FOOTBALL: Sunday presser notes

For the open week Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt moved his Monday press conference to Sunday, so we all gathered yesterday.

No press conference today.

Much of the talk was the same as Saturday since the presser was less than 24 hours after the postgame from the 31-24 loss to South Carolina.

Houston said he chose not to challenge the call on Lionel Breaux’s apparent catch and fumble late in the game, because he heard officials talking and got the feeling it was not going to be overturned, and he didn’t want to lose a timeout. The play was ruled an incomplete pass. I only saw one replay, and I couldn’t tell from my angle. Ole Miss video people said Breaux made the catch. …

Houston is bothered by the number of replays lately and how the flow of the game has been disrupted. There have been at least 15 plays reviewed in the last three weeks. …

As you might imagine, there is continued focus in practice on ball-protection. I don’t know how many different ways you can say, “Hold on tight.” At the end of practice yesterday, Houston was carrying the ball himself, gripped tight with the index finger over the point and having it close at the rib cage, while the players were doing conditioning work. …

No practice today. Players will work Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and will take Friday and Saturday off. They will return to work on Sunday, but it will be a longer, more physical workout than they have on a Sunday following a game. Also this week, there will be more focus on the freshmen who are not playing and are most likely redshirts. These guys will scrimmage at some point. …

Ole Miss plays at Alabama next week, and the Crimson Tide, ranked No. 2 right now. …

— PA

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