Rebels hope run game improvement carries over to Alabama

Listen around to any of the analysis on this Ole Miss-Alabama game, and much of it centers on the Rebels’ ability to run the football.

You hear it so much it sounds cliche, but you have to run the ball at least a little bit. If you can sustain something on the ground it keeps the other side guessing. Plain and simple.

We’ll sprinkle in some OL videos along the way. Here’s Matt Luke.

The Hugh Freeze teams against Alabama — and there have been only two — have not been able to run the football enough to keep the Tide honest.

The Rebels averaged 2.3 yards per rush two years ago in a 33-14 loss. That’s the high point. Randall Mackey carried four times for 32 yards in that game. Jeff Scott carried 15 times more and had only 17 additional yards. The Rebels ran 35 times for 80 yards in the game.

Last year was worse. The Rebels had just 45 yards on 26 carries, 1.8 yards per attempt.

Here’s Laremy Tunsil breaking down the Tide:

The turnovers and penalties cast a cloud over last week’s 24-3 win over Memphis. The bright spot for the offense, however, was definitely the improved run game.

“Looking back we didn’t execute many plays. I look forward to executing a lot of plays on the offensive line this year. You don’t want to be one-dimensional against any team. You have to run the ball and pass the ball to mix it up,” Tunsil said.

We’d seen long runs from this team. What we’d not seen enough were the 4- and 5-yard runs on first downs that give coaches an advantage in play-calling.

Allow me a little slang here:  Memphis ain’t Bama.

True. But neither are Boise, Vanderbilt or ULL, and Ole Miss didn’t run consistently against those teams. Memphis could be a launching point.

Here’s Aaron Morris talking about coming back from the ACL tear:

Morris says part of Bama’s mystique is nothing more than name recognition.

“They’re regular guys just like us. A lot of people get nervous because of the name. They put their pants on just like us. We’ll just go at it and see what happens.”

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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  • Killer_Beeze

    Morris has it right: “Bama players put their pants on just like us.” I just hope the Rebels pants are Bigger Boy pants..

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