Rebels, Bulldogs facing more SEC tests

By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal

Ole Miss takes its first crack at a sixth bowl-bid clinching victory against one of the SEC East leaders on the road, and Mississippi State tries to regroup with a dangerous opponent coming to Starkville.
Ole Miss visits No. 7 Georgia for the first time since 2007, and Mississippi State entertains SEC newcomer Texas A&M.
That’s how Week 10 of college football shapes up locally.
MSU, ranked No. 17 by the AP this week, had climbed to No. 13 in the AP Top 25, No. 12 in the coaches poll and No. 11 in the BCS rankings before falling from the ranks of the unbeaten in a 38-7 loss at No. 1 Alabama on Saturday night.
While the Bulldogs (7-1, 3-1 SEC) were struggling with the Crimson Tide, Texas A&M, ranked No. 16 this week, was having an easier time farther south in Alabama where it defeated Auburn 63-21.
The Aggies (6-2, 3-2 SEC) lead the SEC in total offense, rushing offense and scoring offense.
After ending a 16-game SEC losing streak against struggling Auburn, the Rebels posted their second-straight league win against Arkansas in Little Rock.
After early-season issues, the Razorbacks looked to be getting things together – getting healthier and protecting the football – after a 24-7 win at Auburn and a dominant 49-7 home win against Kentucky.
But the Rebels rallied from an early 10-0 deficit and won on the game’s final play.
on the rise
Georgia rose five spots in the AP rankings on Sunday after upsetting then-No. 3 Florida 17-9.
Ole Miss is 5-3 overall, 2-2 in SEC play, and first-year coach Hugh Freeze likes how his team has come together since a 66-31 loss to Texas in Week 3.
Freeze: “I ripped them in our Sunday meeting, and it was the first time they’d seen that side of me. It was in a good way, but it was to say, ‘Hey, it’s time for you to expect more of yourself after watching that film. If you can’t tackle the guy after a 5-yard gain because of physics, that’s one thing. But if you choose to fit the wrong gap, that’s a whole different thing.
“If you want to have success in this program and be on the field, you’ve got to do your job, expect to do your job and expect to do it well.’”
parrish.alford@journalinc.com