By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said he will devote more time to his team’s academics this week and took the opportunity on Monday to offer a reminder of the situation he and his staff inherited.
The Rebels have an open date heading into next week’s matchup at Arkansas.
A number of Ole Miss players had academic hurdles to clear in the off-season before they could play in 2012. Most of them – not all – made it.
“We want to remind everyone that we inherited a bad situation academically with 25 kids,” Freeze said. “Just because we were able to get them eligible does not mean they’re out of the danger zone.”
The Rebels will focus on fundamentals today and Wednesday – especially on special teams.
Through seven games the Rebels are 13th in the SEC in kick returns, last in punt returns. They are last in kick coverage, 13th in opponent third-down percentage.
Guard Aaron Morris (hand, ankle, nose), freshman defensive back Mike Hilton (concussion) and tight end Jamal Mosley (knee) are expected to be OK.
Freeze said Mosley could have a slight tear somehwere in his knee, but at this point he’s expected to finish the season.
Hilton drew his first start as the dime back when the Rebels opened with an extra defensive back against Texas Aamp&M.
He finished with two sacks and a forced fumble against the Aggies and was credited with five tackles, a tackle for loss and a pressure against Auburn.
SEC honors Rose
Ole Miss kicker Bryson Rose was one of three special teams players honored by the SEC on Monday.
Rose, a senior from Raleigh, N.C., shared the award with Tennessee’s Cordarrelle Patterson and Arkansas kicker Zach Hocker.
Rose hit both of his field goal attempts – from 39 and 28 yards – as well as all five PATs and recorded three touchbacks in the Rebels’ 41-20 win over Auburn.
After missing his first four field goal attempts of the season, he’s hit three straight and seven of his last eight.