|September 03, 2012||We're Moving||10 comments|
|September 03, 2012||Monday Morning Update||no comments|
|September 02, 2012||Day After Observations||9 comments|
|September 02, 2012||Player Reaction||no comments|
|September 02, 2012||Coordinator Reaction||no comments|
|September 01, 2012||Central Arkansas at Ole Miss||4 comments|
|September 01, 2012||Game Day||no comments|
|August 31, 2012||Grandy's return||1 comments|
|August 31, 2012||Friday Chat||28 comments|
|August 31, 2012||Friday Morning Update||1 comments|
Inside Ole Miss Sports is moving to Wordpress. Commenting will require a login through Facebook, Twitter or other social media. Join us here at the new blog site. This site will remain active for access to previous posts, but when I post this afternoon following the Hugh Freeze press conference I will post to the new site. Thanks.
Spanning the globe with some other notable performances with Ole Miss connections in Week 1 of college football. ...
- This week's Ole Miss opponent, UTEP, was down just 10-7 after three quarters at No. 4 Oklahoma. The Sooners scored twice in the fourth quarter to win 24-7. UTEP gained just 255 yards and gave up 427. Miners QB Nick Lamaison was 6-for-23 passing for 39 yards but did not throw an interception. RB Nathan Jeffery had 21 carries for 177 yards.
- In its first game with Gus Malzahn as head coach, replacing Hugh Freeze, Arkansas State lost 57-34 at No. 5 Oregon. ASU quarterback Ryan Aplin passed for 303 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another.
- Tyrone Nix was hired as co-defensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee State in the off-season. Middle lost 27-21 to FCS McNeese State. McNeese outgained Middle 450-343.
- Mike Markuson landed as OL coach at Wisconsin. The No. 12 Badgers held off FCS Northern Iowa to win 26-21. Wisconsin had 387 yards, 168 on the ground.
- Tulane, the Rebels' Week 4 opponent, lost 24-12 to Rutgers in the debut of new coach Curtis Johnson. The Hullabaloo, Tulane's student newspaper, writes that the Green Wave showed promise amid sloppy play from young players.
Elsewhere, the Los Angeles Times throws its support behind Alabama as a new No. 1.
Florida struggled past Bowling Green on the opening weekend, and the Orlando Sentinel called out Gators coach Will Muschamp for a disappointing offensive performance.
Arkansas changed defensive coordinators before it changed head coaches. Quarterback Tyler Wilson was too much for Jacksonville State, as Arkansas won 49-24 and had 564 yards of offense, but there were red flags thrown up for the Razorbacks' defense.
Notes and observations from the Rebels' 47-29 win over Central Arkansas. …
What did we learn?
One, the defensive line isn't as physical as it will need to be. Defensive coordinator Dave Wommack said UCA's success in the first half was due in large part to the Rebels' running themselves out of position because they were so much stronger than the Bears.
Gap responsibility was a big issue in the first half. Whatever the issue was, it was good to see the Rebels make adjustments and have more success in the second half. UCA went from 237 yards in the first half to 110 yards in the second half. The Rebels struggled in the third quarter in several games last year, so that was good news.
On the whole, it looked like a reversal of what Ole Miss showed for a month of practice in August. The offense moved the ball and scored consistently. It protected the ball except for one Bo Wallace interception on a tipped ball. The Rebels have rarely won the turnover stat in recently years but were plus-1 last night.
The defense, though, for a half, got pushed around and was on a pace to give up 40 points after two quarters.
Individually, Denzel Nkemdiche was active with eight tackles, a sack and three tackles for loss. Joel Kight and Dehendret Collins each had seven tackles, and C.J. Johnson, who is expected to be a major part of the defense, had six tackles and a sack.
The Rebels really applied more pressure in the backfield in the second half. Ole Miss had just 13 sacks last year but had four in the second half last night.
Channing Ward got on the field and was credited with one tackle. As many have said, he certainly looks the part.
The competition amps up this week with UTEP. The Miners were down just 10-7 at Oklahoma after three quarters before giving out and losing 24-7. Normally explosive UTEP gained just 244 yards, but that was against the OU defense.
Offensively, the two-quarterback system will continue. It's too early to appoint Bo Wallace as the answer at the position, but he had a great first start. Remember, it was against an FCS opponent.
Barry Brunetti will continue to play not because Wallace looked like he needed the help but because Brunetti brings something valuable to the position with his running. A couple of passes that Brunetti completed on his third-quarter TD drive really weren't good passes but good catches by tight end Jamal Mosley.
