Notes from Freeze's Press Conference

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There's another SEC road game this week. This one means a lot to our people. They'll let their players know about the history of the matchup between Ole Miss and LSU.

The Arkansas game was frustrating. Ole Miss has to improve to get ready for an LSU team that is super talented. Their offense has rolled up big numbers in the last two games. They're very talented on offense. Defensively, they've always been one of the best in the country. LSU is one of the better teams in the country. It's a great opportunity, and they have to show resolve. They have a lot of work to do this week. They're excited about going to play LSU.

Freeze has reached out to Orgeron several times. They spoke last week. He's indebted to Coach Orgeron because he gave him the opportunity to come to Ole Miss. Freeze's career might not have happened the same way without that opportunity. Orgeron has always been good to him. Orgeron is the most passionate coach that Freeze has ever been around. He came to work every day with that same drive. 

Orgeron seems different with his approach from when he was at Ole Miss, and it's working for him. They've played two games and looked really good.

LSU is playing with great passion. They're multiple on offense now while staying balanced. Their run game has always been good, but they're using their talent at WR now.

Night games on the road in the SEC are all difficult. It's no different in Baton Rouge. They have passionate fans, and it's a large stadium. When it's hard to communicate and when they give energy to the home team, it makes it difficult. 

The team has to prepare like Leonard Fournette is going to play in this game after missing two weeks.

The receivers have played well. It just happened that drops happened in critical times. Sometimes, drops happen. Over the season, the position has been a strength for the team. They were not happy with themselves after the game.

Ole Miss had three critical third downs against Arkansas where a missed tackle gave Arkansas the first. It wasn't always the linebacker fits, but they were inconsistent at times.

The West is extremely strong and deep and talented. It's getting better as the season goes on. 

You find out a lot about your kids after the start to this season. This is a bit foreign when the high expectations are not met early on in the season. You have to go answer the bell. A lot of teams are in the same situation as Ole Miss. Ole Miss has proven that it can win, and it's proven that it can lose. Finding a way to motivate when those losses come is a difficult challenge. Ole Miss has to rally and respond. It's what the school expects and the people deserve.

When you play the quality of teams that Ole Miss has played, you can lose. It doesn't mean you didn't play well all the time. The offense has been good outside of some turnovers. 

He thinks that they had recruited really well under Orgeron when he was at Ole Miss. The staff thought they were close to turning the corner, but they didn't win enough games in the last season. 

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Rebel greats Jake Gibbs and Joe Gibbon will take part in a World Series viewing party hosted by the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame on the opening night of the Fall Classic. 

Gibbs and Gibbon will be joined by other current and former MLB players and coaches. The lineup includes Jay Powell, Jeff Brantley, Chris Maloney, Stan Cliburn, Chad Bradford, and Barry Lyons.

The doors will open at 5:30 with a reception and a dinner.  At 6:30 the players will come on stage and answer questions about their experiences.  At game-time everyone is invited to stay and watch Game 1 on the big screens throughout the museum.  All proceeds go to support the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.  Tickets must be purchased in advance and are available at the Museum office or online at www.msfame.com.  

Notes from Freeze's Press Conference

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Hugh Freeze said that the team enjoyed the off-week. There was a lot of work to be done though with things like recruiting while also improving and getting the team healthy. Ole Miss continues to be in the hunt for some of the top high school players. The bye week is not really a break for coaches will practices and recruiting. 

The SEC has changed, but it's just as tough as ever. The offenses are much different than they used to be. The offenses and skill guys give anyone a chance to make a comeback. Games are never over. 

Ole Miss is playing another one of the top teams in the nation in Arkansas. Arkansas' offense reminds Freeze of the Rebels. Arkansas is extremely gritty. They get that from their coaches and quarterback Austin Allen. He will stay in the pocket and take hits while still throwing the ball accurately. Watching Austin Allen is very similar to watching Brandon Allen. 

Arkansas has been a problem for Ole Miss over the last couple years. They have to get the team ready to play well in a tough environment. The last two games have been completely different. Ole Miss couldn't score and wasn't mentally there after losing Treadwell for the season in the 2014 game. Last year, it was a shootout where Ole Miss thought it had the game won a few times.

Freeze doesn't think players look back at games from previous years. It doesn't help prepare if that's what the focus is on. Their focus will be on a plan that will succeed against this Arkansas team.

Third down will be important against Arkansas to stay on the field and keep Allen off the field. 

Arkansas tries to make you make mistakes on defenses. Last year, they were able to have success against that. They try to bend, but not break much like Ole Miss' defense does. 

Fadol Brown will try to play this week, but they won't know how he is until they practice again.


Freeze and Kelly on SEC Film Room (Video)

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Ole Miss faced a difficult opening month of the season, but there's no doubt about the exposure the Rebels received during the opening month of the season.

Two of the four most watched games to this point in the season involved Ole Miss. Ole Miss is the only team this season to have multiple games exceed the 8 million viewer mark (Ole Miss-FSU, Ole Miss-Alabama). 

