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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

VIDEO BLOG: Ole Miss preps for final non-conference tilt

BLOG — Ole Miss became bowl-eligible with its win over Arkansas last Saturday. Now the Rebels will look to avoid a letdown when it takes a break from SEC play with its final non-conference game against Troy this Saturday (11 a.m., ESPNU).

Offensive coach Matt Luke filled in for head coach Hugh Freeze at Monday’s weekly press conference at the Manning Center with Freeze undergoing a minor medical procedure earlier in the day. Luke said Freeze is expected back at practice on Tuesday.

The bowl-clinching win over the Razorbacks shows continued progress in Freeze’s second year at the helm, but Luke said there’s still more for the Rebels to accomplish with three regular-season games remaining.

“That’s part of our goals, but I don’t think we’re satisfied,” Luke said. “(But) obviously very excited about that.”

It’s been hard for Ole Miss to keep its injury list short after most games, but the Rebels stayed relatively healthy against Arkansas after getting freshman DL Robert Nkemdiche, CB Mike Hilton and LB Denzel Nkemdiche back in the starting lineup.

Luke mentioned DT John Youngblood and DB Chief Brown, who suffered a stinger, as the only players who got nicked up against the Razorbacks. Youngblood is questionable for this week’s game while Brown is probable, Luke said. The status of RB Jeff Scott, who’s been slow to heal from a deep thigh bruise, is still up in air.

“We’re going to look at Jeff Scott and see if he can practice tomorrow,” Luke said. “We’ll know more about that tomorrow.”

Up next is a matchup against the Trojans, who are 5-5 overall as a member of the Sun Belt Conference. The first thing that sticks out about Troy, Luke said, is its high-powered offense, which averages 34.6 points per game with quarterback Cory Robinson, the NCAA’s active leader in pass attempts, completions and yards, at the controls.

“We’ve got a lot of respect for Troy,” Luke said. “Coach (Larry) Blakeney always has a great program and does a great job. They’ve got a tremendous senior quarterback, Robinson, he’s very, very good. They’ve got a good receiver and a good running back.”

Some of Luke’s meeting with the media is in the video below.

For complete coverage from Monday’s presser, see Tuesday’s edition of the EAGLE. (November 11, 2013)

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