With steady rain in the Oxford area, the Rebel football team took to the Indoor Practice Facility…
Despite the results - so far - this season and despite critics coming out of the woodwork, Ole Miss Defensive Coordinator Tyrone Nix had a clear and resolute message after Tuesday's practice. "We're going to battle and we're going to be better the next time we go out. I can promise you that," said Nix. "We are going to play with more effort and passion and we are going to make plays. "The plays are going to start going our way. You can quote that. We are going to make plays Saturday." Much like the message Coach Houston Nutt delivered on Monday, Nix was as upbeat as one can be. "It's based on the attitude around here. The kids haven't quit, I haven't quit and we are working hard. All I know is to go to work, be smarter and make plays when the opportunities present themselves," noted Nix. Tyrone is looking at everything from a positive standpoint, including film study of the Tennessee game. Tyrone Nix "You never want to lose, but you can learn a lot from a loss. It's kind of like life - when adversity strikes, you can find out more about yourself, more about your character. We have some guys who will go out there and compete and will handle the adversity," he continued. "Things have gone about as bad as they can, but they are still fighting." Nix's bold statements came after a double dose of more bad news, one tidbit from Saturday and one from that morning. In the UT game, senior DT Lawon Scott broke his ankle and will be out for the remainder of the year. Tuesday morning, freshman CB Tony Grimes, who has been in the cornerback rotation, was suspended, along with freshman DE Delvin Jones, who has not been playing much, indefinitely and for sure the last two games of the season. "Stuff like this has happened all year," said Tyrone. "These things you have no control over. What you have to do is look at it as an opportunity for someone else to step up." Scott's injury is the latest in a long list of defensive players who have missed time. DE Kentrell Lockett, DE Gerald Rivers, SS Johnny Brown, FS Fon Ingram, CB Marcus Temple, MLB Jonathan Cornell, CB Jeremy McGee, CB Charles Sawyer, S Brishen Mathews and so on have all missed at least some time this year. In the case of Scott, the opportunity Nix speaks of has surfaced for junior DT Justin Smith and in moving LaMark Armour, who has been playing some DE along with DT, back inside. "Justin has shown flashes. We'll also move LaMark back inside. That will move freshman Cameron Whigham up at defesive end and he's done some good things," Nix explained. "The future looks good for a lot of these young guys, but unfortunately they have had to grow up real fast. "They have to be ready to go in there Saturday in a real battle against some real men, but we feel they can handle it. We are going to keep our rotation to keep guys fresh." At corner, due to Grimes' absence, it appears Frank Crawford will get a shot to contribute. It appears Rivers, who has missed a couple of games with an ankle injury, is on the verge of a comeback. "He doesn't look 100%, but he's getting better. Right now, I think he's setting himself up for spot duty and who knows by the time Saturday gets here? It could be more by then," Tyrone noted. Nix and company will be facing an LSU offense that has been sporadic at times, but is certainly capable of explosiveness. "They have a lot of weapons. They have playmakers. They have two quarterbacks who do different things and they are both talented," he critiqued. "Their running backs are plentiful and talented and they have a bevy of talented wideouts. The OL is big and physical. They are a talented football team that has only lost one game and knows how to win." LSU QB Jordan Jefferson has been dynamic at times and inconsistent at times. Nix is planning on the dynamic Jefferson to show up. "He's a winner. That's the bottom line. He wins. You can't argue with that," Nix explained simply. "It's going to be very important for us to be disciplined and to play our responsibilities." While the gloom is prevalent outside the confines of the football program, don't expect that to permeate inside. Nix is just one of many examples of that type of thinking within.
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