Wallace may have solidified his role as the starter, but he won't be the only player. He showed he can be an effective runner too, and that's important in the Freeze offense. The quarterback is going to run the ball.
On the whole Wallace made better decisions than he made in much of August practice. He stayed in the pocket and made accurate throws in the face of UCA pressure.
That the Bears got in the backfield so much is a problem. The Ole Miss offensive line only recently began to come together and assert itself against the Rebels' defense. On the whole it was not a bad debut, but it's a concern that UCA was able to get 11 tackles for loss.
Then there was that stretch in the late second quarter when the Bears had three sacks and a TFL on four consecutive plays. Two of those came after the Rebels had reached the UCA 3 with a second-and-goal. Bryson Rose pushed a short field goal attempt to the right, and the Rebels missed a scoring opportunity.
But there was enough blocking up front and enough “reading” from the quarterbacks to get the ground game going. The backs ran hard. Randall Mackey's debut was a bit of a disappointment (15 carries, 50 yards, 3.3 per carry), but it turns out Mackey was sick.
The young backs ran hard, and there was good production from both Jaylen Walton, who got to the corner and scored on a 10-yard run, and I'Tavius Mathers, who had 20 yards on four carries.
On Coach Freeze's reaction to first game:
He loves this place. Every game is going to be special for him. We don't want to let him down.
On first half:
It was a wake up call for us. It showed us we got to get our stuff together. We had a lot of excitement to start the game. We had to get back to doing our job, playing like the defense we are.
We said, don't let them get past the 50-yard line. Coach told us to tackle better, put our eyes in the right place and calm down.
What does game say:
We have to play 60 minutes. We have to play the whole game like we did the second half. You've got to work for four quarters. It feels great to win. I want to congratulate Coach Freeze and my teammates.
Lockerroom at halftime:
The mentality was, play the next play. Coach Freeze always tells us to play 60 minutes and something good will happen. We did that in the second half and put up a lot of points.
What the win means:
This win was big. It builds confidence and puts a little swagger in our offense. The defense came out and played a hell of a game so we just have to keep it up, keep getting better and cut out the little mistakes. I felt more comfortable. I felt like I could make more plays with my feet. I'm stronger and faster and I feel a lot better.
On TD pass from Wallace:
Bo told me if the safety comes down, he's going to throw me the ball. I saw the safety come down and I knew he was going to throw it to me. I just had to make a play for the offense.
Ole Miss offensive coordinator Dan Werner discusses the Rebels' offense following a 49-27 win over Central Arkansas. ...
We settled down at halftime, talked to them about what we needed to do. I thought we played really well in the second half.
I was proud of both of them. We were abuot 80 percent completion percentage and you can't complain about that.
He (Bo) definitely made some good decisions. I didn't see one bad decision from the quarterback passing game wise position. The interception was a batted ball.
That's tough, two true freshmen played a lot of football today. I really think what they (Central Arkansas) were doing was causing some issues with us. in the second half we narrowed it down. I thought we had a good plan i the second half of what to do to counteract it. They were bringing everybody up in there and when they do that, you're going to throw the ball.
That's what we're hoping to do. We want to spread the ball around air it out a little bit. The more you do that the more people are going to find that you can't run everybody up in there. That only opens the run game down the road. Some of our passes are called off the run play
On Offensive Line:
I thought we did a good job in the second half. They ran some blitzes that we hadn't seen before so once we got that narrowed down we were able to make some big plays
The first drive of the second half was the speed we want to play. You could tell they (Central Arkansas) was a little ragged getting into place.
On Bo Wallace:
I thought he played really well. The only thing was close to being a bad throw was battered ball and that's all you can ask. You make a couple of bad throws, that's going to happen. the Thing I 'm looking for is the decision making. I thought he made great decision.
He did a nice job running. The play he popped for 25 yards in the first quarter was a great read against something we hadn't seen before. he figured it out, pulled it and ran it in.
Some pre-game notes here. UCA specialists have come out on the field and are loosening up. It's sunny and hot out there.
I'll have updates on Twitter @parrishalford and will be back here at halftime and after the game. Day After Observations returns tomorrow morning.
- Four of five games involving Southland Conference teams today were supposed to involve opponents from BCS conferences. One of those games, Nicholls State at Oregon State, was postponed, because of the effects of Hurricane Isaac on the Nicholls campus and team.
- Speaking of Nicholls, UCA coach Clint Conque, 51 and in his 13th season with the Bears, was an All-American linebacker at Nicholls back in the day.
- UCA is playing a BCS opponent for the first time. The Bears were in the D2 Gulf South Conference just six years ago. UCA is 18-12-1 against teams from Mississippi, including 13-5 against Delta State.
