Wrapping up Media Monday at Ole Miss. The highlights …
Ole Miss players say they're not surprised to be underdogs against No. 2 Alabama this week. Really, I'm not surprised either, but the margin that odds-makers have attached this game is pretty large.
Presently the Rebels are underdogs by almost four touchdowns – 25.5 points.
That also doesn't surprise them or faze them they said.
Said wide receiver Ja-Mes Logan: “We expect it. It's nothing new. We can't control what other people speak. We just control what we do. All I can say is just try to prove them wrong and come back to a celebrated locker room.”
Upon further review, odds-makers expect an average SEC performance from the Tide. The most competitive of three SEC games for Alabama has been its 24-point decision in a 38-14 win over then-No. 14 Arkansas.
The Tide has also beaten Florida (38-10) and Vanderbilt (34-0).
Not a whole lot of news out of today's presser.
Nutt stopped short of saying there would be massive change among the offensive line, but he did said Patrick Junen is “back in the mix” at left guard and that Evan Swindall could supplant A.J. Hawkins as the starting center.
The sophomore Swindall made two starts at center last year. Hawkins, a junior, has made 15 starts at the position.
Junen started the first three games of the year at left guard. Nutt has praised the ability of freshman Aaron Morris. Morris started the Georgia game but didn't finish and can't seem to stick at the position right now. Senior Alex Washington started at left guard against Fresno State.
Nutt said he would make decisions about his offensive line later in the week.
Nutt had plenty of good things to say about the Alabama defense, particularly in the Crimson Tide's ability to disguise what it's doing in pass coverages and blitzes That could be problematic for Ole Miss quarterback Randall Mackey, who is making his second college start, his first in the SEC.
Nutt had high praise for Alabama tailback Trent Richardson, a hard, physical runner.
Physicality was the theme of the open week. Senior defensive tackle Justin Smith believes the Rebels can be much more physical against Alabama than they showed at Fresno State, but Smith also said some of the problems that allowed Fresno's Robbie Rouse to rush for more than 100 yards had to do with the Rebels being out of position.
Nutt has a reputation for getting his players to play above their heads as underdogs. At Ole Miss, his two most notable wins as a big underdog were against No. 8 LSU in Oxford in 2009 and at No. 4 Florida in 2008.
Asked if he would use the “us against the world” motivation approach this week, Nutt said he just tries “to be as honest as he can.”