Freeze said there were some really good things after watching the film. The quarterbacks played really well. They were efficient at running the ball. On the negative side, they weren't good on third down. That was caused some by the scoreboard.
They were really good no third down on defense and forced two turnovers. They gave up too many rushing yards and need to work on fits more, but they didn't allow explosive plays. It was Ole Miss' best, complete game. They didn't give up the momentum at any time like they did in the other games.
Memphis is an explosive offense that will test Ole Miss again. Ole Miss excited to play Memphis. They're a confident team that has put up some crazy numbers offensively. Freeze expects the fans to take it up a level in the first night game of the season at home. He challenged the fans to make it a difficult atmosphere for Memphis. Revenge as a motivator is very helpful in getting ready to play. Freeze wants to prepare as much as possible for a good football team. They won't get into what happened last year. The game will have their full attention.
There are a lot of young players in Ole Miss' secondary. They haven't played much football. The coaches have worked hard with them so they don't give up explosive plays. They weren't as disciplined as they need to be, but it was much improved. They keep getting better.
The defense works best with Gates and Caldwell at stinger and Mageo and Bing-Dukes at MLB.
McDowell had his best game of his career. He improved his status in the rotation. His effort was really good.
Pennamon had a good game on Saturday. Freeze was impressed with how he ran. That will earn him more snaps.
Freeze expects Montrell Custis and Carlos Davis to both be available on Saturday.
Ole Miss once again raced out to an early lead against a top-15 opponent. This time, against No. 11 Georgia, they didn't let the game slip away. Or even come close to becoming a competitive game. Instead, it looked like the two teams didn't belong on the same field together.
"We had really good work in practice, but we were not emotional," Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said. "My gut told me all week that its a great sign. They're disappointed. They're ticked, and they'll be ready to go."
They were ready to go. The Rebels played a near flawless game after an emotional game last week, easily dispatching the Bulldogs 45-14. Ole Miss put up the first 45 points of the game to never give Georgia a chance. The Rebels scored on its first drive and continued the onslaught throughout the first half to build the largest halftime lead since the 2008 Egg Bowl at 31-0.
"I have tremendous respect for the Georgia Bulldogs and their program," Freeze said. "Kirby (Smart) is going to do a great job. I can't think of many times in my lifetime where a team has done that to Georgia."
Georgia isn't a team that's accustomed to being blown out like the Rebels did to them. Since 2004, they had only trailed by more than two scores at halftime 10 times. The 31-point loss was Georgia's worst since 2011.
Chad Kelly and the offense shredded the Georgia defense, putting up over 500 yards for the second-consecutive week. The big stat, though, was that Kelly turned the ball over zero times. The mistakes that plagued the Rebels for two games this season didn't exist on Saturday.
"Everybody wants to make it out to be great strategy by the opposing coaches or us," Freeze said. "The reality is that if we don't turn the ball over, we don't talk about all the strategy. That's what happened to us in both of those game."
The success on offense wasn't limited to throwing the ball in the air. Ole Miss racked up 180 yards on the ground. Since Freeze took over, Ole Miss is now 31-3 when rushing for at least 150 yards.
"I love running the football," Freeze said. "It sets up our pass, and you have to have the appearance that you're willing to run it. I've said all along that I thought we could before the year is up. Today we were efficient enough that I knew we were balanced."
The defense returned to its opportunistic Landshark form, forcing freshman quarterback Jacob Eason to turn the ball over twice. Getting off the field had been an issue for Ole Miss, but it wasn't against Georgia. The Bulldogs finished 4-for-16 on third down conversions, and a couple of those came late in the game.
"We had some different things in the backend that I don't think he's seen," Freeze said. "Our guys collapsed the pocket on him early on. It was a good plan by (defensive coordinator) Dave (Wommack) and his staff."
The win was Ole Miss' eighth against a top-15 team since Freeze took over in 2012. In that time span, only Alabama and Stanford have more.
Ole Miss and Georgia coaches will be wearing special arm patches on Saturday in honor of the American Football Coaches Association's Coach to Cure MD program. The partnership is to raise funding and awareness of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Currently, there is no cure for the disease.
This is the ninth year coaches have joined together for this cause. The program has raised more than $1.2 million for the cause.
Fans can learn more by visiting http://www.coachtocuremd.org/.
Ole Miss fans can take pictures with the Heisman Trophy before the Georgia game from 8 a.m. until kickoff outside of the north side of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
Former Rebels Romaro Miller and Todd Wade will also be present for autograph sessions and a Chalk Talk session with ESPN's Neil Everett. Miller will sign autographs from 9 until 9:30. The Chalk Talk begins at 9:30 with both former players, and then Wade will sign from 10 until 10:30.
