By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Is it possible rebuilding Ole Miss overlooked Texas?
It isn’t likely, but being too loose before a big non-conference game on national television was one of several concerns for Rebels coach Hugh Freeze as he worked to apply how and why to his team’s 66-31 loss.
Freeze said players being in the right place on defense – the “fits” – weren’t as good as they needed to be, but sometimes the fits were on the mark, and “physics took over” against the faster Longhorns.
Off the field, Freeze thought the Rebels might have been a little too casual the night before.
“There’s a difference in being loose and being goofy, and I thought Friday night we were kind of borderline with that, particularly some of our young kids,” Freeze said.
The team spends its Friday nights before home games at a Tupelo hotel.
Players say behavior was nothing out of the ordinary but may have included more laughter than necessary when getting mentally ready for a game.
“It’s not like we were acting like buffoons or anything,” junior offensive lineman Emmanuel McCray said. “When you’re on that stage, you need to be zeroed in. It’s a new coaching staff, and you don’t know what demeanor they want you to carry. Simple as that.”
Moncrief leads SEC
Sophomore Donte Moncrief leads the SEC in receiving yards per game at 106.7 and is tied for third in receptions at 18.
Moncrief had seven catches for a career-high 144 yards against Texas. Only one other wide receiver – slot Korvic Neat with four – had more than one catch.
“I think they’re all doing a great job, Donte’s just making the plays right now. Vince (Sanders) is capable of doing the things Donte does, and so is Korvic,” quarterback Bo Wallace said. “We just have to get them the ball and see what they can do with it.”
Four balls went to tight ends against Texas, three to Jamal Mosley, one to Ferbia Allen.
Seeking third victory
McCray says he doesn’t look at a schedule in August and circle games he thinks the Rebels will win.
Some people who do felt like the Rebels had a good chance to be 3-1 heading into SEC play Sept. 29 at Alabama.
They can achieve that by winning at Tulane this week.
“It’s a pretty big deal. Some teams that are in the SEC haven’t turned out to be what everybody thought they were. Our schedule is looking a little lighter than it did before, and going into the SEC at 3-1 would definitely help our confidence,” he said.