For viewer numbers of every game this season, click here.

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Freeze and Kelly to be Featured on SEC Film Room

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Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze and starting quarterback Chad Kelly will be appearing on SEC Film Room on SEC Network to break down the Memphis game with former Georgia QB David Greene. 

The show will first air on SEC Network at 6:30 tonight (October 5) with a rerun following at 9:30. On Thursday, it will be on at 8:30 a.m., and 1 p.m. It will also air on Friday at 12:30 p.m, and Saturday at 8 a.m. 

It's a 30 minute show where players and coaches break down plays and explain why certain decisions were made. 

Ole Miss Puts Away Tigers to Head into Bye Week

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With 3:36 left in the third quarter, Ole Miss had allowed Memphis to march down the field for a 99-yard touchdown drive to pull the game to within one score. A three possession lead had been diminished to six points. 

This time, there were no self-inflicted wounds to let momentum swing too far into their opponent's favor. Ole Miss quickly went 65 yards capped off by a Chad Kelly touchdown pass to Evan Engram. The defense then forced a three-and-out on the Tigers' next possession and the Rebels added another touchdown. Memphis' comeback attempt was successful snuffed out.

The Rebels had an answer each time the Tigers made a push to get back in the game, finishing Memphis off 48-28. 

"I'm really happy to get this one over with," Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said. "They are a very dangerous football team that will win a lot of games. They're very talented. I give credit to our kids. We've had a very emotional September. For us to come out tonight and take care of business against another undefeated team, I'm really pleased."

The Ole Miss offense once again was clicking from the very beginning, piling up over 600 yards against a defense that had allowed 27 points over their first three games.

"Offensively, we answered when we needed to," Freeze said. "We were efficient for most of the night. We were very balanced which makes us pretty good."

The Rebels were able to have real success on the ground, especially in the second half when they piled up over 200 yards rushing. Both Akeem Judd and Eugene Brazley eclipsed 100 yards, the first time the Rebels produced two 100-yard rushers since 2014. For Ole Miss under Freeze, 150 yards on the ground has been the magic number. When the Rebels eclipse that mark like they did tonight, they're 32-3 since 2012. 

"We worked really hard on a plan to rush the ball against these guys," Freeze said. "They do a lot of different stuff. You can always be one play behind against them because they're so multiple in what they do. We worked very hard on a check system that would get us into the soundest play against them."

Ole Miss' defense was able to return to their opportunistic form, forcing Memphis into four turnovers on the game. Ole Miss finished on the right side of the turnover margin for the second game in a row, this time +3. When Ole Miss wins the turnover battle since 2014, they're now 12-1. 

"Turnovers always impact the game," Freeze said. "It was nice to see. We've been on the other end of that twice this year where the turnovers cost us games."

Ole Miss gets a very valuable bye week to rest some injuries and have a week to help younger players become more comfortable in the system.

"We have a lot of kids out," Freeze said. "Some are not coming back, obviously. For some of the younger kids, we can quit game planning for half of the practice and just work on technique and our eyes being in the right place. We won't have long practices but half of them we can work on some stuff."

After the week of rest, the Rebels jump right back into the gauntlet that is the SEC with road trips to Arkansas and LSU. 

Notes from Freeze's Press Conference

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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.

Rebels Weren't Letting Another Slip Away

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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. 

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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/. 

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    Tiffany J. Moore said:

    This is amazing with what he have done so far! Hope that he'll achieve more in the future!

    in post Evan Engram Hauls in Midseason Accolades

    Fiftyyears fan said:

    How can you have five straight top 25 recruiting classes and look as bad as Ole Miss has this year. Easy lack of coaching fundamentals. Look at Mason at Vandy, nothing but 2 and 3 star recruits out of high school and he developers players that want to win. Hugh freeze has 3, 4 & 5 recruits and he expects them to win because of what they were in High School. Mr. Freeze you have not been teaching the fundamentals of football or winning in life. Mr. Freeze you have quit on your players because you have some false expectations of what they are instead of what you can develop in them. Either do your job or quit. Oh yea, please quit running your smoke and mirrors offense, everyone has figured it out. Run a physical offense that can open up holes for your running backs and then your pass attack want require 12 are 14 four and five star receivers. Mr. Freeze you have problems and you need to know that you are not smarter than the rest of the coaches in the SEC.

    in post Rebels Unable to Send Senior Class Out on a High Note

    Karen Holden said:

    Not every pass can be caught. Too low, too short whatever. Not every Kelly pass is perfect. Records were broken by receivers also. But they sre not going to catch every ball thrown. The loss to Auburn was not one players fault. You win or lose as a team.

    in post Late Mistake Spoils Chad Kelly's Historic Performance

    Trent browning said:

    Hey I was just wandering if these are the only 2 olemiss players signing. If there are more signing please respond to me ASAP. Also wondering if neil everett will sign any autographs. Thank you very much

    in post Heisman House Tour Heads to Oxford for Ole Miss-Georgia

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