Keys To Victory

From the mother ship earlier this week, Hugh Freeze has never talked about winning and losing. He’s talked about competing for 60 minutes, which was obviously a key talking point in his interview process.

He comments here on what helped him make “compete” one of the most important elements of his off-season message.

Interesting quotes, too, from redshirt freshman Denzel Nkemdiche on the leadership of the 2011 team.

If the Rebels are to spring an upset on No. 14 Texas tonight, here’s how it will happen.

Keys To Victory

1.Deliver the first big hit
It’s a tone-setter. Texas fans will be on campus en masse. They’re more excited about the Grove than the level of competition they perceive on the field.

The Rebels have shown themselves to be an improved team in the first two games. A big physical play early will help them shed the nerves and send a message they’re in it for the long haul.

In the back of the minds on the first big hit may be the Trae Elston suspension. We’ll see if that affects tackling technique or

2.Stop the run
There was great improvement in the Ole Miss defensive line from Week 1 to Week 2.

As a passing offense Texas is still trying to find itself under quarterback David Ash. The Longhorns, though, know what they have in the run game, and it’s an impressive combination of backs.

The Rebels need to get off blocks and gang tackle, force the Longhorns to pass – then defend it better than they did when they forced UTEP to pass.

3.Maintain Discipline
The Rebels have done a great job through two games of avoiding false start and other pre-snap penalties, as well as the big personal fouls, late hits, etc.

Ole Miss is the least-penalized team in the SEC, having been flagged only six times for an average of 24 yards per game.
The stage is different this week, and the Rebels can’t afford to let the emotions of playing a ranked opponent on ESPN take them out of their game.

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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