Wednesday, December 30th, 2009


With a typical mid-week practice, the Ole Miss Rebels continued to lock in on the 74th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic and its second-straight Field Scovell Trophy with nearly two-hour workout in shorts and light pads.

In a word, Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt described the Rebels’ fourth Cowboys Stadium practice as “outstanding” as the team did not deviate from its normal game-week routine leading into a Saturday game, emphasizing special teams work with its returners and play-calling and substitution patterns on both offense and defense under the duress of loud crowd noise.

“We’re getting ready now,” said Nutt. “We had very good focus.”  

Built on the cohesiveness of starting offensive and defensive units that feature 12 seniors, Ole Miss (8-4, 4-4 SEC) is looking to bring home its third-straight and 21st all-time bowl victory. Nutt said it has been that chemistry, led by a 27-member senior class, which has been the key to the Rebels winning 17 games in his two seasons and appearing in back-to-back New Year’s Day bowl games for the first time since 1970-71. 

“It’s a family,” said Nutt. “We try to create a family. They know I believe in it.”

It was a star-studded practice for the Rebels as Dallas Cowboys owner, president and general manager Jerry Jones, former standouts Deion Sanders and Daryl Johnston and former Vice President of Player Personnel Gil Brandt were in attendance. Jones and Sanders addressed the team following practice.

“It’s worth the trip to have Jerry Jones and Deion Sanders come out to our practice,” said Nutt. “I’ve known Jerry Jones as he has motivated a few teams for me. His passion, drive and character are a model. He’s just an unbelievable role model. We all know he’s an owner but he’s far deeper than that. He’s just a tremendous person.”

Ole Miss will enjoy a quiet night tonight at its headquarters hotel before conducting a 90-minute, evening workout on New Year’s Eve, its next-to-last practice before facing the No. 21 Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-3, 6-2 Big 12). Prior to Thursday’s practice, the team will take its official AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic team photo. 

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.