- Ole Miss overcame a 17-point deficit to knock off Coastal Carolina 71-68 Thursday night.
- Senior LaDarius White scored a career-high 26 points including a career-best 6 3-pointers in the victory.
- The Rebels will face Southeast Missoui Monday night in Southaven before an eight-day holiday break.
-Ole Miss extended its win streak to three straight with wins over Southern Miss and Alabama A&M. Ole Miss who had dropped its previous two contests is moves to 9-3 on the seasons with a chance to close the non-conference slate with a 10-3 record, which would be the best non-conference record since 2011-12.
-Tia Faleru posted her 23rd career double-double against Alabama A&M with 24 points and 14 rebounds. It was her first double-double since nabbing 29 points and 19 rebounds in a win over Southern on Nov. 20. Additionally, with Faleru's 24 points Ole Miss had its first 20-point scorer since the Nov 28 Utah game when Toree Thompson had a career-high 23 points.
-A'Queen Hayes earned her first career start against Southern Miss and also started the Alabama A&M game. In her first career start Hayes tallied 10 points for her second career game in double figures. In her two carer starts, Hayes is averaging 9.5 points.
-Tia Faleru played her 100th career game against Alabama A&M joining Danielle McCray as active players to play in 100 career games. Amber Singletary will also join the century club this season. Additionally, head coach Matt Insell earned his 20th career victory against Southern Miss.
The students were off for the first week of winter break, but Observations from the Best Seat in the House presses on, as the football team moves closer to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and the men's and women's basketball teams near the end of non-conference play. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week that was:
- Monday was a milestone day for the Forward Together campaign, as Ole Miss unveiled the master plans for the Vaught-Hemingway Stadium renovation and expansion. The three main takeaways are the expansion to 64,038 by the start of the 2016 season, accommodating 5,500 more Rebel fans, the student section expansion and move to the soon-to-be bowled-in end zone and the emphasis on quality of experience compared to quantity of number of fans. Here are two video related to the announcement: Forward Together: North End Zone Expansion and Forward Together: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Expansion Fly-Through
- Wednesday was also a big day for the football program, as head coach Hugh Freeze inked the nation's top quarterback (Chad Kelly), defensive tackle (D.J. Jones) and cornerback (Tony Bridges) on junior college national signing day. All three have the potential to play key roles on next year's team.
- Congrats to former linebackers coach Tom Allen who was named the defensive coordinator at South Florida. He is one of the most engaging and personable coaches you will meet, and talking to his players and fellow coaches, you can tell he was admired and respected at Ole Miss.
- Interestingly, this is only the second coaching staff change under head coach Hugh Freeze and the first since co-defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach Wesley McGriff left for the New Orleans after the 2012 season. Between the on-field success and the increase in the salary pool for the football staff, Ole Miss should be competitive in filling the position.
"That was the only thing I asked for," said Freeze of the increase. "Let's up that so we will remain competitive in this conference in that regard because I really like continuity. Unless a guy gets an opportunity, like a Tom Allen, where you get to run your own defense or offense. You have to understand those moves. I took those chances, and I want others to get the same opportunity. I don't want to lose someone just because it's a lateral move and we're not competitive."
- To quote the oft-used sports metaphor, the Ole Miss men's basketball team's win over Coastal Carolina was a tale of two halves. Down as many as 17, the Rebels erased a 41-28 halftime deficit behind a career-high 26 points from LaDarius White and 60.9 percent shooting in the second half.
- LaDarius White continues to be a revelation for the Rebels in his senior season, averaging 13.6 points per game, second on the team behind Stefan Moody, including 14.2 ppg over his last nine games. He's also shooting nearly 50 percent from the floor and 51.4 percent from 3-point range.
- With a win over Southeastern Louisiana after the Christmas holidays, the Ole Miss women's basketball has a chance to go 10-3 for its best non-conference record since the 2011-12 season. The Rebels open Southeastern Conference on Jan. 2 at home against Arkansas.
- Congrats to the Ole Miss student-athletes who achieved the highest cumulative grade point average (2.96) in recorded history and the 10 student-athletes who received their degrees.
- The Ole Miss women's basketball team rebounded with a 88-48 win over South Alabama on Sunday. The win was the first after back-to-back losses for the Rebels for the first time this season. Ole Miss is now 7-3 on the season and can close out the non-conference slate with a 10-3 record should they win out the rest of the way, marking the best non-conference record since 2011-12.
- Bretta Hart had a career-night against South Alabama with a career-best 14 points going 7-of-8 from the floor. Hart had missed the previous seven games while recovering fem a minor knee injury. The South Alabama game was her first game since Nov. 16th's Mississippi Valley State game.
- Shequila Joseph also had a career night with a career-best eight assists besting her previous career-high of seven set last season at Tennessee. Joseph was two assists shy of the first 10-assist game for Ole Miss this season.
- The Rebels had five players in double figures against South Alabama, marking the first time this season Ole Miss has had five players in double figures. Ole Miss has twice had four players in double figures and last had four players in double figures against Southern on Nov. 20.
- Danielle McCray became the first of the Ole Miss seniors to reach 100 games played against South Alabama. Tia Faleru will be the next to reach the milestone as she now has played in 98 games while Amber Singletary has played in 93 career games.
