Three key players were missing from today's practice in the stadium - Michael Oher, Chris Strong and…
Practice report, Wednesday
Q: With a short week, is it OK as long as they have a short week too?
Coach O: Yes, it's equal. We had to play LSU Saturday, they had to go to Arkansas. The only difference is that we have to travel, but it's not that far.
Q: How have the players handled the compressed information, so to speak?
Coach O: Very well. There's not much new you can put in the 12th game of the season, but you have to be prepared for what they give you. They are different on offense to some of the things we have seen and we have to prepare for that. We will have to continue to prepare up to the game.
Q: Are you hosting some of the players to eat Thanksgiving with you tomorrow?
Coach O: They have been invited. Usually somebody shows up. The last two years, it's been Patrick Willis - I wish he would show up.
Q: You have been in a lot of intense rivalries in your career. Miami-FSU, USC-UCLA. . . is there a different level you have to get to in this kind of rivalry?
Coach O: No doubt. This is a different level - it's like those two you mentioned. This is a back yard brawl. It's about more things than football. It's about bragging rights, people playing above their heads, taking shots. We're going into a hostile crowd, but we like it like that too. You are kind of judged on what you do throughout the year on this game. It's weight is heavier and more important than any game we play.
Q: Is it fair to be judged for all the work you do in 12 months on one game?
Coach O: That's just the way it is. Like it or not, that's the way it is. I learned that quickly. And it's the same at those other schools we talked about. Everyone has a heated rivalry with some hatred involved. In this state, you are either for MSU or Ole Miss - there is no in between. The fans of the two schools really don't like each other when it comes to this game. Personally, I think it's a good way to end the season. I would rather play them than anyone else.
Q: Is Brent the starter and have you been able to put in all the things you wanted to this week?
Coach O: It looks like he will start and we'll see how he handles what we have put in.
Q: How do you deal with the noise of the cowbells?
Coach O: We've been in a hostile environment before. We should be fine.
Q: You talked yesterday about Chris Strong, Michael Oher and Seth Adams missing practice but you expected them back for the game. Still look that way?
Coach O: I think everyone will be rady. Seth has not practiced at all this week, but I think by Friday he will be fine.
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