebounds as the Rebels beat Arkansas 74-72 Jan. 13 in Oxford. Pearl watched tape of that game and came away impressed. "Arkansas is one of the bigger teams in our league," he noted, "and they (Rebels) were even bigger and more physical. So, keeping them off the offensive board is going to be a real key for us."
Maybe Pearl could counter the Rebel "defensive tackles" with a couple of ex-Vol offensive linemen. Now that they're out of football eligibility, seniors Arron Sears and David Ligon aren't terribly busy these days.