Preseason Practice 08.14: Defense Wins The Day

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Hugh Freeze

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Hugh Freeze
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Aug 14, 2013

OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss hit the practice fields once again on Wednesday morning under a mild summer sun, as the Rebels wrap up their second week of fall camp in preparation for the season opener at Vanderbilt just two weeks from Thursday.

Head coach Hugh Freeze was pleased with the work of the Rebel defense and the spirit they brought to the morning practice.

"The defense dominated the every phase except maybe the one-on-one drills. They brought a great spirit to the practice fields and offensively we didn't match it. Hopefully we will tonight."

The defense dominated the morning workout without several key pieces along the defensive front, as C.J. Johnson, Robert Nkemdiche and D.T. Shackelford all sat out due to injuries.

"We are struggling at the defensive end spot. It is mostly precautionary, but at the same time I wouldn't be honest with you if I didn't tell you it doesn't concern me that we have these nagging injuries that don't seem to want to go away."

Also along the injury front, freshman running back Kailo Moore returned to the practice fields for conditioning after sitting out the last few days with concussion-like symptoms.

"He is just going through the concussion protocol we have in place. As long as he ran today and didn't have any symptoms and doesn't after tonight's practice, he can return to practice tomorrow."

With Ole Miss two weeks into fall camp and still two weeks away from the season opener, Freeze said the players are growing tired of hitting each other, but it is the coaches' responsibility to keep the team focused.

"We have to demand great effort each day. As coaches, we have to demand the players bring their best to practice each day. We have to keep the players focused and make sure they see the big picture, because all we have go against right now is each other."

The Rebels will take to the practice fields again tonight at 5:15 p.m. for their second practice of the day. Ole Miss has one final two-a-days practice scheduled for Friday.

Fans should mark their calendars for the annual Meet The Rebels Day presented by Community Trust Bank, Aug. 17 at the Indoor Practice Facility. Doors will open at 11:30 a.m.

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