OXFORD — University of Mississippi first-year football coach Hugh Freeze and the Rebels began game week preparations Tuesday afternoon on the practice fields adjacent to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
Freeze praised the defense’s execution of the game plan.
“Defensively we were excellent,” Freeze said. “I thought their energy was great and their attention to detail was super. They were very coachable. Offensively we didn’t have any energy. We didn’t have a bounce in our step like its game week. That was a little disappointing, but I’m sure they’ll bounce back tomorrow.”
Several key members of the Rebel secondary were back in action today after suffering injuries during fall camp.
“Charles Sawyer looked really good today,” Freeze said. “Wesley Pendleton and Cliff Coleman were at about 80 percent. It looked like Charles was the farthest along when they were moving around.”
Freeze also commented on the status of junior running back Jeff Scott.
“He tried to go today,” Freeze said. “I’m proud of him for that. He’s not himself. We’ll just see how the week goes on. If we had to play tomorrow, I don’t know that he would be a factor.”
With the possibility Scott may not be available Saturday, Freeze said various Rebels will have to step up in the return game.
“Senquez Golson, Trae Elston, Philander Moore, and Korvic Neat will be guys that will be involved in the return game,” Freeze said. “Jaylen Walton will also be involved on kickoffs.”
Freeze said he will likely decide after Wednesday’s practice which quarterback will take the first snaps at 6 p.m. Saturday against the University of Central Arkansas at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
n In related news, Freeze will join the marching band and spirit groups for a pep rally Thursday. The pep rally, presented by the Ole Miss Athletics Department and the Downtown Council, will begin at 6:30 p.m. on the courthouse lawn on the square, weather permitting.
Freeze will address the crowd and the Pride of the South, cheerleaders, and Rebelettes will perform.
Ole Miss women’s soccer coach Matt Mott and captains Alix Hildal, Erin Emerson, and Mandy McCalla also will also be at the pep rally. Ole Miss is 4-0 start and will play host to the University of Arkansas-Little Rock at 7 p.m. Friday at 7 p.m. and Texas Tech at 7 p.m. Sunday.
n Football team practices for two hours Tuesday: At Tuscaloosa, Ala., The University of Alabama football team held a two-hour practice Tuesday at the Thomas-Drew Practice Fields as it continues to prepare for its season its season opener at 7 p.m. Saturday against the University of Michigan at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
“This is a great opportunity for us,” Alabama senior offensive lineman Barrett Jones said. “What Michigan does, they do extremely well. They are a very solid team. They return a lot of guys and a lot of experience, and we are expecting a big challenge.”
Michigan is 23-6-1 against Southeastern Conference opponents, including the slight 2-1 edge against Alabama. The Crimson Tide is 19-11 against the current Big Ten field.