Monday, September 24, 2012

Ole Miss/Alabama: High-octane Rebels seek upset

The top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide will return to conference action Saturday night, when the Ole Miss Rebels invade Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Led by new head coach Hugh Freeze, the Rebels currently sit at 3-1 on the young season, and enter their SEC opener against Alabama on the heels of a 39-0 victory over Tulane.

While Ole Miss’ lone loss of the season was a 66-31 thumping at the hands of Texas, Hugh Freeze has breathed new life into the OM program and implemented a new offensive system to boot.

The Rebels feature a high-tempo, no-huddle, chaotic spread offense, which Freeze brought to Ole Miss from Arkansas State. Freeze was the head coach at ASU for one-season, and under his frenetic offense, the Red Wolves went 10-2 in 2011, and captured the Sun Belt Conference title.

Hugh Freeze

At his Monday press conference, Alabama head coach Nick Saban complimented Freeze and the Ole Miss program, while comparing the current OM offensive pace to that of Auburn during the Gus Malzahn era.

In respect to the critical cogs of the offense, quarterback Bo Wallace is the operator of the Ole Miss spread, and has completed 55-of-86 passes thus far in 2012, for a total of 717 yards. Wallace has also thrown seven touchdowns and four interceptions.

At the wide receiver position, the Rebels are led by Donte Moncrief and Korvic Neat.

Moncrief has 19 receptions for 343 yards and four touchdowns, while Neat has 14 receptions on the season for 151 yards.

The duo of Moncrief and Neat have combined for 33 of Ole Miss’ 72 receptions in 2012.

Bo Wallace

When it comes to the running back position, the Rebels are very successful, but the core group is one of the most eclectic in the nation.

The top-four leading rushers include running back Jeff Scott, starting quarterback Bo Wallace, former quarterback turned running back Randall Mackey, and current backup quarterback Barry Brunetti.

Ole Miss’ motley crew of ground gainers have combined for 772 total yards, including eight touchdowns.

It is worth noting that running back Randall Mackey, the aforementioned former quarterback, was in fact the starting quarterback for the Rebels in the 2011 contest against the Crimson Tide.

The final verdict

Alabama is currently a 31-point favorite over Ole Miss, and rightfully so. For as much progress as the Rebels have made in the early portion of the season, in comparison to seasons gone by, the Rebs are still no match for the top-ranked Crimson Tide.

The Ole Miss defense has been “satisfactory” against lesser competition, but as mentioned above, the Rebels were "toasted" by Texas and allowed 66 points to the Longhorns. Only a demonstration of good sportsmanship in the waning stages kept the contest from reaching the 70-plus plateau.

While it is doubtful that Alabama will put 66 points on the board against Ole Miss, the Crimson Tide should have no trouble hitting the 40-point mark, and conversely throwing a "monkey wrench" into the Ole Miss offense. “Smoke and mirrors” can only work for so long, until defensive punishment and speed, seize the upper hand.
In actuality, the 8:15 p.m. kickoff, and a possible lack of focus, are essentially the only two factors that can prevent this contest from being yet another “beatdown” in favor of Alabama.

Sweet dreams, Ole Miss…

Alabama 44
Ole Miss 13

Your Source for Superfoods Since 1995

No comments:

Post a Comment