Some highlights here from Media Monday at Ole Miss. Video below from DB Charles Sawyer, WR coach Grant Heard and WR Donte Moncrief. …
Hugh Freeze doesn’t want talk of fumbles to become a mental thing. Therefore he doesn’t like to talk fumbles much, but that is a concern and something he’s addressing with his team.
The Rebels had a couple of bobbles in the first game against Central Arkansas but escaped without losing too many. One of those, in fact, was recovered by Ja-Mes Logan in the end zone for a touchdown. That was a Bo Wallace fumble.
There were four more fumbles against UTEP, and the Rebels weren’t so lucky, losing three of them. Two came on punt returns.
“We have ‘Ball-Security Sunday,’ and our coaches are working on it in their individual periods. We’ll keep addressing it. I don’t like talking about it. We’ll continue to stress it. Randall being new at carrying it a lot, that’s a little new for him. No one feels worse than he does. Barry the same way. We have to get better protecting the football, and we’ll put an emphasis on it.”
A decision has not been made on the status this season for sophomore WR Collins Moore. Moore sustained a torn labrum (shoulder) on the second day of camp. He’s been practicing with a brace, and though he’s practicing, Freeze hasn’t gone “all in” yet on allowing Moore to play.
“I hate to comment until I talk to Collins and his parents, but we’re exploring what’s best for him. He could play right now. Is it wise to play him? In the doctors’ views is that shoulder going to go out again? We’re trying to take all that into consideration before we make this final decision.”
Moore’s playing time began to increase at the end of last season, and he was the starting slot receiver at the time of his injury.
A lot of players are getting on the field on defense right now, and that has two purposes … to keep guys fresh but also to find out who coaches can count on.
Freeze: “We’re trying to figure out where they stack up with each other. I do believe you have to keep them fresh, and we’re playing an awful lot of kids. That will probably tone down some in the coming weeks. I have to say, the inside guys, we’re playing six of those, and they’re all about the same when you grade them out and watch their production. Defensive-end wise we’re trying to keep them fresh and trying to bring Channing Ward along. He got real close the other night to making some explosive plays. We’re going to need that. C.J. Johnson, obviously, we have to keep fresh and healthy, so we don’t want to play him a huge number of snaps a game. That front’s rotating a lot of folks, as we are at linebacker and the secondary. You’ll probably see that a couple of more weeks.”
One freshman who got much more playing time against UTEP was safety Trae Elston. He finished with four tackles and delivered a bone-jarring hit on a receiver that got the crowd going.
“He’s getting better. We’re trying to bring him along, not ask him to do too many things and confuse him, try to let him play fast. He’s going to be a special player,” Freeze said.