Monday, December 28th, 2009


The Ole Miss Rebels ramped up their readiness for the 74th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic with a second, spirited two-hour practice at Cowboys Stadium.

The Rebels took the turf for the second day in full pads with most of their work in game-like situations, first with the first-team offense and first-team defense scrimmaging against scout teams in half-field breakouts and then with the first teams taking on each other in more of a full-field scrimmage.

“I was really excited about practice today,” said Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt. “Our guys were a little bit better today and went about things the right way. We’ve just got to keep working.” 

In his short, two-year stint in Oxford, Nutt has surely gotten the Rebels working on adding to their tradition of postseason excellence. Ole Miss is making its 33rd all-time bowl appearance, which is tied with Miami (Fla.) and Texas Tech for 17th on the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision list, and its fifth AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic appearance. 

“John Jerry made the statement, he got it from his brother (Peria), that ‘look at what we’ve been missing out on all these years’,” said Nutt. “That’s the feeling you want. It’s something to look forward to. This is their reward. (Ole Miss) has experienced the best of the best bowls but to be able to come to a place like this, I’m really, really proud to be here.”

After practice, Ole Miss (8-4, 4-4 SEC) conducted its offensive news conference at the Omni Mandalay Hotel followed by a private team event at Main Event.

The Rebels will continue to prepare for their January 2 date with the No. 21 Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-3, 6-2 Big 12) on Tuesday with their third practice in full pads at Cowboys Stadium followed by a news conference at the Omni, featuring defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix, senior CB Marshay Green, senior S Kendrick Lewis, junior DE Kentrell Lockett, junior DT Jerrell Powe and senior LB Patrick Trahan, beginning at 1 p.m.

“I’m going to go one more day (in full pads),” said Nutt. “I’m going to make sure that turkey is good and out them. We’ll go one more day in full pads then we’ll take them off.”

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.