After having two weeks to heal, Ole Miss (5-3, 2-3 Southeastern Conference) will be almost full strength when conference foe Arkansas rolls into town on Saturday. Rebel head coach Hugh Freeze said almost everyone but the players who are out for the season should be back in action this week.
“As excited as we were last week to have an open week, we’re equally as excited to get back to playing,” Freeze said in his weekly press conference Monday. “To be at home again is always nice. We’re looking forward to getting an early kickoff. That’s something we haven’t had this year.
“We’ll get back at practice (today). We’re as healthy as we’ve been in a while. I expect everyone to play.”
Freeze did say senior running back Jeff Scott and senior corner Charles Sawyer are still questionable, and junior defensive end Carlos Thompson remains doubtful. However, the walking wounded list has certainly shrunk with the bye week allowing everyone to get back to full strength.
Ole Miss did not come off their first bye week particularly strong, getting shutout at No. 1 Alabama. Freeze admitted those concerns creep into his mind, but with the players the Rebels have been playing without in their past two games, Freeze is hoping the added depth combined with veteran leadership will be enough to get his guys in the right mindset heading into Saturday.
“It’s probably given us some more confidence, particularly in the LSU game, when you had so many kids out and lost a couple during that game,” Freeze said. “The kids that were wings made the most of their opportunity. That’s one of the more rewarding things of coaching, probably. When you see a kid you didn’t count on, but he got his chance and he made the most of it. His confidence grew, and hopefully, he can become better.
“That’s probably what we will take from it. Now having them back, hopefully the chemistry stays the same and our confidence grows even more, as they have better players back in the fold with them.”
More early football
The SEC announced Monday the television times for games on Nov. 16. Ole Miss’ game versus Troy will kickoff at 11 a.m. on ESPNU.
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-DM Staff Report