In a game that can stress you out thank goodness for Justin Bell.
The Ole Miss junior offensive lineman is almost always laid back when he meets with us. He assures me he takes the game seriously. I have no doubt about that. You can indeed be serious about your work without being consumed by it.
We asked Bell last night about sophomore tackle Laremy Tunsil. It appears Tunsil, who has been suffering from a partially torn right biceps, will play for the first time since the Rebels’ Oct. 25 loss at LSU when Ole Miss meets Arkansas in Fayetteville Saturday afternoon.
That’s great news for an Ole Miss offense that could do absolutely nothing in the second half in Baton Rouge without Tunsil. Remember, the Rebels were already missing center Ben Still in that game.
Both should play this week.
So, Justin, does Laremy have any physical limitation?
“He can’t play receiver. That’s probably his only limitation.”
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze told us earlier this week that Tunsil has really improved as a finisher in run blocking. That was a stated goal for Tunsil at the beginning of the season. His strength and foot work made him a very good pass blocker when he arrived on campus, and he’s gotten better.
Saturday’s game, though, could be about running the ball. There’s a 90 percent chance of rain. The field is artificial, so it won’t turn into a “mudder,” but it will be wet.
Ole Miss has struggled to run consistently against SEC teams, averaging only 146.5 yards. That’s 11th in the league. Arkansas is giving up 146 yards a game against the league, sixth among defenses.
Bell is confident the Rebels can be successful even in the rain.
“God loves football. I believe he’ll hold off the rain but if not, it’s just an element of the game. We’ll be ready for it. We’ll have to protect the ball and make plays happen,” he said.