Day After Observations

Notes and thoughts from the Rebels’ 25-0 loss to Alabama …

Hugh Freeze called this a measuring stick game, and the measure says the Rebels might not be as far along the “journey” as some had hoped.

Like Bo Wallace, I thought Ole Miss would score some points. I tend to look at previous results and matchups when trying to hash things out before a game.

Obviously this was an Alabama defense that had shown some vulnerability this season but was on top of its game Saturday night.

I don’t think Alabama was motivated by Bo Wallace’s comments or even by its senior leadership calling out the team for its play last week. I think the Tide was motivated by its coach, Nick Saban.

Last year the Rebels hurt Alabama with the tempo offense. This year Ole Miss wasn’t able to get into its tempo package as much as it would have liked because it wasn’t having very much success on first down.

Offensive coordinator Dan Werner said he thought Saban’s response to last year’s tempo success was to keep the game plan very basic and simple. Freeze said it just seemed like Alabama players were in the right place every time they had to make a play.

Safety Cody Prewitt


Last Monday Wallace talked about his receivers being better than Texas A&M’s. I thought the Ole Miss receivers actually played pretty well in the game, barring a drop by Donte Moncrief on a deep pattern in the fourth quarter with the Rebels trying to drive it from deep in their end of the field.

Wallace actually had a decent completion percentage for much of the game. He was 15-for-22 after three quarters, but that deteriorated to 17-for-31 for the game when it was clear he was passing every play at the end.

Wallace picked up his second turnover of the year when he was hit and fumbled in the fourth quarter, but he’s now thrown 133 straight passes without an interception going back to the second quarter of the Compass Bowl. Not bad for a guy who threw 17 picks last year.

Bottom line is the passing game is better if there’s any kind of run game.

I thought Ole Miss would have to run between the tackles, and it just wasn’t able to get it done.

I thought it was interesting on the first possession of the game, the third down before Laquon Treadwell was short on fourth-and-1. The Rebels had split backs then with I’Tavius Mathers lining up next to Jeff Scott. Mathers is considered the better inside runner, but it was Scott who got the call on third-and-1 and was stopped short when he turned it up. Mathers carried in a couple of other short-yardage opportunities later and finished with 8 yards on two attempts.

Donte Moncrief


And Moncrief again


Defensively, freshman Robert Nkemdiche started and played the whole game at tackle and was not credited with a single tackle.

His brother Denzel played for the first time since sustaining a sprained knee at Vanderbilt and finished with three tackles and a forced fumble. That’s three forced fumbles in two years against Alabama for Denzel Nkemdiche, a sophomore.

Ole Miss started out getting decent pressure against Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, but the Tide adjusted and protect McCarron well most of the night. Most of that protection was against a four-man rush, at least until it became evident that the Rebels were having trouble getting there. Ole Miss finished with seven tackles for loss by seven different people but only one sack. The Rebels were credited with four pressures of McCarron, who was 25-for-32 for 180 yards, an interception by Cody Prewitt and no touchdowns.

Freshman Derrick Jones, the big corner at 6-3, got a little action late in the game, as did defensive linemen Lavon Hooks and John Youngblood.

Though the Rebels were clearly disappointed to have not played better, the general theme coming out of postgame was to try and move forward, not dwell on the loss and have it have a lasting impact for this week at Auburn.

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.

Posted in Football


    • handy010

      Charles, it was just us playing the number 1 team in the country. We have made progress, and the defense played well, but we are not at their level yet. We are getting there, but still one or two years away

  • Lee Mincy

    I may be wrong but if the runner had been given his forward progress that first fourth down try would have been a first down. The replay seemed to show this but I do not know what the rule is on this. The runner clearly came down short of the first down but I thought the forward progress was past the first down line.

  • Steve Foy

    OM’s QB should have not be talking about AL, then come out and put up a bagel, let your game do the talking…

  • keith

    PA, I hate to be “that guy”, but do you think there is anything to the Tyler siskey deal? (Of significance)

    • keith

      By this I mean, did he make a huge, small, or no difference in the outcome of the game.

      • Parrish Alford

        Hard to say what type of impact he made, but the fact that he was in the coaches booth tells me his opinion was valued, and they wanted to hear what he had to say as the game played out.

        • keith

          good insight. I agree. From what little I saw, it looked as though they had a set up in the press box that was strictly meant for his input.

          • Jeff

            you have got to be kidding me !! As long as some of you keep looking for excuses such as this, the Black Bears will continue to be second tier in the conference. There are personnel all over the country with former “ties” to other schools. Bottom line is Ole Miss got jacked by a better team. Yes, they might be improving but as Roger said above, it takes some time. Give your team some time. Stop making excuses. And please, please, quit being happy with the moral victories. The only ones that matter are in the won-loss column.

          • keith

            I agree with ya Jeff. Was just curious. But I agree that we got WHOOPED by a better team. Calm down dude…..

      • Steve Latham

        I’m a Bama fan and from what I saw he was giving his “read” of the play while watching something on the sideline with binoculars … Miss Coach wasn’t doing to lip cover thing either … It bothered me a little just seeing the one clip of video during the game …

  • Missouri Rebel

    P.A. – I totally agree with you about needing to run between the tackles to have offensive success. Alabama’s defense is too fast and athletic to let you bet them on the perimeter. I love Jeff Scott and he plays with a ton of heart but he’s just not the type of back that can pound it between the tackles. I was surprised that we didn’t see Mathers earlier in the game or maybe the Rebs just don’t have that true power back yet.

  • woodlase

    Time for the Reb’s to put AU at 1-2 for their SEC record come Saturday. GO REB’S!!

  • Roger Davis

    For the second year in a row, Alabama has brought the Magnolia State back to earth. I will say The Rebels’ competitors prior the ‘anticipated’ Bama matchup was much better than their rivals a year ago. It’s nice to hope to win but here’s the reality of the situation. Two…count ’em… two, was how many games Ole Miss won in 2011. Enter Hugh Freeze who got the Rebs back on the winning side. Then comes one… just one… stellar class of recruits and all of a sudden Ole Miss is suppose to beat Alabama? Not hardly. The Tide has had a Top 5 recruiting class for the last decade. They are the two-time defending National Champions, ranked No. 1 in the nation and playing at home. Please! Rome wasn’t built in one night. I was pleased with the effort on defensive side because the Tide’s offense is very, very potent. One poster said Ole Miss is way ahead of ‘schedule’ and I agree.

  • UMBBFan

    We were beaten by a the best team in college football. But we were outplayed at only one position, quarterback. Our receivers are as good as A &M’s, we could not Ge them the ball. Alabama’s qb may some unreal throws with pressure in the first half. May their running game was better but maybe they had our passing game so overwhelmed that out backs never had a chance. I do not think this looking like HF best game, but bad qb play can anyone look bad.

    • JB

      “We were beaten by a the best team in college football.”
      I think Oregon, Clemson, and Florida State will disagree here

      • Roger Davis

        I’m sure they might think so. Hate to say so but Alabama’s schedule leans in their favor for another shot in the National Championship game. Three regular season road games remain (Kentucky, Miss. State and Auburn). The only question mark is the SEC Championship game in Atlanta.

      • Lee814

        They may disagree, but right now the coaches and those voting in the AP poll say that Alabama is the best team in college football!

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