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PRACTICE NOTES

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

OLE MISS HONES IN ON OKLAHOMA STATE

Practicing at Cowboys Stadium for the third straight day, the Ole Miss Rebels honed in on the No. 21 Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-3, 6-2 Big 12), their January 2 opponent for the 74th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, with another two-hour session in full pads.

“We were a little sluggish today. We had to rev them up but we got something done today,” said Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt.

Ole Miss (8-4, 4-4 SEC) had crowd noise piped through the sound system during a portion of practice while the first-team offense and first-team defense ran through a light scrimmage. The Rebels spent the majority of their focus on the Cowboys Stadium turf concentrating on special teams and the offensive side of the ball, working on down-and-distance situations in the running and short-passing games, to prepare for an Oklahoma State defense that has not allowed a 100-yard rusher all season and is paced by the nation’s leader in passes defended (1.73) per game in senior CB Perrish Cox.

“Oklahoma State is a good football team. Mike Gundy has done a good job and that Perrish Cox is really good,” said Nutt. “This game will come down to the team that wants it the most, the team that makes the fewest mistakes naturally, the team that has the best special teams and the team that takes care of the ball. That may sound cliché but it’s the truth.” 

Ole Miss participated in its defensive news conference at the Omni Mandalay Hotel after practice and then the entire team made a visit to the Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. Tonight, the Rebels will enjoy a diverse social evening in North Texas with the players, coaches and staff taking in either the Dallas Stars and the Chicago Blackhawks in NHL action at the American Airlines Center, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular Arena Tour at the NOKIA Theatre at Grand Prairie or Texas-bred singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen at the House of Blues.

In a slight schedule change, the Rebels’ workout on Wednesday will be moved back to begin at 10:15 a.m. and will be closed to the media and public with players and coaches available to the media for interviews immediately following practice.  

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.
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