OXFORD – Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt was glad to feel some heat in Wednesday’s practice, because he knows the eighth-ranked Rebels will feel it in Memphis on Sept. 6.
He did attribute the heat to a little lack of focus for the offense near the end of the workout.
“Some of our young backs lost their concentration at the end, and we had too many balls hit the ground, too many missed assignments,” Nutt said.
One of the benefactors of those loose balls was free safety Kendrick Lewis, who picked up a pair of turnovers for the defense.
Starting tailback Brandon Bolden went down early in the practice with pain in around his knee. The injury appeared to be minor.
“He’s been going very hard the whole camp, running out every carry and every catch about 30 yards,” Nutt said. “I think he just did not have enough fluid in him and kind of strained the hamstring a little. We hope he’s back tomorrow and we are going to have to make sure he hydrates and eats right now that classes have started and their schedules are more hectic.”
Though Nutt has praised freshman Tim Simon from the beginning of camp, and sophomore Devin Thomas has gotten more work of late, he still ranks his top tailbacks as Bolden, senior Cordera Eason and sophomore Enrique Davis.
“The older guys are ahead because of experience. The other guys are showing flashes and may get their opportunity. We told them all to be ready, but we aren’t sure now how they will work into a game. We will start with the older group,” Nutt said.
– STARKVILLE – As game week draws closer, Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen is trying to figure out who will start at certain positions.
One thing he knows for sure: More than one quarterback will play in the Sept. 5 season opener versus Jackson State.
We’ll play at least two in the first game,” Mullen said following Wednesday’s practice. “If we need to play more, we’ll play more.”
Returning starter Tyson Lee, a senior and former ICC standout, is being challenged by redshirt sophomore Chris Relf.
Freshman Tyler Russell is running third-string.
As for other positions, Mullen is going to take as much time as he can in making decisions.
“Everybody says ‘ones’; there are no ones to me,” he said. “Our three-deep who will play in a game, we should know that by Sunday-ish. Nah, probably Wednesday of next week I would guess. Maybe.”
Center J.C. Brignone, a junior, is a safe bet to start at center, but he was out Wednesday with an ankle sprain.
He probably won’t return to practice before Monday. He’s backed up by sophomore D.J. Looney.
NEMS Daily Journal