- UCA quarterback Wynrick Smothers, a running threat, will make just his second career start. His first also came against Hugh Freeze. Smothers was injured in UCA's 53-24 loss at Arkansas State last year.
- While Ole Miss quarterbacks Bo Wallace and Barry Brunetti struggled with interceptions this month, they face tonight a secondary that is considered to be the team strength for the Bears. UCA strong safety Jestin Love was the SLC Freshman of the Year two years ago and has totaled 11 interceptions in two seasons.
- An opportunistic UCA defense had six defensive touchdowns a year ago, three with fumbles and three with interceptions.
- Ole Miss ranked No. 100 in turnover margin last year, Freeze and Arkansas State No. 44.
- Tonight begins the 118th season of Ole Miss football.
- The Rebels are 82-26-5 in season openers but have lost their last two.
- The last three Ole Miss head coaches - Houston Nutt, Ed Orgeron and David Cutcliffe - won their debut games. Since 1933, Ole Miss coaches are 9-4 in debut games.
- Freeze has a 30-7 career record in stops at Lambuth and Arkansas State prior to Ole Miss.
- DB Charles Sawyer has the most consecutive starts of any Ole Miss player with 13. His status for a 14th start was in question much of this month after he sustained a torn quad on the second day of camp, but Sawyer is listed first on the depth chart. The second-most consecutive career starts belong to sophomore WR Donte Moncrief with 13.
Most folks on the blog probably remember Jesse Grandy. Had he remained at Ole Miss he likely would have helped the wide receivers. He was already a help in special teams before he transferred to Central Arkansas following his sophomore season. He speaks of his time at Ole Miss as a growth experience and is excited to play in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Saturday night. I blogged about him earlier this week, and here is the update from the mother ship this morning. Return man returns
The Friday Chat is on.
It's Errand Day, and I'll be in and out on a rainy Friday morning, but I'll be checking the blog.
Hugh Freeze downplays the importance of a starting quarterback when he knows both Bo Wallace and Barry Brunetti will play. Still, there was much talk about who the Ole Miss starter would be until Freeze named Wallace Thursday afternoon.
From what I saw, I thought it would be Wallace all along, even if Wallace didn't run away with the job. Now that he's won it, the question is can he keep it, and what will be Brunetti's role. Lots of teams have success with a run-oriented QB coming in to take a shotgun snap. Looks like that's on the horizon. Brunetti's role could be much more than that, however, if Wallace doesn't take advantage of this opportunity and build.
Also, did you watch college football last night, and did you think Vanderbilt got jobbed on the pass intereference no-call? The Commodores still would have had about 35 yards to cover to reach the end zone, and the clock was running, but they were denied that chance.
It wasn't a great debut for South Carolina aside from Marcus Lattimore, and even Lattimore wasn't immune to early mistakes with a fumble. The Gamecocks, though, looked quite average on offense after Connor Shaw hurt his shoulder. He showed a lot of toughness to finish the game, but that's a big concern for South Carolina moving forward.
Spanning the globe on a Friday morning. ...
Jeff Scott is hurt, and Randall Mackey is the man at running back for the Rebels. Based on Mackey's camp, he might have been the man anyway. Mackey, a Parade All-American out of Bastrop (La.) High School, has battled off-field issues, and now he has one last chance to do something big with his college career. He's excited about an opportunity at running back. ...
On opening night, South Carolina survived Vanderbilt with an ailing shoulder for quarterback Connor Shaw, but how much longer with the No. 9 Gamecocks survived if Shaw is less than full strenght. Marcus Lattimore, in his first game back from ACL surgery, rushed for more than 100 yards and scored two touchdowns, and Vanderbilt yet again came close to an SEC win.
Vanderbilt might have done more than come close - whether the Commodores would have completed the deal we'll never know - had it not gotten jobbed on a pass intereference no-call on fourth-and-7 as it was approaching mid-field. I don't bust on the refs too often, but this one was way too obvious to miss on a potential game-winning drive with the clock running down. ...
From Columbia, the Missouri one, Mizzou shows it's ready for the SEC with a second back-up quarterback arrested, this one as the season opener against Southeastern Louisiana is just hours away. ...
Outside the SEC, Mike Leach's season-opening loss to BYU wasn't nearly as close as Ole Miss' season-opening loss to BYU to kick off 2011. I hung in with this game to see Washington State's opening drive in the Leach offense, and it looked pretty good until the Cougars got into the red zone and threw an interception. They ended up losing 30-6.