OXFORD, Miss. – As the 2013 BancorpSouth Grove Bowl approaches this weekend, Ole Miss held its last regular practice in full pads on Wednesday morning.
The Rebels will follow up Wednesday’s physical two-hour workout with a light, non-contact practice session in helmets and shorts on Friday. Due to the limited nature of Friday’s walkthrough, it will be closed to the public.
The Grove Bowl is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. Saturday in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, and admission is free. There will be a number of activities surrounding the game on Saturday, including the Chucky Mullins Award Breakfast at 8:30 a.m., the Ole Miss Track & Field Invitational starting at 9 a.m., the SEC Tournament Champion basketball team signing autographs in the Grove at 11:30 a.m., and baseball vs. Alabama at 4 p.m.
“Today was a good, physical practice,” said head coach Hugh Freeze. “I like our attitude and our energy. I’m not happy with where we are, and some of that has to do with the number of people we’ve had out. That doesn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy. The kids that we have out there are giving good effort.”
The Rebel defense has ruled many of the team’s practices this spring, especially with injuries to key offensive players like quarterback Bo Wallace and receiver Donte Moncrief. That was no different on Wednesday, and Freeze was quick to point out how several young and less experienced Rebel defenders have developed this spring.
“There has been marked improvement in a lot kids,” Freeze said. “I think of the Chief Browns of the world, the Temario Strongs, D.T. Shackelfords, Carlos Davis, Anthony Alford. We’ve got some guys showing up over there that certainly have improved. As a whole team, I wish we would have been more consistent offensively thus far.”
On the injury front, freshman tight end Christian Morgan suffered a knee injury that will require surgery on his meniscus. Freeze said he should be ready for fall camp.
As the Rebels prepare for Saturday’s spring game, the head coach talked about what he would like to see from his squad.
“Offensively, stay away from negative plays. Don’t turn the ball over. Stay away from minus fives and stay on schedule with great tempo. Defensively, keep getting those turnovers and keep creating negative plays. We still give up some big plays from time to time. We’ve got to make sure that we limit those to very, very few.”