OXFORD – New Ole Miss football coach Houston Nutt called it “The Hunger.”
For four years, Ole Miss fans have had a hunger for a winning program.
Former coach Ed Orgeron couldn’t deliver it, but Nutt thinks he can and he has the background to prove it. Nutt, his new staff, and both new and returning Rebel players believe it, too. On Tuesday they met with the press at the Ole Miss media day at the team’s indoor practice facility.
“I felt that hunger when I saw the fans at the Rebel Clubs throughout Mississippi this summer,” Nutt said. “I felt their enthusiasm and it has filtered down to our players. I can see the hunger in their eyes and how much they want to win.”
In 10 seasons at Arkansas, Nutt took the Razorbacks to eight bowl games. His teams won 42 games in the Southeastern Conference. Last year, they were 8-4, including a 50-48 triple overtime win over the eventual BCS national champion LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge.
“Houston Nutt’s body of work is out there for everyone to see,” said new Rebels offensive coordinator Kent Austin. The former Ole Miss quarterback comes back to Oxford after spending 15 years in the Canadian Football League. Last year, he led the Saskatchewan Roughriders to the Grey Cup – the Canadian equivalent of the Super Bowl – as the head coach.
“It’s been great to be back, but it’s been that way because of Houston Nutt. On so many levels, he has a plan that is conducive for success. He builds people up, not down. And he’s very unselfish. He brings people around him. He knows what it will take to get us a ‘W.'”
Ole Miss senior wide receiver Mike Wallace can see a difference already from last year at this time.
“Confidence,” Wallace said. “There is a lot more of it around here, now. Coach Nutt knows a lot about the SEC and how to win in this league.”