Fans can also cast a vote in Nissan's official ballot for the Heisman and win prizes in interactive games.
Ole Miss football continues to be a the center of the college football world. In game one, the Rebels and Seminoles broke the ESPN streaming record. Now in week three, the Ole Miss and Alabama game is the highest rated daytime game of the season.
More than that, it doubled up the CBS week three game from last season. Few teams have had more eyes on them this season than Ole Miss through three games.
The Ole Miss coaches knew they had signed a special class last year. However, the MLB Draft has a way of eating into those classes. Ole Miss Baseball in the past has been unlucky with losing some recruits to the draft. This year, they couldn't have been more fortunate.
The Rebels have brought in 18 talented newcomers for the 2017 season. That includes seven high-school All-Americans and one junior college All-American. Five were listed in Perfect Game's top-100 high school players.
"When we signed this class back in November and a couple guys in the spring, in this talented of a class it's not likely they will all show up," Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said. "Some days start to pass and you realized that you're going to get them all. It's going to be a special class. We're really young but very talented."
The freshman class started a group text around two years ago to keep up with each other, but even the individual members didn't know how the draft was going to go for their fellow signees.
"We kept a group text going steady, checking on each other and see how everybody was doing," freshman pitcher Ryan Rolison said. "Right around the draft, we let everyone have their personal space. We didn't really talk about it. After the draft was over, we found out everyone was going to show up. We started getting pumped and chatting a little more."
One player in particular that Rolison did not expect to make it to campus is his now roommate Cooper Johnson. Johnson was ranked the No. 39 draft prospect by Perfect Game.
"We talked to each other on draft day," Rolison said. "We were going to see how it played out. After that first night, we called each other and said, 'Let's go to Ole Miss and do something big there.'"
The freshmen have been on campus since the summer, but they've already experienced some of the difference between high school baseball and major college baseball. In particular, they've learned what strength coach Ben Fleming's workouts are all about.
"It's a big change from high school," Rolison said. "I talked to some of the players here, and they tried to explain Strength Ben's workouts. You can't really explain them until you actually do it. That first week adjusting to his workouts we were sore all the time."
While Ole Miss will be extremely talented, the team consists of only eight juniors or seniors.
"We have a lot of new faces out there, so we will have to be patient," Bianco said. "It's one of those falls where we'll probably have to take an extra day when we do bunt defenses and things like that. There are a lot of new guys at different positions."
However, Ole Miss was fortunate to return two experienced bats in Tate Blackman and Colby Bortles. They'll be leaned upon to be steady hands in the batting order as well as being leaders.
"Last year at this time and into the spring, we didn't expect Colby or Tate to return," Bianco said. "To get them both back is huge, and maybe more so this year. You have so many young guys, there aren't many veterans. Those guys are significant guys that bat in the middle of the lineup and are leaders. When you return middle of the lineup guys, you feel better about your offense."
A trimmed-up Blackman is excited to see what the freshmen are all about during the intrasquads in their first fall on campus.
"We're going to challenge them," Blackman said. "Everybody is good when they get here. We're all studs when we come. We're going to test their mental toughness and see how tough they are. Strength Ben definitely challenges them in the weight room. We're going to challenge them on the field."
Bianco hopes that the freshmen continue to do what they've done all their lives, play baseball very well.
"A lot of times, the freshmen put a little too much pressure on themselves," Bianco said. "That's one of the goals, to get them to play just like they did in high school when they played with that same mindset."
Freeze saw a lot of great things on the film but is disappointed to let another lead slip away. There are mistakes being made on the defensive side, especially with 3rd down and explosive plays. They have to fix turnovers on offense. You can't give great teams like Alabama 14 points and turn the ball over.However, they played a lot of young kids that competed and played their hearts out. Putting up 500 yards on an Alabama defense is special, but have to fix turnovers.
Teams needs a boost from the crowd on Saturday as they have another tough game on Saturday against Georgia. Freeze wants Rebel Nation to get their sleep on Friday and be with the team on Saturday.
Kirby Smart has done a great job, and this will be another great task for them. They have to figure out how to finish games. They knew September was going to be tough. They're playing with a ton of energy and confidence. They have great players. That program believes they're supposed to win. Last week gave Jacob Eason a lot of confidence, and he's coming into his own. He's got a big arm and all the tools. Ole Miss has to keep eye discipline and stay in its fits to slow down Georgia's talented running backs.
The team doesn't like to set goals besides competing on the current day. Becoming relevant creates expectations that create winning celebrations and disappointing losses. This month, they've had the disappointed losses. Freeze is glad the team is relevant and in the fight. They have a chance to beat some of the nation's best. They have to grow up and finish games, but he's proud of where the program is. Week-to-week, they prepare to win.
