Coverage from Media Monday at Ole Miss as the Rebels take their next swing at getting into the SEC win column. Auburn visits this week. …
Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace talks about how the game is slowing down for him.
WR Vincent Sanders talks about the team’s morale after the Texas A&M loss.
From the Presser …
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze defended not only his decision to go for the fourth down late in the game but also his play call.
He acknowledge widespread criticism of the play. I haven’t heard too many people say they would have punted at that time, though some say they would. I would not have punted. I haven’t heard anyone say that being in the shotgun was the best play for the situation. Here’s what Freeze had to say.
“I want to be clear. I would go for that again every single time. On fourth and an inch with the game on the line for our team to win it with the state of the program as it is … and not give that ball back to Johnny Manziel and the A&M offense. The first time we do that and go quarterback sneak, which is my natural progression to do, I’ve proven that through the games, they go to a “Bear” defense. I was concerned they would jump in Bear again, and we would have our hands full.”
Freeze said the Aggies sold out to the play and that the free safety, who he credited with the stop, or at least being the main factor on the play, “came like a missile.” There was penetration elsewhere on the play as well. …
The Rebels lost wide receiver Collins Moore in the game. Moore separated his “good shoulder” and is out for the year. He had worked his way back into a limit but productive role after sustaining a torn labrum on the second day of practice. The Rebels will need help fast at slot receiver. Korvic Neat, who was the team’s second-leading receiver before his injury, is expected back this week. Philander Moore, who has been the slot receiver in Neat’s absence, has not matched Neat’s production. Ja-Mes Logan has been working some at the slot.
Freeze said he believes the Rebels will be OK emotionally this week after losing to the Aggies in such dramatic fashion. He said Ole Miss is still a “hungry group” in terms of trying to break the SEC losing streak that is now at 16 games.
Freeze was complimentary of 1-4 Auburn, which has scored just two offensive touchdowns in three SEC games. He said their defensive line is keeping them in games, and when they get their offensive to click they’re going to be a good SEC team.
Auburn is having its own QB competition this week. It’s unclear if they’ll start athletic Kiehl Frazier or the guy who replaced him in the second half against Arkansas, Clint Moseley, who was 12-for-15 with four touchdown passes against Ole Miss last year.
Last week Freeze had an open competition for the starting quarterback job with Bo Wallace and Barry Brunetti. Today he continued to praise Wallace’s performance against A&M except for the poor decision on the Rebels’ last offensive play that led to an interception and sealed their fate.
Basically, Freeze assessed his quarterbacks the way I guessed at the end of last week. It’s Wallace’s job, but he’s on a short leash.
Freeze: “Bo played a good game, but the mistakes that he does make are magnified simply because of the state of our program. Every single snap, every possession is critical for us.
“Moving forward, as he continues to play well, he’ll be the starter this week. If he continues to play well you’ll see a combination of both, but if those mistakes like that are occurring early, there will be a change.”