Freeze on outburst: ‘Wish I had been more composed’

Lauren Wood | Daily Journal Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze reacts to an incomplete pass during the first half of Saturday's game against Texas A&M.

Lauren Wood | Daily Journal
Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze reacts to an incomplete pass during the first half of Saturday’s game against Texas A&M.

By Parrish Alford

Daily Journal

OXFORD – Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze apologized for losing his composure but not for defending his program in the minutes following the Rebels’ 41-38 loss to then-No. 9 Texas A&M.

A video posted at the website of Memphis TV station WATN shows Freeze responding in the direction of the south end zone stands after being addressed by someone from there.

At his Monday press conference Freeze said he felt the incident was blown out of proportion but that he wished he’d have handled it differently.

“That deal, I don’t think there was as much to it as some media would like to make. They’re looking for a story,” he said. “I will defend our program. I will defend our kids. I will defend my family. I wish I had been more composed. I apologize that I wasn’t at that time. I will try not to allow that to happen again.”

Freeze said the family atmosphere at Ole Miss is the program’s top selling point in recruiting and that many recruits are responding to that.

“When you have a game of 80-something plays, they may agree with our calls for 75 of them. They may disagree with five. That’s OK. I don’t mind that. I get that. Sometimes I agree with them that it was not the right thing, but if we really all want to get to where we want to go, the way to go about it is not a public demeaning of a player or a program or our staff. Hey, email me. I’ll try my best to respond to it. If we all want to get to that place, that does not help us move forward. We are moving forward, and our kids know that.”

The complete text of Freeze’s comments on the matter can be seen on the Ole Miss blog at InsideOleMissSports.com.

Getting Kincade ready

A lingering shoulder injury for quarterback Barry Brunetti could open the door for the debut of freshman Devante Kincade.

Freeze said in August he hoped to redshirt both freshman quarterbacks, Kincade and Ryan Buchanan, but that he needed to get one of them ready to play.

That was Kincade, the more mobile of the two, who turned heads in August camp with his accuracy and arm strength as well as his running.

Freeze said he would get Kincade ready to play but would play him only if Brunetti was unable to go.

A native of Dallas, Kincade was rated a four-star prospect by Scout.com and also by ESPN, which had him as the 12th-best dual-threat quarterback.

Seeking top 10 win

The Rebels’ loss to Texas A&M stretched their streak of top 10 losses to 11 games. Ole Miss last defeated a team ranked in the top 10 when it beat No. 8 LSU 27-25 in 2009.

LSU is No. 6 in the AP Top 25 this week.

parrish.alford@journalinc.com

  • Kevin

    I don’t know what the beginning portion of the story was all about. I missed that while dealing with Oxford traffic trying to get out of town after that disappointment Saturday night. From what this poorly written article alluded to but did not explain is perhaps that some fans criticized Freeze’s management of last week’s loss. So guess what fan club? There are indeed critics out there who are fans. It’s not mutually exclusive.
    I will respond to the coach’s mention of Kincade getting playing time. I think that would be a wise decision because Brunetti is limited in what he can do, although he proved this past week that he can indeed contribute, and his TD passes were really sneaky given that A&M didn’t expect him to throw. Wallace, on the other hand, is an utter disappointment. He shines at times like he did last season in a disappointing loss to LSU. But most of the time he throws to the other team and tries to make too much happen in one play. The result is utter inconsistency and we need further depth at the QB position.

    • The Ghost of Col. Reb

      I will agree, this is a h.s. level article without proper background to set up the story. Basically, the article tells nothing of what happened other than a tv station caught Freeze talking to someone in the end-zone. Can we please get someone to cover Ole Miss?

  • Mike Gilmer

    Ole Miss fans just need to be patient. It takes time to rebuild a program from scratch. Freeze inherited a wasteland and he is getting there.

    • Kevin

      Freeze inherited a wasteland, Nutts inherited a wasteland, Orgeron inherited a wasteland, same with Cutcliffe, Tuberville, Brewer, Sloan, and Cooper. When does the rhetoric change and when do we wake up and realize that sucking is our milieu?

      • Roger Davis

        You are basing results of past Ole Miss teams and transferring them to this team. That’s not fair to the current team. Ole Miss has approximately 120 on its roster which 70 are underclassmen and 44 freshmen. To demand immediate success is not right. Give them time to absorb the ups, downs, bumps, bruises, injuries and losses and let them grow from that.

        • Kevin

          I bring up UM football history because of its symmetry with present day. How do we know that this season and next will be different than the fortunes of bygone teams? How do we know that we’ll truly rebuild? How do we know that the team will get past their injuries and grow and become a good football team? I don’t know the answers to these questions, but if history is any indicator, we’ll record a mediocre year, like 7-5 or something like that and then we’ll go back to being 4-8, 3-9, and so forth and so on and then we’ll surprise some folks with another 7-5 season. Ole Miss=mediocrity, and that’s why many of those 70 underclassmen are JUCO transfers.

