That's why Ole Miss players say not to read too much into their three losses in Gainesville. Their confidence is not a problem, they say.
"We have a lot of older guys who have been in this type of situation where you didn't play well for a weekend, then you come back next week and beat somebody," relief pitcher Jake Morgan said. "It doesn't matter what they're ranked. Baseball's one of those sports. Anybody can beat anybody."
The next chance to beat somebody is tonight at 6:30 at Arkansas State. When the two teams met previously Matt Smith homered, and Matt Snyder was 3 for 4 as Ole Miss defeated Arkansas State 4-3 on Feb. 23 to improve to 5-0.
It's a different Ole Miss team that travels to Jonesboro this evening. The Rebels (24-20) were outscored 24-6 at Florida and have lost five of their last six, all in conference play. Ole Miss is currently eighth in the SEC overall standings, the last spot that qualifies for the SEC tournament.
After Arkansas State, they get No. 2 South Carolina in Oxford this weekend.
"We have to be realistic. Florida's a really good team, and we have to come back strong this week," sophomore second baseman Alex Yarbrough said. "There's nowhere to go but up from here. We have a game (tonight) that we need to use as a confidence-builder and get our mojo back a little bit."
That won't happen if the Rebels (24-20) overlook the Red Wolves. Coached by former Mississippi State assistant Tommy Raffo, Arkansas State is 22-24 overall, 10-11 and in sixth place in the Sun Belt Conference.
Morgan's outing was one of the bright spots for Ole Miss in Gainesville. He was pitching for the first time since being pulled from Game 3 against Alabama with shoulder pain on the opening weekend of SEC play.
Morgan threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings against the Gators.
"He's not 100 percent, but he also showed why he's so good and so valuable. You're talking about a guy who hasn't pitched in six weeks. I think he threw 11 strikes and two balls. He made it look easy out there," Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said.
Contact Parrish Alford at 678-1600