OXFORD – As Ole Miss begins a three-game push to become bowl-eligible, then to increase its bowl standing, it does so at almost full strength.

Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt was pleased with the work he saw from his players last week, and when game-week cranked up on Sunday, only fullback Jason Cook missed the workout because of injury.

Cook was held out of action last week to recover from a concussion sustained in the Rebels’ 17-7 win over Auburn on Nov. 1. He is expected to practice today.

Defensive end Greg Hardy, who has not played since late, limited action at Alabama on Oct. 18, “moved around good,” Nutt said. “We hope for the next three game he can be full speed or close.”

Hardy, who had surgery in August to repair a stress fracture in his foot, has appeared in five games this season. He has seven tackles, 41-2 tackles for loss and 31-2 sacks.

The Rebels close the season with Louisiana-Monroe, at LSU and Mississippi State.

Having fun at practice

– Seek the an all-important sixth win this week added meaning to their November workouts has given them a lift in intensity, Ole Miss players say. The last time the Rebels were in bowl contention in November was 2003.

Players say reducing the full-pad work late in the season has helped both physically and mentally.

“I enjoy football practice now since coaches have made the environment so much better. It’s a totally different atmosphere,” defensive end Kentrell Lockett said. “It’s like coming to a party, but you’re working at the same time, rather than going to a job where you hate your boss.”

NorthEast Daily Journal