          • Roger Davis

            How pessimistic? You shouldn’t call yourself an Ole Miss alum. Oh, I forgot, you’ve experienced 40 plus years of sucking. Are you thinking you’re going to croak pretty soon and you won’t make it to see greatness? Something is up with you. Never have I seen a ‘fan’ quite like you. How sad.

          • Kevin

            Roger, put yourself in my shoes for a moment. All I’ve experienced as an Ole Miss fan is mostly sub-.500 seasons with the occasional mediocre year and one really good one in 2003. So why should I expect anything different after experiencing so much disappointment over a 40+ year tenure of following the Rebels? I’ve been conditioned to accept the inevitable. Each year there’s high talk about the expectations and how great we’re going to be, then the losses begin to mount, and then folks begin singing the “wait until next year” chorus.

          • Roger Davis

            I’m sorry. I don’t think that way. Some are just out of high school and some are JUCO transfers and may be looking for a role model or someone to boost their morale. The way you constantly put them down is something I could never do.

          • Kevin

            Roger, you’re missing my point. The point I’ve been making is that Ole Miss lacks talent, and this is why the team isn’t any good. Our record indicates that compared to the SEC competition, our team lacks talent to compete with them on an equitable basis. Our team lacks talent because the vast bulk of our team is JUCO transfers and freshmen whereas the Bama’s, Auburn’s, LSU’s, and Florida’s, Georgia’s, and A&M’s are teams that build every year because they consistently lure more talented players to play there. I don’t know where you get off with this role model crap. College football players go to school and play football in hopes of someday making it to the NFL. While many realize that these are pipe dreams given the number who actually make it to the big time, many of these football players do their best to make it on the field and contribute and be the big man on campus with their popularity and ability to attract girls. There may be a few exceptions to this, but those are rare types of people.

            I think that you have an overall rosy view of NCAA football. This is a business and it’s big business that commands enormous sums of dollars. Everyone who participates in it has dirty hands. You seem to come off as somebody who thinks there’s some nobility in big time football programs when there isn’t. It’s all about the wins and the dollars and that’s it. Yes, I may be cynical, but I’ve been around NCAA football for a long time and it’s a very, very dirty business.

          • Roger Davis

            No, I am not. What I do see is your way of thinking is so far off-base. However, you did harp on one point. Bama, LSU, Georgia build EVERY year. Ole Miss has only had one year. And you expect a miracle? With such a gloomy outlook, you will ALWAYS be disappointed.

          • Kevin

            No, I’ll always be disappointed because Ole Miss will never be able to compete with the Bama’s, LSU’s, Ga’s, A&M’s, and Auburn’s of the SEC. I’ll be disappointed because fans talk up our team every season for only to finish mediocre at best. I’ve been conditioned to sucking for so long that I rejoice at a 7-6 season. It’s the best that we can do in this conference. So no, I don’t expect miracles. I expect mediocrity or sucking. Right now, we’re sucking.

            Ole Miss doesn’t build every year because we can’t get the talent to come to play for this school with its long standing tradition of mediocrity. That’s why Bama will always be good and get the best players from around the nation. That’s why LSU will always compete with Bama for the SEC west and Auburn and A&M will occasionally play interloper to that dual powerhouse base. Ole Miss will always be a lower echelon team, but hey man, if we can finish at .500 or at 7-5, that’s a banner year in Oxford! And we pay coaches millions of dollars for this.

          • Roger Davis

            Still the bottom line is, you’ll ALWAYS be disappointed and you’ll be disgruntled the rest of your life. And you’ll do what you do best – complain.

          • Kevin

            Actually, doesn’t positivity generate even more disappointment? Doesn’t optimism in a hopeless world only set oneself up for disappointment? If you go into every game thinking that the team will win, only to come up short, like say 3 points short, isn’t that more disappointing than expecting them to get shellacked and then they only come up 3 points short? I mean to say that when I expect Ole Miss to lose, then I’m shielding myself from disappointment because I expect them to do poorly. But what’s mostly disappointing is that the preseason expectations are always so high (I guess because Ole Miss has only one direction to go and that’s up), and then the team hardly ever lives up to those expectations.

            I know you all believe that I hate Freeze, and that’s not entirely accurate. I actually like him and his loyalty to Ole Miss, which cannot be said for people like Tuberville, even though he was a good coach. I like Freeze because he’s realistic. He said in the summer that we’d suck and he was right, although he used more measured language than “suck” in his comments. But the message was “don’t have high expectations.” I like that kind of honesty. I think he has a lot to learn and because of that I’ll be critical of him. This doesn’t mean that I hate him. Being critical of one’s performance is not the same thing as hatred, which my fan club here seems to conflate.

