Remembering McCluster

Running backs coach Derrick Nix, the only holdover from the previous administration on the Hugh Freeze staff, was around when Dexter McCluster struggled to hold the football in 2008. He saw McCluster get past that obstacle and become an All-American running back.

“It was something we started emphasizing every day, from the beginning of practice, during practice and the end. Dexter took it upon himself a lot to work on it too when he was away from coaches. He took it s kind of a chip on his shoulder. He didn’t want to have a weakness.

“Being at receiver is a lot different. At that time he wasn’t used to going in between the tackles and facing linebackers every snap. It was something you had to just really emphasize and concentrate more.

Improving turnover ratio is a top priority for Ole Miss against No. 1 Alabama this week The Rebels fumbled six times and lost three at Tulane.

Alabama is ranked No. 3 in the nation in the all-important turnover margin statistic. Ole Miss is No. 90.

Through four games, the Rebels have fumbled 12 times and lost six, compared to their opponents, who have fumbled five times and lost two.

Nix: “ The No. 1 thing is we can’t help the defense out. The only negative we’ve had this year so far has been with turnovers. We’ve got to get to the point we can take care of the ball and make great decisions, guys just not carrying the ball and running it but protecting the quarterback as well, making sure we get the right hats on guys on blitz protection. The small things have to start clicking. We can’t have the small things that happened to us during camp. We’ve got to improve on those. The No. 1 thing that sticks out is turnovers.”

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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