OLE MISS EXPERIENCES THIRD AT&T COTTON BOWL PRACTICEIn another day of ideal football weather, the No. 20 Ole Miss Rebels conducted their third Dallas practice preparing for the No. 8 Texas Tech Red Raiders and the 73rd AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic.
Ole Miss engaged in a spirited, nearly two-hour workout in pads and shorts, with the first-team offensive and first-team defensive units working on game situations against scout teams. The team also focused on the kicking game and special teams.
“We got some things done (today),” said Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt. “With the offense they (Texas Tech) have, it’s every day you better come to work. The way they throw and catch it, (they’re) better than anybody I’ve ever seen.”
The Rebels are making their seventh bowl appearance in the state of Texas and are looking for their first win over a team from the state of Texas in a Texas-based bowl game since a 14-13 win over TCU in the 1956 Cotton Bowl Classic. Ole Miss has dropped three straight – two to Texas (12-7 in the 1962 Classic and 19-0 in the 1966 Bluebonnet) and one to UTEP (14-7 in the 1967 Sun Bowl) – to Texas foes in the Lone Star state in postseason play.
Nutt said it would be a special achievement for his Ole Miss squad to knock off Texas Tech in their home state.
“It’s been a special year but it would be just that much more special,” Nutt said. “If you could beat a caliber team like (Texas Tech), it takes everything to another level – recruiting, your program, everything.”
After practice, Ole Miss conducted its offensive news conference at the Omni Mandalay Hotel followed by the entire team and coaches making a visit to the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. During the evening, the Rebels will tackle the Lawry’s Beef Bowl then enjoy the NHL’s Dallas Stars facing off against the San Jose Sharks at the American Airlines Center.
On Tuesday morning, Nutt will join Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach for the head coaches’ news conference at the Omni. Then his Rebels will hit the practice field once again on the SMU campus. This practice will be closed to the public but open to the media to obtain pictures and video from the first 20 minutes.
The 73rd AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, the final one to be played in Cotton Bowl Stadium at Fair Park, will kick off at 1:15 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 2, 2009. The Classic will be televised for the 11th consecutive year on FOX Sports. Pat Summerall and Brian Baldinger will handle the broadcasting duties, with Jeanne Zelasko and Krista Voda reporting from the sidelines. For the 16th consecutive year, the Westwood One Radio Network will broadcast the Classic, with Brad Sham and Terry Bowden at the microphones. The game is sold out.