Practice work, efficient offense, late games, road games and more

Here’s how Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze assessed the work week after Wednesday’s practice.

(What did you not like about Tuesday’s practice that was better today?)

Just attention to detail, body language, the way we went about our business was not exactly what I had hoped for yesterday. Today was much better. It was everybody. Coaches too, me too. I was not at my best.

(What are your thoughts on the 8:15 games, sometimes later?)

I don’t like them at all. You say that, but we benefit greatly from the deals we have with our TV sponsors. It’s not your preference as a coach or player. You’d like to get up, get going and play and then get back home because it’s a difficult transition to the next particularly when you’re on the road like we are busing back. That’s difficult for everybody. We’re getting older as coaches. Of course the players, you lose a night of rest. It is difficult, but we appreciate our TV sponsors and the partnerships we have with those. That’s part of it.

I try to keep myself away from the kids a good bit of the time because you can … I can talk myself into thinking we’re not concentrating enough. They probably need to be away from me a good part of that day. We do, we change up our schedule a little bit. We won’t do anything Friday other than travel and then Saturday morning have a quick walk-through and our film study. Those are the only changes we make.

(Can tempo offense off-set the talent and athleticism of Alabama’s defensive front?)

You could say that in any game. You’ve still got to execute. You’ve still got to win one-on-ones. It’s not like they’re not used to seeing tempo. They’re offense is doing tempo. They can simulate it in practice every day. They’ve got great coaches, and they’ll be prepared for it. We’ll try to be who we are, but you’ve got to have schematically a good play against what they’ve got called, and you’ve got to have kids that execute it.

(Can you run on Alabama?)

I haven’t thought of it like that (Alabama being traditionally tough to run on). I think of it as we want to stay balanced. We’re much better when we can do that. It sure would be nice if we were having some success running. That benefits us all around.

(How much different are you offensively than when you went there in 2013 and were shut out?)

It’s the same offense. I haven’t changed offenses since I was a high school coach. I still do the same stuff, still call it the same stuff. You add and tweak here and there, but it’s the same stuff. We’re Year 3 and two games into a program. Our kids are more comfortable with it. The quarterback’s playing well thus far. Our receivers are playing well. We’re running the ball enough and staying balanced, but we haven’t been tested against a quality opponent as that of Alabama. It’s hard to say. We haven’t changed. Certainly we’re better now than we were in 13. We’ve recruited more. Hopefully our play will show that.

(Defensive alignment better this week in practice?)

I’m anxious to watch the film. There were some things yesterday in practice I wasn’t crazy about. We’ll watch it and see what it’s like hopefully better.

(Going on the road?)

I like going on the road some. I don’t like the trips back always. You like to get in your own bed. The routine that I have on Sunday with church and that I like doing, it gets changed a little bit. Any time you go on the road with a group like ours, we’ve got some upperclassmen, you can kind of have a feeling that it’s us against the world mentality. I guess you’d say it does change some.

(Conyers health?)

He looked good today. Like I said Monday, he’s going to go.

(Will you use him at right tackle?)

We’ll play the best O linemen. He can play anywhere.

(How many offensive linemen do you expect to play?)

We played 12 in the first two games. I’d say 9-10.

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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