Archive for December, 2008

FOOTBALL: Mike Leach comments

December 31, 2008

Here’s the text of Mike Leach’s comments from the head coach presser.

— PA

I’ve always admired coach Nutt. I actually started following him clear back at Murray State and the rest where he did some impressive stuff.

Never been to a bowl game wasn’t thrilled to be at. Hoping we can schedule one next week.

My first experience with the Cotton Bowl was when I was at OU, and we were getting ready to face Texas.

We were going down the tunnel and an exchange had taken place with Barry Switzer, Darrell Royal and President Gerald Ford, and an OU fan started screaming, “Who are those two guys with Switzer?”

We left a dummy script laying around on the field, and I don’t know if they actually looked at the script or were trying to bird dog us. What I do know is Antwone Savage, a freshman, caught a ball across the middle. This is like the second play of the game. He catches the ball. He’s a freshman, and he goes sprinting down there for a touchdown.

He’s so excited to score that touchdown that he drops the ball like on the 2-yard line, I’m not kidding. He thinks he’s already in. The ball’s back there on the 2, but the refs were as excited as Antwone Savage was. They signal touchdown, and to this day that touchdown’s never even come close. They gave it to us nevertheless. We figured we had our hands full coaching, so we weren’t going to mess around with officiating too.

(How much have you seen Crabtree’s replay on ESPN?)
Quite a bit. It’s more routine than folks think it is. It’s something we work on everyday. I was obviously excited about it. I thought we should have been farther ahead at the time, so that part I wasn’t very pleased with.

They overplayed the coverage, Graham threw it underneath, and Crabtree did a great job of turning and running straight upfield. He couldn’t have gotten out of bounds if he had to, but he wanted to get the end zone, and he got it.

I think the timing was the big thing. That’s what makes it memorable. I’m glad it’s on TV all the time, and everybody should look at it closer, closer, write a lot of stories about it and then have people reflect on it positively for decades to come.

(Does Nutt’s offense create some style problems for you guys?)
Oh absolutely. He invented the Wild Hog, you know. Guess who they’re going to snap the ball to, then they’re in motion while they’re doing all that.

That’s one thing both teams have in common in that we do have offenses that not everybody sees all the time.

Any time you have any success offensively all of a sudden it’s a gimmick. If you have success defensively you just play really hard, and you’re really tough.

IF you have success offensively it’s a gimmick. Everybody else isn’t trying to score points, only you are.

Theirs is unique. You don’t get to see it all the time. Stuff comes at you from different angles, but there’s nothing gimmicky about it.

The most important thing on any offense is to block. What’s great about their offense is the execution. The uniqueness just makes it that much tougher.

There’s a whole bunch of these that run between the tackles that are knighted as the Saint of Offense. It’s like if we wanted to score 40 points a game we would, we just want to do this. No, you don’t want to do that, you just don’t have any imagination. That’s just an alibi for your failure to score as many points as somebody who does.

Sadly in our case, Mississippi is not one of those teams. They put the ball in everybody’s hands, and they attack the whole field.

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FOOTBALL: Welcome back Ed?

December 31, 2008

Sounds like Ed Orgeron could be back in the SEC soon at LSU.

— PA

FOOTBALL: Last day in 2008

December 31, 2008

Here are some links to get you started on the last day of 2008. Texas Tech coach Mike Leach fires off at critics of his offensive system. Then, Leach, the master story teller, enjoyed the mike at the news conference.

We made it to the Mavs game last night and watched the home team rally from 29 points back to win, the largest comeback in franchise history.

Player and coach interviews are cut off after today, but what’s left to say anyway? These guys are ready to play, and the game is still two days away.

It will get here eventually, I reckon.

Switching gears to hoops, not good news for the Rebels in Biloxi last night against Southern Miss, but not much good news is expected from this injury-ravaged team now.

