Orgeron sends starting linebacker Pack-ing|[10/24/06]
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 24, 2006
As if preparing for No. 7 Auburn wasn’t difficult enough for the Ole Miss Rebels, the team is dealing with the departure of five players, including the team’s third-leading tackler.
Linebacker Garry Pack, a former Mississippi Mr. Football from Oak Grove, was dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules, coach Ed Orgeron said.
In addition, sophomore defensive end LaMark Armour of Nashville, sophomore defensive lineman Hayward Howard of New Orleans, sophomore linebacker LeRon King of Miami and sophomore linebacker Robert Russell of New Orleans, have been indefinitely suspended, also for “violation of team rules.”
Email newsletter signup
Fullback Quentin Taylor, an Apopka, Fla., native, quit the team.
Orgeron did not comment specifically on the suspensions, but Pack’s dismissal will have the biggest effect on an already thin defense.
He started seven games this season at linebacker, racking up 48 tackles. The other five players have seem time sparingly or none at all.
Pack’s absence will put even more pressure on linebackers Patrick Willis and former Vicksburg High standout Rory Johnson as the Rebels prepare to face a very dangerous Auburn team.
“I kind of know what to expect from them,” Orgeron said of the Tigers. “I kind of know the type of system we are going up against. We need to be very well prepared.”
Ole Miss (2-6, 1-4 SEC) is coming off a 38-3 shellacking at the hands of Arkansas. The big loss followed a pair of close games with Alabama and Georgia.
“I thought we were about to get over the hump,” coach Ed Orgeron said during his Monday briefing. “We took a step back against Arkansas. So that’s going to give some motivation this week to get on them to get back to some tough, hard-nose physical ways.”
Orgeron said his team didn’t have much intensity Saturday, even before Felix Jones ripped off a 100-yard return on the opening kickoff.
“Before the game it was a little quiet,” Orgeron said. “Obviously the big kickoff return startled me a little bit. I thought we were more prepared than that. As the game went on, we played better. It just took us a little while to warm up.”
Ole Miss plays three ranked opponents in its last five games. Along with Arkansas and Auburn, the Rebels also face No. 14 LSU on Nov. 18. The only break over the last five games comes against Division I-AA Northwestern State on Nov. 4.
A loss against Auburn would guarantee the Rebels their third consecutive losing season. But Orgeron believes his team will rebound against the Tigers (7-1, 4-1 SEC).
“We take things one day at a time, one game at a time,” Orgeron said. “We have to be able to focus.
“We knew we were heading into a tough stretch toward the end of the season. We just have to prepare for it.”