FOOTBALL: Cleaning out the notebook

With August still a few days away it’s kind of hard to think about an Oct. 25 game. Still, last week in Hoover there was no shortage of questions to all the necessary parties about the Ole Miss game at Arkansas.

Everyone provided the safe answer, and there was nothing extra to come from Media Days to spark a game that will have emotions running high already.

“You can’t help but think about it. You grew up in Arkansas. You thought at one time you’d be there for life,” said Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt, who began his response in the second person. “I had 10 great years of experience there working with some great people. We won three titles. Two of them went to Atlanta. Very close against Florida, winning that ballgame. So we had some great days, great times there. You can’t help but think what it’s gonna be like coming in from the visitor side.”

Nutt said he’ll think about the return game at times, not much, because his attention usually shifts quickly to Memphis. Good thing. Ed Orgeron was 3-0 against Memphis, but all three games were close. It would have taken much to turn them the other way.

Ole Miss offensive tackle Michael Oher said he hadn’t given much thought to the Houston Nutt angle of  the Arkansas game. He’d just like to see his team be more competitive against the Razorbacks.

“We really haven’t had much of a chance against them except for my freshman season,” he said.

Indeed, the Razorbacks have outscored the Rebels 82-11 the last two seasons. A mediocre Arkansas team outscored a mediocre Ole Miss team 28-17 in Oxford in 2005.

On the Arkansas side of the equation, new Razorbacks coach Bobby Petrino says he’s heard talk about the Oct. 25 game but more from boosters than from players.

“I do think that our players understand that, you know, it’s not us playing Coach Nutt. It is our players playing against their players, University of Arkansas playing Ole Miss, which has always been a great rivalry,” he said.

Arkansas center Jonathan Luigs, last year’s Rimington Award winner, says he expects he and his teammates to treat the encounter like any other game, but he was surprised to see Nutt leave.

“We kind of thought he was in the hot seat, and we thought that the LSU game would be the explanation point for him staying,” Luigs said. “There were things going on behind the scenes we didn’t know about and so the next week he was gone but you just have to play football and that’s what we’re here for.”

— PA


One Response to “FOOTBALL: Cleaning out the notebook”

  1. VA Reb Says:

    I’m sure there will be a little added emphasis and interest in this game just as there was (and probably still is a little) more interest in playing Tommy T. and Auburn. It’s only natural. I just hope we have a great game and end up on the winning end of it.

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