Arkansas coach Bret Bielema
Regarding Ole Miss Bielema said, “They obviously control their path for the SEC West. We have an opportunity to go in there and show how much hopefully we’ve improved. It’s another opportunity to see where we measure in the conference. We’re getting healthier day by day and should be able to go full strength Saturday and see what happens.”
Regarding extra motivation for the Rebels because of last year’s 30-0 loss in Fayetteville Bielema said, “There will be a little bit of that, but 2014 is 14 and 2015 is 15. There are new players, new rosters, different people on both sides of the ball, even the coaching is a little different. At this point in the schedule everybody should be motivated and ready to play no matter the situation. It’s a game I’m sure has been on their radar since last year because of the way the game panned out, but they’ve had a lot of big games and have more ahead of them.”
More from Bielema: “I’ve been very impressed with their quarter. He can throw the ball very accurately and runs the ball efficiently. Defensively I’ve been as impressed with their defensive unit in my time in the league as anybody. They play aggressively, intelligently. They are a well-coached football team and fun to watch.”
“We’re about as healthy as we’ve been since the start of the season, and we’re excited to play in front of our home crowd. It will be a difficult challenge. Each year coach Bielema has been there they have continued to improve as the year has gone on. I’m impressed with that. They started with some losses that were disappointing, but have rallied the troops., It will be a difficult task for us Saturday, and we’re looking forward to it.”
Freeze was asked if Ole Miss has recaptured some energy that it showed early in the year.
“It certainly seems that we’ve recaptured some of that hunger, passion and energy. I’ve played close attention to the way I go about doing things. Hopefully that has energized our guys and our staff to refocus and make sure we’re not losing the joy in the journey.”
On the why question Freeze said, “Maybe we listened to too much of the noise around us after we went into Tuscaloosa and won. Obviously some of it had to do with injuries. Maybe me trying to get through the 10-game stretch without a break and backing off some, maybe lost some of our intensity and attention to detail. More than likely it’s a combination of all of those.”