            Well, the past is past, and this week brings in a new opponent with an equally effective quarterback with Messyburger. he’s very accurate and poised. And I think LSU’s line is pretty darned good and they have a good running game. Given our woes on defense, I’m expecting a long day for the Rebels on Saturday evening. I don’t think this one will be close at all.

          • Roger Davis

            I prayed for you tonight at church. I don’t think you comprehended Freeze’s message of ‘don’t have high expectations’. I’d be critical if the recruits had three years experience under their belt and thing were as they are now.. Auburn is the only loss I’m disappointed with. I think you are beginning to coming around, though. LSU, in my opinion, is the best road team in the country. The Rebs certainly will have their hands full.

          • Kevin

            You prayed for me? Oh my gosh, you prayed for a fellow fan to come around to your optimism? I don’t think anyone ever could pray for something quite so insignificant as that!!! I think you now need to pray for forgiveness for wasting God’s time.

          • Roger Davis

            Guess I’ll continue to pray for you. Rather than sink to your level, God bless you, God bless you. Here’s hoping that better days are ahead.

          • Kevin

            I’m going to go to church on Sunday and I’m going to pray to God, asking Him to ignore your prayers on my behalf. I too hope better days are ahead, but I’m not holding my breath and I’m certainly not praying for us to win ball games because, after all, it’s just games.

          • Roger Davis

            So Sunday’s the only day you go…a part timer, huh? Bless you. If you have children, let’s hope people don’t put them down the way you do others. And while you’re at church, it wouldn’t hurt to ask for forgiveness.

          • Kevin

            Forgiveness for what? I haven’t done anything wrong vis-a-vis our “discussion” here. And I totally resent you praying for me. First of all, it’s just pathetic. You can’t counter my claims, and so you insult me by saying you’ll pray for me? What’s that doo-doo all about? Oh, I know what it’s about, you’re telling everyone in a backhanded way how you’re holier-than-thou. By stating publicly here that you’ll be praying for me you’re basically saying two things. First, it’s an implicit insult by insinuating that I’m such a degenerate that I need praying for when all I’ve done here is merely say a football team isn’t any good. Second, you’re broadcasting your religiosity to the people who read this forum. That’s really shameful, Roger! Have you read the Bible lately? Doesn’t it warn those who are prideful in their faith?

            Lastly, Roger, football is a mere game. It’s not a religion and moreover football is a totally violent and corrupt sport, and one that Jesus Christ, the prince of peace, would condemn if He were here on earth today. God doesn’t care about football, but he probably cares about those who hold false gods.

          • Roger Davis

            Resent. Well, do something about it! When you say ‘they suck’ you about talking about someone’s child. That’s the shameful part! Of course, if the shoe was on the other foot, according to you, its perfectly fine for someone to talk about your children.

          • Kevin

            College football players are children? What freaking world are you living on, dude? They are men and public figures and if they can’t take criticism–even pointing out the obvious–then they don’t need to play the game. I don’t have any children. And, Ole Miss does suck–three games and counting. How far will the losing streak go? Well, it’s likely we’ll beat Idaho High School, but after that, more losses will pile up.

            I’ll have to go on and conclude that you have to be one of the most dimwitted and naive person among all my internet friends.

          • Roger Davis

            Woodstock got the best of you. When a parent has children, as long as they live, that’s what they’ll be – their children.

          • Kevin

            Well Roger, I think you have a point because Ole Miss plays like they’re a bunch of children, whereas most of the other SEC teams play like they’re men.

          • Roger Davis

            It doesn’t matter what they play like because in reality they are somebody’s children that you say suck. It is a safe bet those other SEC teams are somebody’s children, too. Now, I understand why you don’t get it, you said yourself you don’t have any children.

          • Kevin

            When I say the team sucks, I mean they have no talent compared to the rest of the SEC. I mean, they suck at football. I don’t mean it in the that way you interpret it. But the fact of the matter is is that you cannot counter my claims. Instead, you’ve done like just about all the other members of my fan club have done and have attacked me personally rather than attack what I have to say about the team. The reason you’ve done this is because deep down, you know this team is devoid of talent compared to the SEC competition. You can’t counter that fact and it makes you angry and so you lash out at me. That’s really shameful, Roger. Not only is it shameful, but it represents something about your character.

          • Roger Davis

            It’s called the lowest common denominator. You’re doing a fantastic job following script. Keep it up, ‘sucker’!!!

      • Mike Gilmer

        Actually Brewer, Tuberville, and Cutcliffe did a good job, under the circumstances. Orgeron did a decent job recruiting but could not coach. Nutt let everything go to Hell and now Freeze has to rebuild. Ole Miss will never be Alabama but we can be on par with Auburn, Arkansas, and Missouri.

