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Preseason Football — Secondary Shines

The Rebels held their second practice of the season Sunday afternoon under blistering hot temperatures that approached 100 degrees.

For the second day in a row, Head Coach Huston Nutt has pleased with the overall performance of the team, most notably the play on the defensive side of the ball.

“We came out here and tried to correct from yesterday,” Nutt said. “I thought we got some things corrected."

Nutt said despite the heat's impact on some player's concentration, the defense made a solid showing.

“I thought they ran to the ball, caused a lot of turnovers today and it came in groves," Nutt said. "It seemed like interception after interception or fumble after fumble.

"By no means am I saying we are there or are we playing at an all-time level, no, but we got better today on defense.”

The secondary stood out Sunday with three consecutive interceptions during 7-on-7 skeleton drills.

“They are showing a lot of speed and they are breaking on the ball with a lot of agility and athleticism.” Nutt said.

While it was the quarterbacks throwing the interceptions, Nutt did not place all of the blame on them.

“There were some routes that weren’t right and there was some protection that wasn’t right, so it’s a combination of everybody,” Nutt said of the interceptions. “We will look at the film and correct it. We can throw better than that, we can catch better, we can run better routes, and we can protect better.”

Freshman two-way player Nickolas Brassell made a big play for the second day in a row, intercepting a pass and then returning it for a touchdown. After practice, Nutt discussed the effects of the heat on him playing both sides of the ball.

“He can do it no doubt in my mind,” Nutt said of Brassell playing both ways. “Because of the heat, we can’t have him go run six go routes and then turn around and go cover six goes, and that’s basically what happened today in that one session.”

The Rebels will return to practice Monday afternoon at 4:30 on the practice fields, and it will be open to the public.