Big win over Florida helps Cutcliffe relax _ a little

Updated: October 6, 2003, 6:50 PM ET

OXFORD, Miss. -- An upset over Florida helped Mississippi coach David Cutcliffe have a more restful night's sleep.

"It was a better night of sleep, but there are still plenty of things left to fix," Cutcliffe said Monday. "We finally made some plays and I was real proud of the way we competed throughout."

The Rebels finally found their running game against the Gators, piling up 223 yards and two touchdowns in a 20-17 come-from-behind victory on Saturday.

"We've been working hard on that all season. That has been a point of emphasis and it's difficult thing to do because of all the schemes we see each week," Cutcliffe said. "Our backs have been very unselfish and they have continued to work each week at getting better, which we have done since the beginning of the season."

Ole Miss (3-2) will play Arkansas State (3-3) on Saturday for homecoming.

The Rebels have only lost once to the Indians in 21 meetings, but Cutcliffe doesn't want his team to take them lightly.

"Arkansas State has a veteran defensive team and a very good running game that is averaging 198 yards per game," Cutcliffe said. "We have great respect for Arkansas State and their coaching staff."

Arkansas State will be the first of four straight home games for the Ole Miss. It will also be the Rebels' last nonconference foe.

Ole Miss hosts Alabama, Arkansas and South Carolina when it returns to conference play on Oct. 18.

Cutcliffe is looking for better execution in the red zone on offense and more pressure on the quarterback from the defense.

"The players realize after watching the tape that they still have some things to correct. We have to get better with our production in the red zone, tackling on defense and securing the football," Cutcliffe said. "We also want to be a better blitzing football team and cut down on our penalties because we've continued to shoot ourselves in the foot."

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index