Sunday, December 27th, 2009


The Ole Miss Rebels experienced their first practice at Cowboys Stadium with a two-hour workout in full pads in preparation to take on the No. 21 Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-3, 6-2 Big 12) in the 74th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic.

Ole Miss (8-4, 4-4 SEC) conducted a lively practice focusing on situational, small-group work while soaking in the atmosphere of experiencing the Cowboys Stadium field for the first time.

“What a facility. I think it took us about the first 30 minutes to stop ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’,” said Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt. “The guys really came to work today. I like the way they went about things. We had a good lift this morning and we got off on the right foot.

“The Cotton Bowl has always been wonderful. This is my fifth time to be coming to a Cotton Bowl. I love the old stadium but this is just something else. What Jerry and Stephen Jones have done with this thing is really, really something special. Every young, especially college, player dreams about playing here.”

That dream could be dampened a little for the Rebels returning to the Cotton Bowl for the second straight year and third time since 2004, but that is not the case said junior DE Kentrell Lockett, who leads the Ole Miss defense with 11 quarterback pressures.

“Just to be in bowl game is big. But now to be the first team to play in this stadium is an honor,” said Lockett. “So the motivation is to be here, to win another ballgame against a good team and to get out that previous bad taste in our mouths with the way we ended the (regular) season.”

Following practice, Ole Miss engaged in its media day news conference with Nutt and selected players. Tonight, the Rebels will continue to enjoy their North Texas experience participating in the Lawry’s Beef Bowl at Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Addison.

The Rebels will conduct their second practice in full pads Monday at Cowboys Stadium followed by a news conference at the Omni Mandalay Hotel, featuring offensive coordinator Kent Austin, senior OL Daverin Geralds, senior WR Shay Hodge, senior OL John Jerry, senior WR/RB Dexter McCluster, and junior QB Jevan Snead, beginning at 1 p.m.

The 74th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic will kick off at 1:15 p.m. on Saturday, January 2, 2010, at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. For the 12th consecutive year, the Classic will be televised on FOX Sports with the legendary Pat Summerall (play-by-play), former Dallas Cowboy Daryl Johnston (analyst) and Krista Voda (sidelines) handling the broadcasting duties. For the 17th consecutive year, the Classic will be carried on the Westwood One Radio Network with Brad Sham (play-by-play) and Terry Donahue (analyst) at the microphones.