Play hard, coach harder
Ole Miss is a banged-up team right now, most notably in the secondary but also with quarterback Bo Wallace.
Last week Rebels coach Hugh Freeze credited different blocking schemes with helping revive the run game at LSU. Now that’s been scouted by the MSU staff. A wrinkle or two thrown in by Freeze and executed by his players could be something that keeps the chains moving and helps the run game — and ultimately Wallace and the passing game — stay on schedule and get in the end zone.
If Freeze can pull out the stops and get his team across the six-win finish line — at the expense of Mississippi State — his fan base will remember it for a long time.
Get to Russell
The Rebels got only one sack against LSU’s Zach Mettenberger last week. Aside from a couple of third-quarter interceptions by Senquez Golson, Mettenberger were accurate with the underneath stuff and moved the Tigers down the field in the second half.
State has been solid with its protection of quarterback Tyler Russell. Sacks would be beneficial, but getting in his face and being disruptive could be just as effective to the Rebels’ cause. Listening to DL coach Chris Kiffin and coordinator Dave Wommack during the week, they clearly believe they opportunity to pressure Russell is there.
The return of Ole Miss end C.J. Johnson, held out with injury last week, could be a big lift.
Make the play
It’s not that the Rebels haven’t made big plays this season. They stand 5-6 and on the outside of bowl-eligibility, because they haven’t made the big plays at the biggest times in three games – Texas A&M, Vanderbilt and LSU.
A single well-timed play on offense or defense changes any or all of those games.
But the Rebels haven’t made that play.
Depending on how the Rebels rise up in the most key situations will determine whether their season ends tonight or continues into the bowl season with a win against their rival and the coach they’ve yet to defeat.