By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – After reviewing game video from the Rebels’ 37-10 loss to then-No. 7 Georgia, Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze felt better about his team’s effort if not its execution and decisions.
“I expected to watch the film and say that some kids didn’t play real hard, but after watching it, particularly from the defensive side, our kids played extremely hard throughout the game,” Freeze said.
Georgia ran 73 plays in the game, totaling 533 yards. Eight of those plays accounted for 278 yards.
Freeze said he felt the game “turned on about four plays.”
Two of those were in the second quarter when Ole Miss was on offense. After safety Cody Prewitt recovered a Georgia fumble at the Bulldogs’ 31, Vincent Sanders fumbled after making a catch near the 15.
The Rebels survived that turnover and gained another Georgia fumble only to see Bo Wallace throw an interception trying to reach tight end Jamal Mosley deep downfield.
“One of the four plays I’m talking about that turned the game; he got pressure and decided to try to make a long throw, on the run back across the middle, which you can’t do in this league. That was one of the four that turned the momentum against us,” said Freeze, who was quick to credit Wallace for making good throws in the game.
Freeze said following the game that he wanted to see the video before commenting too much on Wallace’s performance.
He had more to say about Wallace’s decisions against scrambling rather than where he threw the ball.
“He decided to make throws when he saw that he had some people that were semi-open, but their closing speed made us pay nearly every time. If you just move the chains we get another set of downs and can try more stuff and get more plays in,” Freeze said.
Freeze said quite a few players are banged up, but is hopeful that most will play against Vanderbilt this week.
Injuries that took away Wesley Pendleton (ankle) and Senquez Golson (concussion) – two of the team’s top three cornerbacks – were costly at Georgia. Pendleton’s status is unclear, but Freeze said he expects Golson to be available.
Aaron Garbutt, backup at the “stinger” linebacker, remains hospitalized with flu-like symptoms.
While the run game has failed to reach 100 yards in back-to-back games, Freeze says he is pleased with starting tailback Jeff Scott, who has surpassed 100 yards three times this season.
That being said, Freeze said he may look at ways to keep Scott “fresher” deeper into games.
That could result in more carries for Randall Mackey, but also for freshmen I’Tavius Mathers and Jaylen Walton, whose rush attempts decreased with the coming of SEC play.