BLOG — Ole Miss’ second bye week of the season will follow nearly the same routine as the first.
A lot of rest, a lot of self-scouting and a little bit of recruiting.
Ole Miss got its first week off five games ago, but a recent stretch including games against four consecutive ranked teams has the Rebels still nursing a number of injuries, which Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze addressed at his weekly press conference Monday afternoon at the Manning Center.
The Rebels are coming off a 59-14 homecoming win over Idaho, and despite winning two games in a row now, Freeze said he’s “excited” about another opportunity to get some extra time off. A couple of key players, starting LB Serderius Bryant (concussion) and starting CB Senquez Golson (suspension), returned against the Vandals, but a handful of starters — CB Mike Hilton, DE Robert Nkemdiche and RB Jeff Scott — are still trying to work their way back.
“(The bye week) comes at a great time,” Freeze said. “It gives us a chance as coaches to spend a lot of time today and tomorrow, again, self-scouting us and studying maybe some other people. Just kind of getting a jumpstart on not only the Arkansas game, but also our future plan of what we might want to add, take out or do a little differently.”
Freeze said he’s “confident” Hilton as well as DT Issac Gross, who hasn’t been playing at 100 percent, will be back at full strength when Ole Miss returns to action against Arkansas on Nov. 9 (11:21 a.m., SEC Network). Gross and CB Charles Sawyer won’t practice this week, Freeze said, while LB Denzel Nkemdiche didn’t play last week, though he should be ready to go against the Razorbacks.
The prognosis for Robert Nkemdiche and Scott isn’t as clear. The younger Nkemdiche continues to nurse a strained hamstring while Scott is working though a severely bruised thigh, and Freeze said he may be able to better update their statuses a week from now. Reserve DE Carlos Thompson, who suffered a stinger a few weeks back, isn’t making much progress and likely won’t be ready next week.
“That nerve is really not firing in his arm,” Freeze said of Thompson.
In addition to self-scouting and the injury rundown, Freeze hit on the coaching staff getting its first opportunity for in-season recruiting. Assistant coaches will hit the road Wednesday while Freeze said he will head out Thursday night.
Part of Freeze’s meeting with the media, which also included a reflection on the season to this point, is in the video below.
See Tuesday’s edition of the EAGLE for complete coverage from Freeze’s presser. (October 28, 2013)