        • The Ghost of Col. Reb

          Orgeron beat Arizona at usc this week. He can coach.

          • Mike Gilmer

            He might be a decent coach now but when he coached the rebels, he was terrible. Anyway, I would not judge his coaching ability based on one game at SC.

          • Kevin

            I actually think O will have some success at USC because they’re stacked with talent. I don’t know why Lane Kiffin couldn’t do anything with that talent. Oh wait, I know why Kiffin couldn’t do anything with them–because Kiffin is a big jerk who doesn’t know what in the heck he’s doing!

          • The Ghost of Col. Reb

            All Kiffin has ever done is run or get fired regularly. He lost respect of his team when he placed blame solely on his players for their failures. The team captains asked the AD to fire him. Ed Orgeron is a great coach. I bet USC hires him as head before the end of the year. OM fans are either too impatient or the water is too tainted to drink.

        • Kevin

          Actually, I think Orgeron’s players couldn’t understand a freakin’ word he said. Cajun-speak has no translation.

  • REB

    We all hope Bo can play. He’s had some trouble with communication with some receivers. That being said he had impressive % totals for the games. I think sometimes he tries to be a little too careful. Our biggest problem now the injuries. But don’t worry, the players we have left are all gamers.

  • REB

    You said you tired of sucking. Just quit sucking.You don’t have to. Ole Miss doesn’t but said you do. Well fine head on over to MOOO Town. This team had the highest recruiting class in history of any program in MS last year and is headed for another great class. Now tell me we are not making up ground in a hurry. A 1st grader could see the progress Ole Miss is making progress in leaps and bounds but you can’t see a thing. Let’s face it troll they could win the national championship an you still couldn’t see a thing.

    • Kevin

      You call 1-3 in the SEC progress? What has the highest recruiting class done for our fortunes on the field?

      • Roger Davis

        Are you serious? That stellar recruiting class have six games under their belt and some may not have played in every game. What you’re looking for is an automatic fix. Guess what? It doesn’t happen like that.

        • Kevin

          1-3 SEC start spells out the writing on the wall with LSU, Missouri, State College, Arkansas all looming. Maybe we beat Troy and Idaho, but given what this team has shown me to date, another SEC win is a long shot.

          • Roger Davis

            Can’t have progress with such negativity.

  • the_rocket

    If someone had not recorded the outburst, Freeze would have denied it ever happened. He’ll say or do whatever it takes, as long as he can keep up his little “family” illusion going for recruiting.

  • doubletripper

    coach freeze is a class act. in the heat of the moment he showed that he is also human. we need to stop all of the name calling and finger pointing and all get behind this team and coach. HOTTY TODDY AND GO REBS.

  • Pragmatic

    Brunetti would have won the last two week’s games for you guys. Wallace is a wash. Gets a case of the happy feet and acts like he forgets the play he called. Not a leader. But hey, all I have to say is War Eagle and thanks for leaving him in the game.

    • DownGoesBrown

      That first sentence in your post speaks volumes about your football IQ. BB is a much better runner than Wallace, but BB is a weaker passer. Add the fact that Brunetti’s playing with an injured throwing shoulder and an o-line that had some poor performances against Bammer and the Barn, stating that he would’ve won those games is a stretch. Barry should get more snaps, though, as he seems to keep defenses off balance.

      • Pragmatic

        Speaks volumes? Really. Well in the Auburn game Big Happy Feet flunked out on the last 2 drives for UM and gave Auburn a Pick 6 early on. If you go back and watch the tape of the last two UM drives you can see how uncomfortable he is. In the Vandy game, with time running out, it was not his outstanding passing arm that pulled through for you. In the A&M game, UM takes the lead by a TD and gives Johnny Comeback the ball with tons of time, in which they score. A&M does not kick the onside but actually gives the ball back to the offense which was lead by Happy Feet, the rest is history. I never said bench Walleye. I said Brunetti would have had a better chance to win the games. Mainly because Wallace runs the read/option like an elephant tap dances; not very well. The up tempo spread offenses that are effective in today’s collegiate level game are successful at running the read/option. Bo has proven that he has trouble reading secondaries and has been most successful on play actions where the receiver is basically standing all alone 7 yards from the nearest defender. I do not fault you for defending him, but at least admit that his ability to win games when it counts is lacking.
        At the end of the day, I really don’t care who you guys put in the position, but Brunetti has shown that he brings more to the table than Wallace. And yes, Brunetti would have given your team a better shot at winning the last two games by bringing a duel threat to the table. And we will not even begin to talk about feeding Moncreif which has been less than stellar over the last 3 games. Either way, War Eagle and I hope you guys get bowl eligible.