Freeze talks vertical passing, Moncrief and Treadwell

Taking chances deep is all about what opposing defenses are giving, Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze says.

Numerous folks have asked me why the Rebels haven’t thrown downfield more given the talent at receiver. There were more shots taken at Auburn because the Tigers were playing man coverage against Donte Moncrief.

“I think our guys can win against man coverage if we can get protection. We felt like they were giving us that (coverage). The last two weeks people have decided to play us man, and I think we have guys that can win.

“It all depends on what teams are giving us,” Freeze continued. “The first few weeks everything was two (players) high over him, and you weren’t going to get anything like that. Most people don’t understand that. They just think, ‘Throw it deep to Donte.’ That was fine the other night. The first few weeks Vandy and Texas played two high over him on almost every snap. If they give us a look where we have a chance, we’re certainly going to try it.”

Moncrief averaged 20.3 yards a catch with six catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns, one of the coming on a 49-yard play.

The Rebels are averaging 238.4 yards a game, eighth in the SEC. That’s not surprising because of Freeze’s quest for balance in the offense.

However, Ole Miss is getting just 6.5 yards per pass attempt, 13th in the league. Only Tennessee, at 5.8 yards, is getting less per pass play.

Drops have been a factor the last two weeks, Moncrief included in that group.

Over the last two games, however, Moncrief has 12 catches and looks like he’s about to pass freshman Laquon Treadwell for the team lead in receptions. Moncrief currently has 23 catches for 355 yards and four of the six touchdowns thrown by Bo Wallace. The other two have gone to freshman tight end Evan Engram.

Since debuting with nine catches against Vanderbilt, Treadwell has had 15 catches over the last four games. He remains a focal point of the offense both running (two carries for 8 yards) and passing (0-for-3 INT).

Freeze expects big things from Treadwell, the nation’s No. 1 WR prospect last year.

“I’m very pleased with Laquon, let me say that. When you you’re a true freshman, and you’re going through the season we’ve been handed, on the road, late nights, no early games, all the school work and study halls … it can be a bit draining. I feel it. The freshmen have never gone through it, and sometimes they can be a bit overwhelmed by the grind. Some of them are experiencing some of that. Hopefully getting them back home and getting into a more normal routine we will see him pick up his performance a little bit, but he’s going to be a very very good player.”


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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  • Glenn Breland

    What a Frigging Joke, What the defense is giving ! Winners take it to the defense. If you are waiting for the defense to give you things, then you are just waiting to loose ! Moron.

    • CJtheRebel

      You really show how intelligent you are when you talk about “waiting to loose !”

      Do you honestly think great offenses don’t scheme around the defense’s weakness?

      • Glenn Breland

        Been there and seen it,I am saying make on the spot adjustment, even if you as players you have to do it, scheme among yourselves on the field, play by play if the play does not defeat what they are trying to do to your offense or defense. I am sure you have done it before. Why would you do something you know will not get the job done ! By the way You and Denzel are the two best player on the team now. It was not a jab at the players, I see great effort, Make your own mistakes, not someone Else’s.

    • keith

      Get lost dude. It’s a new day. Stay positive! Trust the process! Be a fan not an analyst……. want to yell??? Be at the vaught Saturday night, stand up and scream your ass off for the team! We all have to be in this together! From top to bottom! Hotty toddy and Go rebs!

      • Glenn Breland

        I shall, I guess I love Ole too much.

    • Killer_Beeze

      Look man, we all feel your frustration. Four out of five games (on the road) can wear on a team. Let’s hope the Rebels come out fresh and with renewed strength and play a competitive game tomorrow night for Rebel Nation…and win.
      Fins UP!!!

      • Glenn Breland

        You’re Right, Go Rebs.

    • meatball

      You my friend, are an idiot. Do u know what a stunt is? A double back man? I be willing to bet u don’t know crap ab football & u know more than a head coach in SEC?

      • Glenn Breland

        It’s two back, man up, zone hot read, double gap press ! Now is that a 4-2-5 ? 6-2-3, 6-3-2 or 3-3-5 ? When people result to name calling, there in itself lies the mirror. So just being a head coach in the SEC is the way you associate how smart a person is ? Com-on Man !

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