Another look at Ole Miss football from Hayden Sowers …
A September 22nd trip to the Big Easy comes in as game number 3 in my countdown this week. Ole Miss will play Tulane in the fourth week of the season in their last tuneup before the SEC schedule starts. Here’s my preview:
– On offense the Green Wave return 6 starters for a unit that averaged 214 yards through the air and 126 yards on the ground while putting up 21 points per game. Those numbers were good for 71st, 86th, and 105th in the nation. Curtis Johnson, former Saints WR coach, is now the coach for the Green Wave and will move towards more of a pro-style multiple scheme offense. Jr RB Orleans Darkwa, who rushed for 924 yards and 13 TDs last season, has a great chance to lead C-USA in rushing yards this season so the Rebels will have their work cut out for them to stop Darkwa. Sr QB Ryan Griffin returns as well coming off a 2502 yard, 13 TD, and 10 INT season. Johnson said in the spring that he was concerned about the receivers and tight ends so look for the Green Wave to try to pound to ball and use play action in the passing game.
– On defense, Tulane only returns 5 starters and last year you can’t describe them any other way than terrible. Giving up 38 points per game, good for dead last in the nation, they will obviously provide the Rebels with an opportunity to have a big game on offense. Just like I’ve said in games 1 and 2, I don’t really know how effective Hugh Freeze’s offense will be in live game action. By game 4 though, the Rebels should have a good grasp on it and be ready to roll over the Green Wave. Tulane gave up 30 points in 10 out of 12 games last year. LB Trent Mackey, who had 145 tackles last year, does return to try to lead a revival for the Green Wave defense.
– Prediction: Ole Miss 35, Tulane 14. Notice the scoring margin is higher than my prediction for the UTEP game, but this game is the Rebels first road game and that is why it comes in at 3 instead of 2. Hugh Freeze will need to win these three games I’ve previewed so far, because after that it looks very bleak for the Rebels.