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Rebels ready to roll against Commodores

By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
Aug. 28, 2003
Ole Miss head football coach David Cutcliffe is ready to release his entire stable of running backs, as the fifth-year Rebels coach searches for a way to take pressure off Eli Manning and the passing game.
Ole Miss opens the season on the road against SEC foe Vanderbilt.
The Commodores have given the Rebels headaches in the two program's recent meetings.
Ole Miss held on for a 45-38 victory last season, after Vanderbilt fought back from a 21-point deficit to tie the game in the fourth quarter. Running back Ronald McClendon was able to seal the win for the Rebels, scoring on a 23-yard run in the games closing minutes.
In 2001, the Rebels were able to best the Commodores at home 38-27 in another tight game.
Vanderbilt head coach Bobby Johnson said he expects both teams to make a few mistakes in the opening game as the squads shake off the rough spots, and he would like to see a little tighter game in Nashville.
Jefferson Pilot will televise the Rebels/Commodores game, which kicks off at 11:30 a.m.
Two-way twist
Ohio State University's Chris Gamble seems to have brought the concept of a two-way player back in fashion.
But the junior Buckeye, who plays flanker and corner back, has nothing on LSU's Michael Clayton, according to Tigers head coach Nick Saban.
While most two-way threats play wide receiver and corner back, LSU's multi-threat talent has a different twist to his duel duties.
Shula ready to debut
Mike Shula is chomping at the bit to return to the field with Alabama.
The former Crimson Tide quarterback said the idea of finally getting onto the field for a game does have him revved up.
Am I edgy? I'm excited,'' said the first-year Alabama head coach. I'm excited about going into this thing with a group of guys … that have just responded to what we've asked them to do. I think we're going to have a real good season.''
Alabama opens the season in Birmingham against South Florida on Saturday.
Coaching couch potato
Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt is in the odd position of having nothing to do this weekend.
The Razorbacks will not play their first game until Sept. 6 against Tulsa, leaving the team's head coach plenty of time to scout the college football scene from the comfort of his own home.