BLOG — Ole Miss eventually got down to business Friday morning, but the Rebels had a little fun first.
The Rebels preceded their final bowl practice in Oxford with the second annual coaches vs. players game inside the Manning Center. Coach Hugh Freeze didn’t give a final score, but it didn’t go too well for the coaches.
“The players are now 2-0,” Freeze said with a smile. “Coaches got to get it figured out. … It looked like a lot of non-moving parts to me from the coaches’ side.”
The reward for the players was a shorter practice, where Ole Miss put the finishing touches on its first full week of preparation for Georgia Tech in the Music City Bowl on Dec. 30 (2:15 p.m., ESPN). Freeze said he hasn’t had a lot to complain about so far.
“I think they’ve got a desire to go and kind of erase some of the memories of the way we ended the season with this bowl experience,” Freeze said. “I think their focus has been good, but it’s been a good balance of that and also enjoying the experience.”
Friday’s practice was the seventh in eight days for the Rebels after some time off following the loss the Mississippi State in the annual Egg Bowl on Thanksgiving night. The setback was Ole Miss’ second straight and ended the season on a bitter note after the Rebels had won seven of their first 10 games.
Senior quarterback Barry Brunetti said the postseason is all about redemption.
“We’re kind of itching to back on the field to kind of show people that that really wasn’t us,” Brunetti said. “We kind of took an egg for those two games. We want to be able to show everybody so we can finish this season like how we had it in the middle of the year and just kind of finish this season on a good note.”
The challenge now for the Rebels is staying focused with a few days off. The team broke for the Christmas holidays after Friday’s practice and won’t practice again until it meets in Nashville, Tenn., on Thursday.
Freeze said the team has held meetings to discuss the importance of players and coaches being responsible during their free time.
“Decisions end up defining us, all of us, and you just hope the bad decisions that I make, which I make some, and the kids make some, you just hope they’re not life-altering,” Freeze said. “Hopefully they think through the decisions that they have to make.”
In the video below, Freeze hits on all these topics and more.
For complete coverage from Friday’s practice, see Monday’s edition of the EAGLE. (December 20, 2013)