— PA

FOOTBALL: Ole Miss ex-coaches at MSU

December 30, 2008

Brad Locke reports that MSU coach Dan Mullen has hired Frank Wilson, an energetic recruiter on Ed Orgeron’sstaff, and Carl Torbush, who was Billy Brewer’s first defensive coordinator. Wilson coached running backs at Ole Miss and was at Southern Miss this past season.

— PA

FOOTBALL: Head coaches speak

December 30, 2008

Texas Tech coach Mike Leach was entertaining at the head coaches press conference a few minutes ago.

Leach might be fun to cover, but I’d have a hard time adjusting to his time zone, I’m sure. He wasn’t as late today as his players were yesterday for their news conference.

Lubbock media say they’ve waited as long as an hour and a half for the regularly scheduled 11 a.m. weekly news conference to begin.

I took a picture with hopes of having it up on the blog. I’ve put some bad ones on here, but this one was too bad. The little camera phone struggles indoors.

Anyway, the Rebels will begin practice shortly.

Haven’t heard any results on the Beef Bowl competition.

Players visited the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital yesterday. Dr. Luke Waites, the man for whom the hospital’s center for dyslexia is named, is a former Ole Miss football player.

“A hospital visit like this teaches our guys to be grateful, thankful and count their blessings every day,” Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt said.

Players can choose between a Dallas Mavericks game and a bowl party tonight.

— PA

FOOTBALL: Morning Links

December 30, 2008

Texas Tech defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill says you shouldn’t get too caught up in the numbers when considering the defenses in the Big 12.
Houston Nutt says you shouldn’t get caught up in the numbers when considering his bowl record.

— PA

FOOTBALL: Evening Update

December 29, 2008

zamboni

I just returned from my first NHL experience. (See Zamboni above.) It was cool, as I imagined it would be, and the fact that I left in the second period is not a reflection on the quality of the evening. Got things to do this evening.

The Cotton Bowl had great seats for us. I was about 10 rows up from the glass.

It was disappointing that I did not see a fight and did not see the home team score, but there were a few good body checks against the glass, and a coupe of penalties. Looked like the Egg Bowl on ice.

Nothing earth shattering on the bowl front today. Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt thought practice went well.

I congratulate the Rebels for being punctual to their 1 p.m. presser. Texas Tech was 45 minutes late.

The Rebels visited a children’s hospital in the afternoon. We should hear results of the Beef Bowl sometime in the morning.

Nutt and Texas Tech coach Mike Leach appear at 9 a.m. presser tomorrow, the last day of player and coach access.

I’ve gotten most of my interview stuff done, and now it’s mostly a matter of cranking out copy for the game day tab.

— PA

FOOTBALL: Ole Miss DL vs. Tech OL

December 29, 2008

Here’s the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal perspective on that key matchup.

— PA

HOOPS: SEC honors Holloway

December 29, 2008

Nice recognition for Murphy Holloway, who has been the Rebels’ most productive freshman this year.

— PA

SEC Freshman Of The Week
Murphy Holloway
Ole Miss
F * 6-7 * 225 * Fr. * Irmo, S.C.

Ole Miss’ Murphy Holloway has been named SEC Freshman of the Week after he posted season highs with 15 points and 16 rebounds in an 86-63 win over Florida A&M, collecting the first double-double by a Rebel this season. His 16 boards, the most by an Ole Miss player this season, helped the Rebels out-rebound the Rattlers by 25, 47-22. He also added three steals, two assists and a blocked shot in the contest.

FOOTBALL: Morning update

December 29, 2008

Full day on tap for Ole Miss.

The Rebels practice at 10:30 at SMU. They visit a children’s hospital at 3:30 and participate in the Lawry’s “Beef Bowl” from 4:45 to 6:30. They’re at the NHL game tonight, the Dallas Stars vs. San Jose.

There’s a 1 p.m. presser that features Ole Miss offensive players Dexter McCluster, Jason Cook, Michael Oher, Jevan Snead and Mike Wallace, along with coordinator Kent Austin.

— PA