Preseason Report 08.16: Rebels Prepare For Scrimmage Under Picturesque Conditions
Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said Jeff Scott will be dangerous on punt returns this year.

Aug 16, 2013

OXFORD, Miss. - With temperatures hovering in the mid-70s and a slight breeze in the air, the Ole Miss football team competed hard under gorgeous skies on the Ole Miss practice fields adjacent to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Friday morning.

Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said the coaches had to fight a little bit with the players to get them going, but it was a good practice overall as they prepare for their second scrimmage of preseason camp Saturday.

"Once we got going, they really competed, so I was pleased," Freeze said. "This is 18 straight practices. We had a little time off one Sunday, but that's really it. For it to be practice 18 right now, and to go with the energy and competitive spirit they had this morning, I was pleased."

The Rebels will practice again Friday evening before Saturday's closed scrimmage prior to Meet the Rebels Day. In Ole Miss' first scrimmage of the camp Aug. 10, the defense held the offense in check outside of an eight-yard touchdown pass from Barry Brunetti to tight end Nicholas Parker.

Freeze said he and the coaches use the scrimmages a lot in their player evaluations for those who are in the midst of position battles.

"That is the best test," Freeze said. "Coaches are off the field. They have to adjust to every call and every formation or coverage. You get to find out who is making plays."

Because the Rebels open the season against a Southeastern Conference opponent in Vanderbilt, they will not get to bring as many players to Nashville, Tenn. With that in mind, Freeze said he and the coaches will begin making some judgment calls.

"Certainly you're trying to find out what kids can do," Freeze said. "But yes, we'll grade the film very hard from today and tomorrow. (The coaches will) present them to me Monday morning in staff - we'll give everybody off Sunday. Monday morning I'll look at all those grades, the production ... We'll start making some judgment calls."

Some of those judgment calls will be with the Rebels' punt and kickoff return group.

"Jeff (Scott) will be really solid and dangerous," Freeze said. "... Last year we just didn't feel like he could be the all-the-time guy because of the depth issues at tailback. Now we see it as another opportunity to get him touches with some improved depth there. Kickoff returns; we're hoping people like Kailo (Moore), (Mark) Dodson, I'Tavius (Mathers), Jaylen (Walton) and Trae Elston. Not sure, but Jaylen was pretty good at it last year and we have no reason to think he wouldn't be as good if not better (this year)."

With kickoff of the 2013 season less than two weeks away, Freeze said the coaching staff will begin watching film on Vanderbilt this afternoon, but they will not do any prep work on the Commodores in practice this evening.

"We want to first of all find out what we think will be successful against them, and then part two of that would be, alright, what of this can we do personnel wise," Freeze said.

Fans wanting to meet the football team and hear from Freeze are encouraged to attend the annual Meet The Rebels Day presented by Community Trust Bank on Saturday at the Indoor Practice Facility. Doors will open at 11:30 a.m.

Ole Miss Head Coach Hugh Freeze

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