When you play great teams, they can come back and beat you. Ole Miss gave both of those teams opportunities by making mistakes that led to them making plays. Alabama and Florida State have some of the best players in the nation and no lead is really safe.
Engram making the decision to come back was the right thing to do. He's boosted his stock by coming back. Engram is a tough matchup, and he's worked hard to get to where he's at.
Victor Evans should be back. Fadol Brown is doubtful and a long-term issue. Brazley is okay and didn't have a concussion.
The time of possession wasn't a big problem on Saturday. When the team slows down, they're not nearly as efficient. When they go fast, they're more efficient but score quickly. When conventional wisdom is to slow down on offense, they haven't been very good like before halftime on Saturday.
Coaching, technique, and assignments have to improve to improve 3rd down defense. Scrambling QBs have hurt them, but they have to get off the field. They should get better with every rep.
At the 5:28 mark in the fourth quarter, Jonathan Allen grabbed a Chad Kelly pass and took it 75 yards from the end zone. It ended a drive that was looking to pull the game back to one score and instead gave Alabama a three-score advantage.
It was the second time the Alabama defense scored off of turnovers, not to mention another touchdown added by the Crimson Tide's punt return unit. The Rebels are a young team, and it was almost expected the ending would be nondescript.
Instead, the Rebels put together two quick scores with an onside kick sandwiched in-between to make the game one score. Ole Miss made mistakes to see a first half lead disappear, but it wasn't due to a lack of effort.
"I'm proud of our football team," Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said. "We're so shorthanded on defense right now, but I was pleased with the effort. We're playing a lot of young kids in a lot of areas. They competed."
Ole Miss finished with a negative turnover margin, which is something you can't do against the Tide. Alabama is 62-2 since 2008 when it finished with a positive turnover margin.
"The margin of error for winning and losing in this league is so small," Freeze said. "You can't turn it over and give 14 points and expect to beat many teams, especially Alabama."
Everyone knew when this year's schedule was released that the opening month was brutal. It doesn't ease up either, with No. 16 Georgia heading to Oxford next week. The Rebels still have a long season ahead and are adamant about bouncing back while getting some players back from injury like defensive linemen Victor Evans and Fadol Brown to help bolster the front seven.
"The leadership of this team is what I think it is, I expect them to respond like they always have," Freeze said. "You depend upon the leadership in the locker room. We're competing at a high level. The schedule we're playing is a tough one. Injuries haven't been our friend either."
Ole Miss played the best team in the nation and lost. While it's disappointing now, the season aheads holds many opportunities to put this loss behind them.
"I'm excited to get back on the field with those guys," Freeze said. "I love the fight and the effort. We have to get some things corrected and a get a few guys back."
SEC Network's traveling pre-game show, SEC Nation, will be making its third appearance in The Grove on Saturday before the Ole Miss-Alabama game.
The show takes place on The Grove stage from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., and airs on SEC Network. Campus parking lots and SEC Nation's "The Pit" open at 7 a.m. for those that want to be close to the action.
After SEC Nation ends, the pregame festivities don't slow down. The Walk of Champions follows at 12:30 with the Pride of the South's Grove show taking place a half-hour later.
The band takes the field at 2:10 with the national anthem taking place at 2:15. Then, kickoff at 2:30 for Ole Miss' first SEC game of the year against the defending national champion.
The show's prior visits to The Grove were in 2014 for Ole Miss-Tennessee and 2015 for the Arkansas game.
Former Rebels racked up nine starts and 637 snaps in week one of the NFL season.
- Bradley Sowell (SEA) - Started at LT. 82 on offense, 3 on ST
- Michael Oher (CAR) - Started at LT. 73 on offense, 5 on ST
- Jermey Parnell (JAC) - Started at RT. 72 on offense, 5 on ST
- Donte Moncrief (IND) - Started at WR. 68 on offense, 1 on ST
- John Jerry (NYG) - Started at RG. 56 on offense, 3 on ST
- Bobby Massie (CHI) - Started at RT. 56 on offense, 2 on ST
- Eli Manning (NYG) - Started at QB. 56 on offense
- Laremy Tunsil (MIA) - Started at LG. 53 on offense, 3 on ST
- Mike Wallace (BAL) - Started at WR. 44 on offense
- Robert Nkemdiche (ARI) - 15 on defense, 6 on ST
- Kendrick Lewis (BAL) - 3 on defense, 16 on ST
- Brandon Bolden (NE) - 15 on ST
- Laquon Treadwell (MIN) - DNP
- Cody Core (CIN) - Inactive
- Channing Ward (TB) - Inactive
- Gerald Rivers (HOU) - IR
- Jamarca Sanford (NO) - IR
- Senquez Golson (PIT) - Injured
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