'A Good Start'

Tyrone Nix

Coach Houston Nutt, OC David Lee and DC Tyrone Nix all said the same thing after the Rebs' first scrimmage in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Saturday night. "It was a good start, but we need more consistency," after Ole Miss finished off a physical, 100-plus play workout before and estimated 2,000 fans.

There was a consenus among the Ole Miss coaches after the Rebs went through the first full scrimmage of 2011 in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Saturday night.

We'll let head man Houston Nutt get the ball rolling.

"It was a good first scrimmage, I was proud of them. We've got to keep working because we showed some inconsistencies, but that's a good start," said Nutt. "I loved their energy and I love what the newcomers (freshmen and JUCOs) bring to this team.

"We had guys like C.J. Johnson, Keith Lewis and Serderius Bryant bringing the pads. And then you see (DE) Kentrell Lockett running around out there making plays in limited snaps. He had an early interception and return for a TD. That's what he brings to us - leadership and playmaking."

Nutt liked the way his squad fought through some weariness.

"We've had a tough, hot first week, but the guys gave it up for us today," he continued. "We are a little leg weary, but we kept battling and didn't give in. That's a good sign."

Health-wise, Nutt said he did not see any major injuries, but a few got bumped and bruised.


Houston Nutt
Bruce Newman
WR Nickolas Brassell turned his ankle, DE Jason Jones and TE Alex Williams each had sprained knees. DT Gilbert Pena fractured his hand and will have to have surgery Sunday, but he is expected back at practice later in the week.

FB E.J. Epperson (concussion) did not practice but is expected back at practice Sunday after missing the last five days. MLB Mike Marry (hamstring) also did not practice.

Nutt was asked about the status of CB Senquez Golson, who is trying to make a decision on whether to stay at Ole Miss or sign a pro baseball contract with the Boston Red Sox.

"Senquez did a good job tonight. As long as he is out here, we are going to work him," Nutt noted. "Right now, I don't like baseball much. I'm just kidding, I am a baseball fan.

"I'm going to sit down with his Mom and Dad, who are here, real soon. I know they have to make a decision soon. I want him here, but I'm selfish. What I really want is for him to do what makes him happy and what is best for him. They have a life decision to make and the family will make the right one. As you can see, though, he is going to be a really good football player."

Lee stayed along the same lines in assessing the offensive performance of the day.

"Offensively, I didn't think we ran the ball nearly as well as we can. I thought we looked lethargic at times, but we didn't use Jeff Scott or Brandon Bolden, who are two of our playmakers, much," Lee began. "We looked leg-weary at times, and we looked good at times.

"This scrimmage was more about us getting a good look at the younger guys. I already know what Bolden, Scott, Logan and Harris can do. I wanted to see, one, our quarterbacks operate, and two, some new faces in a game-like situation, guys like Nick Brassell, Donte Moncrief, Tobias Singleton, Jamal Mosley and those guys. I think we accomplished that to a degree. I hated Nick hurt his ankle."

What remains the $64,000 question is under center - quarterbacks.

"You saw the same thing today I have been looking at for a while," Lee noted. "They all do great, they all do bad. I thought (Randall) Mackey was trying to take over most of the time, then he screw up at the end. You win championships with consistent QB play and we don't have that right now.

"All three of them CAN play. We're lucky - we have three who can play, but none of them are just taking over, taking charge. I have to have another 100-play scrimmage before I can make a decision. Mackey extended plays well, he handled the speed-ball real well against our number one defense that was blitzing a lot. Barry (Brunetti) didn't play badly, but I didn't see the burst I wanted - he was inconsistent."

Is Lee frustrated?

"No, I'm not frustrated, but I was hoping someone would take the job tonight and I could start repping whoever it was with the ones next week," he explained. "It wasn't just the QBs who were inconsistent - the OL was as well. Sometimes they blocked really well, sometimes they didn't. The receivers were inconsistent, overall. Bottom line, we just have to work hard on gaining some consistency."


Zack Stoudt
Bruce Newman
Tyrone Nix stayed true to form with Nutt and Lee.

"I saw a lot of good things. I saw some inconsistencies, but I also saw some guys get some pressure on the quarterback. Sometimes we got pressure with our front four and sometimes we had to bring an extra person or two, but we got to them a good bit," said Nix. "We just weren't as consistent as I'd like to see us be."

Lockett caught Nix's eye first.

"His experience showed early. The offense drove it down our throats on their first possession, but then on the second possession, Lockett intercepted a pass and returned it for a score," he said. "He did not let adversity or what happened earlier hinder him. He doesn't get shook - he just went back out there and made a big play.

"I thought Wayne Dorsey did a nice job as well. He's got to keep coming, but he's gotten a lot better this summer and fall camp so far. I also think our secondary was very active and make some plays on the ball. Keith Burns is doing a great job with that unit. We were in position a lot tonight. DT Uriah Grant is battling a minor groin injury, but he toughed it out through that and did some good things as well. I like his toughness."

Nix took a hard look at the young linebackers and liked what he saw.

"Keith Lewis, C.J. Johnson and Serderius Bryant all made plays. I think they are going to be able to provide us some good depth and, actually, if they continue to learn, they will push our starters some time this year for a starting role."

Marry is still nursing a hamstring pull. Nix misses his presence, but says Ralph Williams has filled in nicely.

"Mike is a big part of this defense, but at the same time, Ralph and C.J. have gotten a lot of reps and it's helped them," Nix noted. "The positive is that Ralph is the most improved player on our defense. He and (CB) Charles Sawyer have improved greatly."

Overall, Tyrone was pleased with how physical his defense played.

"They threw their bodies around and made some big hits. I was pleased with that aspect of the night," he closed. "We need to do it more often, and that will come when we become more consistent with our assignments. We don't lack courage on this defense, I can sense and see that."

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