Archive for December, 2008

FOOTBALL: Monday morning links

December 29, 2008

Greg Hardy’s last game?

Cotton Bowl Notebook

— PA


FOOTBALL: Evening update

December 28, 2008

Lots of devastation and mourning over here for many folks after the Cowboys’ 44-6 loss at Philadelphia. I really wasn’t bothered too much by that one. I still haven’t gotten over the Tom Landry thing in 1989.

Much of the talk around the afternoon presser was about the matchup of Texas Tech’s offensive line, which has allowed only 11 sacks over 604 pass attempts, against the Ole Miss defensive line, which leads the nation in tackles for loss.

Tech OL coach Matt Moore compares the Rebels’ front to Oklahoma and Texas, though he says Ole Miss has more depth than Texas. I’m not sure it’s a compliment to be compared to a Big 12 defense.

The Red Raiders’ OL is known for its wide splits in the fastbreak offense. Peria Jerry believes Tech will narrow those splits when “they see how quick some of the guys are.” Jerry is one of those guys.

Tomorrow’s presser has the Ole Miss offense and the Tech defense. The Rebels will be represented by fullback Jason Cook, who will play very little in the game if at all, QB Jevan Snead, WR Mike Wallace, OL Michael Oher and RB Dexter McCluster, along with coordinator Kent Austin.

— PA

FOOTBALL: Sunday Cotton notebook

December 28, 2008
Kentrell Lockett at Sunday's news conference.

Kentrell Lockett at Sunday's news conference.

Seems like we just got here, but we’ve entered the phase of limited practice access.

Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt addressed media after practice, praising the weather and the scout team. Less wind today and lots of sunshine.

It’s been hard finding reserve players to simulate Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree, but Nutt like the looks the scout team was giving today.

“They came with a tremendous attitude, and you’ve got to have those guys. They know they’re not going to play, but they’re the Kodak team. They’ve got to give a picture for our team, and they did a beautiful job today on both sides of the ball.”

Nutt said his regular responded with less rust and more efficiency than they showed in Saturday’s initial Dallas workout.

Kentrell Lockett (shown above), Peria Jerry, Jamarca Sanford, Marcus Tillman and Jonathan Cornell joined defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix at a 3 p.m. news conference.

There is no planned bowl activity this evening. Players will visit a local children’s hospital tomorrow and will see the NHL’s Dallas Stars tomorrow night.

— PA

Live from Dallas — CHAT ON

December 27, 2008

I’m on the blog till 9:30 if anyone wants to chat about the Rebels. Is anyone out there?

— PA

FOOTBALL: Saturday Cotton notebook

December 27, 2008

Rob Park, left, and Josh Shene were unaware they were being photographed for the blog.

Punter Rob Park, left, and kicker Josh Shene struggled with the wind Saturday. They were unaware they were being photographed for the blog.

Former SMU great Doak Walker's statue sits just outside the stadium.

Former SMU great Doak Walker's statue sits just outside the stadium.

Cotton Bowl's Charlie Fiss, left, and Dexter McCluster

Cotton Bowl's Charlie Fiss, left, and Dexter McCluster

Cook’s status
Senior fullback Jason Cook did not practice today but attended in shorts and a t-shirt and was vocal.
Cook sustained a knee injury against Mississippi State that was initially called an MCL sprain, an injury that is far less severe than damage to the ACL.
Players often return from an MCL sprain in 10 days or less.
Saturday Nutt said Cook’s injury was to the ACL. Obviously it’s not a major sprain or tear. Cook moving around on the knee, running and cutting.
His availability for the game won’t be known until later in the week. He’s expected to play some, but not much.
Junior Andy Hartmann will get most of the reps, but it’s also an opportunity for Nutt and his staff to tinker with other players at one of few offensive openings for 2009.

Sweet taste of success
Cook, a devout Christian, has always worked to maintain a strong positive outlook.
That wasn’t easy for him for the bulk of his college football career.
Cook redshirted in 2004, David Cutcliffe’s final season, and experienced only 10 wins as a redshirt freshman, sophomore and junior.
“I’ve always tried to attack my life head-on, full-speed in everything. What the losing seasons taught me is that no matter what happened, and what circumstances presented themselves, it wasn’t going to change who I was,” he said.
“A lot of people say you get used to losing and losing’s a mentality. The truth of the matter is even though we were losing, it never changed who I was.
“It made the winning so much sweeter. Being on the field and celebrating with the band playing at Florida, celebrating and lifting the trophy at LSU then beating State in the Egg Bowl. It’s been indescribable. You never thought you’d have a season like this and here it is happening.”

