By Parrish Alford | NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Ole Miss players say the effort is there, and their coach backs them up on that statement.
They haven’t been rewarded with an SEC win, however. They’re hoping that could change Saturday on the road against a team of similar fortune.
The Rebels take an 11-game SEC losing streak with them to Kentucky, which has lost its last five in the league. The Wildcats are 3-5 overall, 0-4 in SEC play. Tennessee is also winless in the conference at 0-5.
“You can see it. People are so emotional after a loss, it can’t be fake,” senior defensive end Kentrell Lockett said. “It can’t be phony at all.”
Senior running back Brandon Bolden singled out the Rebels’ receivers as an example of players playing hard.
“We were watching film, and before I could open my mouth you could see a receiver coming off the ball and latching on to a cornerback and driving him into the ground. When everybody has the ball you see them trying to get more yards, but without the ball you see where everybody’s heart is,” he said.
Bolden said the play that came to mind involved the blocking of receiver Vincent Sanders in last Saturday’s 41-23 loss at Auburn.
Ole Miss hasn’t won in the conference since beating Kentucky 42-35 early last October. The Wildcats went on to go 2-6 in the league in 2010.
Kentucky defeated Vanderbilt 38-20 last Nov. 13, then lost 24-14 to Tennessee the following week.
Wildcats or mildcats?
Kentucky’s season has been marked by a struggling offense. The defense has not been goof enough to compensate.
Kentucky ranks No. 118 out of 120 FBS teams in total offense at 265.75 yards a game, No. 115 in scoring offense at 16.5 points a game.
Nutt says he’s seen the effort in practice, not only in game.
“They’ve really given it to us. They’ve worked hard. They’ve been good listeners,” he said. “Now we’ve got to put both halves together. We’ve got to do a better job of laying everything out for them and giving them a blueprint of how to win, how to play for 60 minutes.”