Things different as Mississippi readies for Oklahoma

Monday, December 20th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Jackson, Mississippi-AP) -- Mississippi head football coach David Cutcliffe can take preparation for the Independence Bowl a little more in stride this year. Cutcliffe made his head coaching debut for Ole Miss in the bowl game last year right after former head coach Tommy Tuberville leftfor Auburn.

Cutlcliffe says last year he was working 18-hour days and battling an inflamed pancreas to get his Rebels ready for the Independence Bowl. The aching pancreas is gone. And this year, Cutcliffe says doesn't have to worry about getting familiar with an unfamiliar team, playbook and offensive terminolgy.

But he says he does have to get his team ready for a tough O-U Sooner squad on New Year's Eve. Ole Miss ended the season with a 20-to-17 loss at home against Georgia and 23-to-20 loss at Mississippi State on Thanksgiving night. Ole Miss beat favored Texas Tech 35-to-18 in the Independence Bowl last year.