Today’s schedule
The Rebels are staying at the Hyatt Regency at Reunion Tower. They’ll practice today from 12:30-2:30 at SMU.
A news conference at the media hotel is scheduled for 2 p.m. with Texas Tech offensive players and offensive line coach Matt Moore and Ole Miss defensive players and defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix.
Players scheduled to attend for Ole Miss include DL Peria Jerry, DE Marcus Tillman, DE Kentrell Lockett, LB Jonathan Cornell and SS Jamarca Sanford.

Be nice to UP Texan
He was nice to me. UPTexan introduced himself to me as I was heading off the field today. He told me his real name, but he didn’t tell me to publish it, so I’ll leave it off.
He’s an Ole Miss grad living in the Dallas area. He says he spends a lot of time on the blog, something I endorse but his secretary doesn’t.

— PA

FOOTBALL: Twas the night before Dallas

December 26, 2008

In the room in Shreveport now. I’ve got about three hours to drive to SMU, the Rebels’ practice site, tomorrow, and it looks like I’ll be driving through some heavy rain at some point.

The team reported to Dallas tonight, and the only two no-shows for the appointed time were freshman H.R. Greer and senior Tony Fein. Both called in and reported travel problems and were expected to join the team later this evening.

The Rebels will have a 2-hour workout beginning at 11:30 a.m. with interviews with the player first, then Houston Nutt to follow.

Tomorrow night there’s a welcome party for both teams at one of the hotels featuring comedian Frank Caliendo of “Frank TV” on TBS and also the “Fox Sports Sunday” team.

Matt, thanks for posting the fan events.

— PA

FOOTBALL: Saturday night chat

December 26, 2008

I’ll be in the room and online Saturday night at 9 if anyone wants to chat about the Cotton Bowl or anything else on Ole Miss athletics.

David, I have a schedule of some events that I can post late tonight. I do not have a complete schedule of fan events that might be hosted by the local alumni group.

I know there’s a New Year’s Day parade that culminates at the American Airlines Center, where the Mavericks and Stars play, with pep rallies for both schools.

I’m taking off here in a couple of hours. I’ll spend tonight in Shreveport and pull into Dallas for the Ole Miss media day at SMU tomorrow.

— PA

Merry Christmas

December 25, 2008

Morning folks. The house is still quiet, and it’s a good time to pause and reflect on the second chapter of Luke and the birth of Christ.

I woke up about an hour ago when Chipper, our 1-year old Beagle, jumped up in the bed to lick me with his version of Merry Christmas.

I flipped through a few news channels after Chipper left. Now I’m marking time till the morning rush.

Thanks Flareb for your comment below. This special season is more rewarding when we extend beyond ourselves.

Hope the day goes well for everyone.

— PA

FYI: Back in town

December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas folks.

I’ve been visiting family in Denham Springs/Baton Rouge and have been away from the blog for a few days.

I did see that Andy Kennedy and his staff presented their side of the Kennedy and Bill Armstrong arrest incident with things we were hearing bits and pieces, but nobody wanted to really talk about.

This will play itself out in court in the coming weeks and present a further distraction for a team decimated by injuries.

Ole Miss basketball had a run last week of three straight days on the ESPN ticker: Thursday with Kennedy’s arrest, Friday with Chris Warren’s season-ending injury and Saturday with Kennedy’s defamation of character lawsuit.

On the court, there’s been only one game to measure with, but at least against Florida A&M the plan was pretty much freshman Will Bogan at point guard. I figure Bogan will play a lot, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see freshman Terrico White there either to give a greater athletic presence and the opportunity to penetrate and kick out.

Pretty nasty weather outside today, as we get ready for the Christmas slowdown.

I’ll be with family in Meridian on Thursday and Friday and will leave for Dallas Saturday.

The Rebels arrive late Friday with the first official functions on Saturday.

— PA

Parrish out of town/Kennedy update

December 21, 2008

Good morning, Parrish it taking some well-deserved time with this family for the holidays and we’ll be back on the blog Tuesday.

Here are some links below to update the Kennedy situation. Coach Kennedy and his staff spoke with the media about what happened in Cincinnati.

Clarion-Ledger:Kennedy speaks about arrest, lawsuit fights back while preparing without Warren

Ole Miss Spirit ( Coach speaks (requires subscription)

Commercial Appeal – Ole Miss’ Andy Kennedy files suit vs. cab driver