Texas A&M Week: Press conference notes

Two Alabama players suffered season-ending in Ole Miss’ 33-14 loss in Tuscaloosa.

When I read that I was reminded of Nick Saban’s comments regarding the Rebels who he credited with playing physical and playing with effort.

The Rebels’ physical play was indeed much different than against Texas just two weeks prior.

Settling in for the Hugh Freeze presser now, and we’ll ask the physical question among others. Updates later this afternoon.

Update 2:48 p.m.

Often you get here on a Monday and there’s not a big news nugget. Not so today. The quarterback competition that Bo Wallace seemed to have in hand after the first couple of games is back on the table.

Interceptions have gotten under Hugh Freeze’s skin, and he said both Wallace and Barry Brunetti will get a strong look at starting against Texas A&M.

Freeze didn’t rule out Randall Mackey, but Mackey basically did. Mackey, last year’s starting quarterback, got extensive playing time at the position at Alabama, a new wrinkle.

Here’s Freeze: “We’re going to work hard this week to find out who prepares the best, who feels the most confident with the game plan and who can take our football team and move us down the field or at least don’t put our football team in bad positions.”

Wallace was 15-for-26 for 123 yards, no TDs and two interceptions against Alabama. Freeze felt the first interception — which came after Wallace had scrambled left and was throwing back to his right — should have been thrown away. Instead it was picked and set up Alabama at the Ole Miss 35. The Tide scored its first touchdown shortly thereafter.

The second interception came when Wallace was trying to get the ball to Donte Moncrief. Freeze said he was “greedy” on the play and should have taken the underneath option where the receiver was open or should have made a better pass, throwing over Moncrief’s shoulder and closer to the sideline.

“No one felt worse than Bo did, but he understands it’s got to stop,” Freeze said.

Wallace, for his part, said that Brunetti was so close to him during the summer that he’s always felt his presence and that nothing really changes about his preparation this week.

Elsewhere …

Freeze says he and Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin are friends and that he really doesn’t enjoy playing against friends.

Not many folks have enjoyed playing against A&M redshirt freshman QB Johnny Manziel. The most concerning thing there, Freeze said, is Manziel’s ability to extend plays.

The Aggies scored 58 points last week and will arrive in Oxford leading the SEC in total offense at 525 yards a game.

“They will spread you out and try to put you on an island,” Freeze said.

And A&M’s success is directly attributable to its quarterback play. “Theirs is steady, ours is suspect,” Freeze said.

In his opening comments Freeze addressed the general state of the Rebels.

“We have to eliminate mistakes and turnovers. We’ve come a long way in effort and attitude.”

Some presser video here:

Wide receiver Ja-Mes Logan

DT Gilbert Pena


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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