We’re between players here at Media Monday. Here are some highlights from what we’ve heard so far.
The player who may be the closest to missing the TExas A&M game with injury is DE Carlos Thompson. CJ Johnson is called day to day, and Freeze said they would take him out of the boot on Tuesday. Evan Swindall has a toe injury, Jeff Scott a thigh bruise. Just guessing here but it sounds like Thompson may be the one closest to missing the game.
In other news …
Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace on scoring points: “We’ve got to win battles, and I’ve got to make good decisions with the football. I have different options I can do, and I have to make good decisions with that.”
Wallace says scoring is even tougher in the Red Zone.
On the road schedule early: “We can talk about it being a grind, buy you’re going to have that, and you’ve got to be up for it whether it’s a grind or not.”
As far as pass protection, Wallace said, “They weren’t pressuring us or anything like that. A lot of I’ve times I set protections wrong or something like that, maybe the checkdowns. We’ve just got to be better up front.”
Wallace says he needs to improve his own communication with the receivers.
Some mixed opinions so far as to whether the Texas A&M game is one that the offense will simply have to outscore Johnny Manziel if Ole Miss is to pull an upset against the No. 9-ranked Aggies.
“No doubt,” Wallace said. “No doubt about it. They’re (defense) going to have to play against the best player in college football right now, and we know that. He’s going to put up a lot of points, and we have to answer with every drive we have.”
Offensive lineman Justin Bell said he doesn’t feel added pressure on the Rebels’ offense this week.
“I have faith in our defense first of all … that they will put up stops. I don’t feel too much pressure about it. Any SEC game is a tough game. You have to fight for a win. You have to play 60 minutes of passionate football and play as a unit.”
Freeze talked about the early road schedule having more affect on the younger players than the veterans. Grind was used there as well, particularly with class schedules, getting back late and getting back to work on Sunday and other things that go along with new guys in a new environment.
Bell downplayed the grind: “It wasn’t necessarily hard, because we had the mentality that we’re going to work, and this is what we have to do to improve and get better.
“We had a tough road schedule, but everybody has that. That’s no excuse. Coming back home is going to be a great feeling and locking the Vaught. That’s what it’s all about, locking the Vaught.”
Lot of talk about the run game and short-yardage.
Freeze says the best way run consistently in the power game would be to have a tight end with his hand on the ground, “but that’s not who we are right now.”
He did not talk about moving Barry Brunetti to running back. Part of his answer to the power game is having Brunetti direct it from the quarterback position. No plan have Wallace and Brunetti in the backfield together at this time.
“We pride ourself in the run game. It’s more of a statement play for us. I feel like we will be able to move the ball. We just have to move the double team and get to the linebackers. If we get our guys to the safeties, it’s going to be a show.”