Freeze's Rebels Complete Another Tough Practice In Pads

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Jeff Scott
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Jeff Scott
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

March 27, 2012

Video

OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss football team was back on the practice fields Tuesday afternoon under clear skies and warm temperatures next to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

The fourth practice of the Hugh Freeze era was the second in which the players donned full pads, and the results were less than what the Rebels’ first-year head coach expected.

“(I was) disappointed,” Freeze told reporters after the two-plus hour practice session. “I didn’t think the attitude was bad, but I thought the effort was half-hearted. I thought we coasted through a lot of practice. We’re asking a lot of them to lift (weights) and practice, sometimes on the same days. And of course, academics are a priority. We’ll point (the lack of effort) out on film tomorrow, and we’ll stop practice on Thursday if we have to in order to get it right. We won’t go through two days of that in a row.”

As Freeze’s staff installs a brand new offense and defense, the learning curve has been steep, but one bright spot Tuesday was the play of junior defensive back Brishen Mathews.

“Brishen’s playing well. Our staff is very happy with what we’re getting out of him right now at that husky spot,” Freeze said. “It takes a special player - a really athletic, tough kid who has to be a run stopper and solid tackler on the really good backs we have in this league and at the same time be able to guard some players in space.”

Freeze said the running game has been inconsistent through the first four practices.

“There were some good plays, though. In the team run, we broke a few long ones. Jeff (Scott) broke a little draw play for a touchdown, I think. Devin Thomas had a couple of good, hard runs. But we’re still very inconsistent.”

Two players who did not practice due to injuries were sophomore defensive lineman Bryon Bennett (foot) and junior linebacker Mike Marry (hamstring). Both are day-to-day and are expected to return later in the spring.

Ole Miss’ spring drills break for a day before resuming Thursday, and the practice is closed to the public.

Spring workouts will culminate with the annual BancorpSouth Grove Bowl, slated for Saturday, April 21 at 1 p.m. at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. CSS will televise the intra-squad scrimmage live.

Other events of Grove Bowl Week are the Rebels’ Choice Awards on Monday, April 16; the Chucky Mullins Award Banquet Banquet on Thursday, April 19; a free concert in The Grove with Gavin DeGraw and special guest Craig Morgan on Friday, April 20 and a weekend baseball series against Arkansas.

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