Random thoughts …
As I mentioned Friday I thought the receivers had a good game collectively in the Rebels’ 35-13 win over Boise State. Cody Core stood out. Somewhat overlooked, perhaps, was a 31-yard touchdown pass from Bo Wallace to Quincy Adeboyejo.
Hugh Freeze has praised Adeboyejo’s speed and athleticism. Maybe that play, a big catch and touchdown when the game had not yet been put away, triggers something for him that leads to more confidence and consistency.
The other thing about the receivers was that Laquon Treadwell playing outside looked as good in the opener as Donte Moncrief did all last year. The supporting cast gave him some solid help, and they need to continue to do that and more. …
Mike Hilton was coming off the field when I asked him how many plays he played. It was a conversation starter. Most guys don’t use tally marks or keep a running count of that. But Hilton played a lot. He’s a playmaker and needs to be on the field but with that comes the risk of injury and fatigue.
One of Hilton’s most impressive plays was getting down the field as the punt team gunner and making a solo tackle before the Boise returner could get going. This is where the absence of Carlos Davis comes in.
Hilton didn’t have an answer to “how many plays” but the body language said he knew he played a lot. He was tired but with a good feeling in a satisfied sort of way.
Same for Robert Nkemdiche. He wasn’t subbed like the other linemen, nor should he be. Same risks apply here, but that’s just what you do with your best players. You coach them, condition them and hope for the best.
You can find other guys to do great special teams coverage work. Maybe someone emerges during the year and gives Hilton a chance to rest. It’s not likely someone else is going to emerge and do what Nkemdiche does. …
Speaking of the Nkemdiches. Denzel was suspended and didn’t play, but he looked engaged during timeouts. Seemed like every time the defense was grouped near the sideline he was in the middle of the huddle. That’s a good sign. Unless something has happened that hasn’t gone public yet, he should be back in the mix for this week at Vanderbilt. …
Speaking of Vanderbilt. There will be a tendency to sleep on the Commodores. I think Ole Miss wins, but it may not be as easy as it was for Temple. You can’t count on seven turnovers like Vanderbilt had in its opener. The Commodores will almost certainly protect the ball better than that.
Temple got good quarterback play from a guy who did not throw interceptions. Just looked at the box score it seems that Temple’s receivers got open and PJ Walker found them.
Bo Wallace will find Ole Miss receivers. He just needs to find Vanderbilt defensive backs a little less than he found Boise’s.
If two of Wallace’s picks were a result of coming off his progression of reads, which was what Freeze said, it would seem that’s correctable. Wallace will probably get a little coaching on that this week.
I was out of pocket and didn’t see a whole lot of football yesterday. Looks like Auburn is still pretty good on offense, but the early minutes of Auburn’s 45-21 win over Arkansas were more about Arkansas’ spotty defense, I thought.
I caught LSU’s comeback against Wisconsin and tried to remember the last time I’ve seen a passing game as ineffective as the Badgers’.
The polls come out later today. It will be interesting to watch the shifting.