Ole Miss prepares to get physical'
By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
July 31, 2003
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. Olivia Newton John's workout ballad Let's get physical' is certainly not an intimating song or one that comes to mind when thinking about college football.
Still, the campy little tune that the star of Grease sang in pink leg warmers would be an apt selection to blare over a loud speaker during Ole Miss' football practices this year.
Rebels head football coach David Cutcliffe certainly saw what physical practices could do for a team in the 2002 MainStay Independence Bowl on Dec. 27.
The intense workout prior to the Bowl game led to Ole Miss picking up a 27-23 victory over Nebraska, even though the lead up to the game wasn't what some players expected.
The Rebels win has had a carry over affect for a team that has posted three straight seven-win seasons.
to put that behind us and focus on this season."
The victories to cap last season may be behind the team, but the hard work on the practice field isn't going anywhere.
The more physical practices should help keep Ole Miss from suffering another late-season swoon.
The Rebels dropped five straight games from Oct. 19 to Nov. 23 last season, and the losing streak hit the players hard.
But will the tougher practice sessions keep the Rebels from facing another sustained losing streak?
Though the squad defeated the Cornhuskers, Ole Miss still gave up 266 yards on the ground.
And a full year of hard-hitting practices can lead to more guys in the trainer's room than on the field on Saturday.
Mitchell said the staff found the right combination of work and rest before the Independence Bowl, and he expects the coaching staff to stick to a similar plan.
Pushing the right buttons will be big for Cutcliffe, as the coach leads his fifth and most experienced team through the 2003 season.
And one thing is for sure, the Rebels are going to hit everyone hard even themselves.