Better Day

Charles Sawyer

Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze called Tuesday's practice "sluggish." Wednesday, things were much better according to the head man.

"We had a much better day today. Everyone is excited about Thanksgiving. We've done a little something different each day this week to remind them of how blessed we are and they have responded," noted Freeze. "The non-travel squad is headed home to spend Thanksgiving with their families and they are excited with that.

"The energy at practice was much better today."

The Rebels watched a video centered around the history of the Egg Bowl and what it means to the people of Mississippi. They have watched a motivational video every day and will throughout the week.

The subject of QB Bo Wallace came up and Freeze was more than happy to expand on his sophomore signal-caller.

"Bo is just a sophomore and a young kid playing in the greatest conference in America. It takes some time to transition from junior college to this level," Freeze said. "I think he has matured a lot - on and off the field - this year. He has learned to prepare better. He obviously still has some growth to do in those areas.

"The only reason anyone would say he's been up and down is because he has turned the ball over too much at times, but we work hard daily on correcting that. He has also had some real good, quality play - his stats show that. We just have to get him to take care of the ball Saturday night and not try to make every play be the game-changer."

Freeze feels Wallace has handled himself well overall.

"There is a lot of pressure and scrutiny that comes with playing quarterback on this level. He has handled the criticism well," continued Freeze. "The critiquing you get on this level is magnified and he has handled it quite nicely. I know for me, coming from the Sunbelt Conference, the scrutiny is multiplied a lot and it can be difficult, but he has taken it in stride."


Hugh Freeze
File Photo

Tuesday, Freeze was worried about some flu-like sickness that had touched his team, namely TB Randall Mackey.

"We didn't have anyone out today with that. I think it was more like a 24-hour virus than flu. Randall practiced today and seemed fine," he stated.

On Thanksgiving Day, the Rebs will practice in the morning and then celebrate the holiday together as a team.

"We'll have our normal Thursday practice with the exception of the non-travel guys we let go home, but we got some extra time with them Monday so we are OK there," Freeze said. "We'll have Thanksgiving together at The Inn on campus. The ones who live close enough and want to go see their families tomorrow, we will let them do that."

Random Notes:

* Cornerback Charles Sawyer went through practice today but his status for Saturday's game is still unknown. "There is nothing wrong with his legs, so he went through some things. It's just a matter of if he can take the contact and we probably won't know that until game time," Freeze assessed. "If we can get anything out of him, it's better than nothing. He's a guy who understands what this game is about and wants to be in the middle of competing in it. Hopefully we can get some good time out of him and Wesley (Pendleton) both."

* OL Coach Matt Luke praised the play of Patrick Junen in the LSU game. Freeze's take: "He has come on and given us some quality snaps. We are moving him around all over the line - he's our swing guy with a good understanding of what we are doing," noted Freeze. "He did well against LSU. He's feeling more confident about his job and assignments and he's playing more physical as a result."

* Freeze said he will have a special place for the 2012 senior class. "They were the first group I met with when I got here. I shared our core values and told them I needed them to buy in in order to get the younger kids to do that as well," he explained. "Those guys (seniors) have been great and they will always be special because they were our first senior class under us here and I look forward to sharing some words with them and their parents on Saturday."

* Practice is completely closed tomorrow, meaning no interviews and no practice report. Happy Thanksgiving!

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