As mentioned in the Twitter discussion last night, following Tuesday's practice, Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt was as animated as I've seen him in a while.
I would view that as a positive step for Ole Miss football. Maybe Nutt sees something in his team. Maybe he thinks it has turned a corner in some way. It's unfortunate that the next game up is Alabama, because I don't think the Rebels will be able to sustain the momentum they may have created for themselves with a 38-28 road win at Fresno State.
The theme for the open week is “physical.” Nutt is trying to get the Rebels to be more physical on both sides of the ball but particularly on the defensive side, where linemen have been slow to get off blocks and make plays.
I was asking about the physical yesterday. How do you teach physical to players who by this stage of their careers should be able to find attack mode by nature? Nutt responded to the question with a physical, hands-on demonstration with me as the volunteer.
He was clearly upbeat and encouraged by Tuesday's practice.
The Rebels worked a lot of first team against first team and will continue that through the week. The physical part will come in at the line of scrimmage. There won't be much tackling to the ground if any,and Brandon Bolden won't be in the backfield running against the first team defense. Generally speaking there will be more hitting this week than in a regular game week, and Nutt and his staff will have to walk a line between teaching the physical and healing the wounded.
So far, he believes they're off to a good start.