Archive for September, 2008

FOOTBALL: Tuesday practice notes

September 30, 2008

— The Rebels, ravaged by injuries in August, are pretty healthy at the moment.

Freshman DB Marcus Temple, the starting nickle back, did not dress out today. He had a boot on his left foot for a mild ankle sprain.

John Jerry (shoulder) and Peria Jerry (elbow) were both in full dress. Both went back into the game at Florida with those minor injuries.

— Ohio State transfer cornerback James Scott has had his physical but is not yet practicing.

— In depth chart news, guard Maurice Miller, who was late leaving for the Florida trip because he over slept, was back on the first team ahead of Reid Neely.

Linebacker Patrick Trahan, who earned his first Ole Miss start at Florida, remains on the first team on the weak side ahead of Ashlee Palmer.

At middle linebacker Jonathan Cornell was ahead of Tony Fein, who started the Florida game, his first start this season.

— PA

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FYI: Administrative notes

September 30, 2008

I spoke a few minutes ago with John Hartwell, the associate athletics director for finance.

Regarding pay-per-view for these non-televised games, the stance of the university is to do nothing that takes away from the game-day experience.

That means if there are tickets available, and a pay-per-view telecast might encourage potential ticket-buyers to stay home, it’s not going to happen. Hartwell did not rule out pay-per-view in the future, but basically, this will be a non-issue when the new TV deal kicks in next year … as long as you have all of the ESPN channels. Hopefully our Tupelo Comcast folks will offer that next year.

On the subject of football scheduling, Hartwell said he expects Ole Miss to fulfill its contract with Memphis next season. The game will be the Rebels’ only non-conference road game. Southeastern Louisiana and UAB will fill two of the other slots.

A third non-conference deal, possibly with a BCS conference foe, is being negotiated.

— PA

FOOTBALL: Rebels on SI cover

September 30, 2008

Check out the Sports Illustrated cover. It will open into a Word document.

— PA

9-28-si-cover1

FOOTBALL: Digging the screen pass

September 30, 2008

Ole Miss RB Cordera Eason can see the play becoming a bigger part of the Rebels’ offense. Here’s the text of an interview I had with him yesterday. Eason’s 18-yard screen pass tied the Florida game in the third quarter.

— PA

It was a screen play, we been working on since camp, sometimes we run it sometimes we don’t. Coach said he was really looking forward to running it this game.

Coach Austin called it at the right time against the right defense. Everything was perfect. Once I got it I just tried to do the best I could to get in the end zone.

(Looks like you hurdled a guy on the way to the end zone.)

I had to, as I ran to him, I saw he had already ducked down, so I knew I was going to go over the top. I wouldn’t be denied getting into the end zone, try to get in there and tie up the game so we could go on.

(Do you see the screen becoming a bigger part of what you guys do?)

The last screen we ran was against Wake, and it wasn’t really successful. As soon as I got it I got hit, but coach Nutt still has faith in it. He has faith in his plays. He called it in the right situation. I can see us running it a lot more. We have way more screens than we’ve run, that’s just one. I feel like he’ll do more of trying to get us involved with screens.

(What’s your take on the running back situation now?)

It’s always a blessing ot have backs who can come in and spell you, help you out. The combination of me and Brandon still has a long way to go. He’s just a freshman, will be real good back, try to teach him as much as I can now. Enrique coming in is a real big deal with the fresh legs. Kind of hard for us to get tired with the rotation we have.

I started off slow, still gotta get going, first couple games run game not working, as gone along run game picked up more and more, I’m learning the game more as a I keep going on, if I keep on doing what I’m doing, things will work out.

FOOTBALL: Hitting the links

September 30, 2008

Here’s our print edition coverage from the Monday presser.

— PA

Trying to stay grounded

Miller will fight to regain spot

FOOTBALL: New look for Gamecocks this week

September 30, 2008

Quarterback Stephen Garcia is expected to start for South Carolina against Ole Miss Saturday. Garcia, whose career has been slowed by legal problems, had some success in his first extensive action of his career last week against UAB. The Gamecocks won 26-13. South Carolina has struggled on offense at different points this season.

— PA

FOOTBALL: Today’s Agenda

September 30, 2008

I’ve been trying for a couple of weeks to set up a time to talk to the Nix brothers, assistant coaches Derrick (running backs) and Tyrone (defensive coordinator, linebackers).

Tyrone, of course, was the DC at South Carolina for the last two seasons.

I am awaiting confirmation, but I expect to meet with those guys today for a feature later this week. Got an opinion piece I’m working on for Wednesday’s print edition, and I’ll have some practice notes on the blog later today.

I’ll have some other stuff up on the blog later as well.

— PA

FOOTBALL: Quick notes from presser

September 29, 2008

— There’s a feeling of joy and elation as you might imagine. The Rebels got over one hump by getting a big win. Now the hump they must get over this week is handling success.

“It’s a tough grind, and to say, you’ve made it … you ain’t made nothing,” Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt said. “All you have to do is look at the second quarter Saturday. We were very disoriented and disorganized. We let the 94,000 get to us, and we lost lots valuable field position.”

After spending so much time getting players up, Nutt says he recognizes the challenge now of keeping them grounded.

— Tony Fein was a no-show at the presser. Has a class, we’re told. We may have some comments from Fein tomorrow after practice. He hasn’t spoken to media much this year, but he’s become a pretty big story with his play.

— Man of the hour today was freshman defensive back Marcus Temple. He was a late signee, a Virginia native who didn’t have any big offers close to home. It was later in the recruiting process when he began to talk with “Mississippi,” he said. Temple had the first contact with Tebow on the game-deciding fourth-and-1 and really had the biggest part in a defensive stop that probably more and more people will claim to have had a hand in years from now. Temple’s contact with Tebow slowed him enough for the Cavalry to arrive. It didn’t take long, because there was no push against the Ole Miss defensive line.

— Linebacker Patrick Trahan drew a start against the Gators and will likely remain in the lineup. Guard Maurice Miller did not start, though he got into the game at tackle when John Jerry sustained a shoulder sprain. Reid Neely started in place of Miller, who overslept and wasn’t at the bus on time on Friday. Nutt said competition this week will determine whether Neely or Miller starts Saturday against South Carolina.

— PA

FOOTBALL: Greg Hardy audio clip

September 29, 2008

Here’s an interview with Greg Hardy from the press conference.

— PA

greg-hardy-audio-clip

FOOTBALL: Sanford is SEC defensive POW

September 29, 2008

The SEC has honored Ole Miss strong safety Jamarca Sanford as its defensive player of the week. Kudos to Jamarca, who had a nice game with 11 tackles.

— PA

JAMARCA SANFORD
Safety
OLE MISS
5-10 • 200 • Senior
Batesville, Miss. (South Panola HS)
• Sanford registered a game-high 11 total tackles (four solos) in Ole Miss’ 31-30 win at #4-ranked Florida.
• The effort marked Sanford’s ninth career double-figure tackle game.  He is the SEC’s current active career leading tackler with 248 stops.
• The Ole Miss defense stopped the Gators on downs twice and held Florida to three-plays-and-out five times.
• Ole Miss’ defense forced five Gator turnovers, recovering three.
• This season, Sanford is fourth in the SEC, averaging 8.6 tackles per game.