- Junior Stefan Moody knocked down a career-high six 3-pointers and led the Rebels with 25 points, but Ole Miss (6-3) was unable to overcome a second-surge from Western Kentucky in a 81-74 loss Saturday.
With final exam week on the Ole Miss campus, there was not much game action, but there's still plenty to talk about, as Ole Miss finalized salary increases for head football coach Hugh Freeze and his staff, and the football team moved one week closer to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Wednesday, Dec. 31. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week that was:
- Freeze's new $4.3 million base salary is tied for third among Southeastern Conference head coaches and tied for seventh nationally. It increases to $5 million if the Rebels advance to the SEC Championship Game, which would be tied for second among SEC coaches and tied for tied fourth nationally.
- Also, as part of the same release, Ole Miss announced it will unveil plans, including visuals and timelines, for the expansion of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Monday, so stayed tuned for those.
- The first-ever two-time winner of the Chucky Mullins Courage Award, Deterrian Shackelford was honored for his community service and off-the-field contributions, winning the Wuerffel Trophy and being elected the AFCA Good Works Team Captain.
- The Ole Miss men's basketball team moved to 6-3 on the season, suffering its third home loss in five such games this season. The Rebels led by as many as 17, and as many as 16 in the second half, but they were unable to overcome a second-half rally from Western Kentucky in an 81-74 loss Saturday.
"It's unacceptable, quite frankly," head coach Andy Kennedy said. "It's unacceptable for me, it's unacceptable for our team. I've tried and tried and tried to infuse pride. It's hard to infuse that, I have learned. We have really tried everything we could to get them to understand the importance of protecting home floor because it's so difficult to win on the road."
- As many others noted, preseason All-SEC first team selection Jarvis Summers was held to single-digit scoring for the fourth straight game against WKU. In each of the Rebels' three losses this season, he has scored just eight points.
"Basically, just got to do what I've got to do," Summers said. "I can't make no excuses. I have to get in some rhythm. It's frustrating. I can't pout. I can't cry about it. I have to continue to put the work in."
- On the positive side, Stefan Moody led the Rebels in scoring for the fourth straight game, which has included 26 points against Cincinnati, 22 against Oregon, and most recently, 25 against WKU. He's averaging 21.3 points and has gone 14-of-27 from 3-point range during the four-game stretch.
- The Ole Miss women's basketball team rebounded from back-to-back losses with perhaps its most complete performance of the season, cruising to an 88-48 win over South Alabama on Sunday. With the win, the Rebels have a chance to go 10-3 for its best non-conference record since the 2011-12 season.
- In the win over South Alabama, five players scored in double figures and the Rebels shot a season-best 53.2 percent from the field. Defensively, Ole Miss forced 31 turnovers and held South Alabama to 29.5 percent shooting, including just four made field goals and 14 points in the second half.
- Not Ole Miss related, but if you haven't already, you should check out this Marcus Mariota Heisman tribute video from the University of Oregon Athletic Video Department. Great stuff. Mariota won the award, receiving 90.9 percent of the possible points in voting, the second-highest percentage ever.
- On an Ole Miss-related note, the Rebels will face Heisman Trophy fourth-place finisher, TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin, in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. Ole Miss has already faced and defeated the third-place (Alabama's Amari Cooper) and eight-place (Mississippi State's Dak Prescott) finishers for the award.
- Ole Miss will have at least two representatives in the NFL Playoffs, as Brandon Bolden's New England Patriots and Donte Moncrief's Indianpolis Colts clinched division titles Sunday. Check out this story on Moncrief from Stephen Holder on the Indianapolis Star.
- No. 9 Ole Miss accepted an invitation to play in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, where they will face No. 6 TCU on Dec. 31 in Atlanta's Georgia Dime.
- Ole Miss is making its third straight bowl appearance in three seasons under the direction of head coach Hugh Freeze. He's the only coach in school history to guide the Rebels to bowl berths in each of his first three seasons.
- The Rebels won nine regular-season games for the first time since 2003, defeating three 10-win teams and three conference champions along the way.
- Three of the Rebels' victories came against teams playing in access bowls: Alabama (Sugar), Mississippi State (Orange) and Boise State (Fiesta). The season-opening win over the Broncos also took place in the Georgia Dome in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic.
- Ole Miss bolsters its celebrated bowl legacy with its 36th all-time appearance, tied for 18th on the NCAA Division I list of all-time bowl berths.
- The Rebels are 23-12 in bowl games, with the 23 wins tied for ninth-most in college football history. The Rebels' .657 winning percentage is second-best among all schools.
- This will mark Ole Miss' second appearance in the Peach Bowl, having defeated Georgia Tech 41-18 in the 1971 game.
- The Rebels picked up a huge road win on Sunday with a 79-73 victory over the Oregon Ducks on Sunday. Junior Stefan Moody lead Ole Miss with 22 points including four 3-pointers, as the Rebels and avenged an overtime loss at home to the Ducks last season.
- Sophomore Sebastian Saiz added 17 points and five rebounds for Ole Miss, which also had three players off the bench in double figures and outscored the Ducks 35-5 off the bench. Senior LaDarius White finished with 13 points, and senior Aaron Jones and sophomore Dwight Coleby had 10 each.
- The win gives Ole Miss three power conference wins on the season for only the second time in school history, having knocked off Cincinnati (AAC) and Creighton (Big East) at the Emerald Coast Classic. The victory also improved the Rebels to a perfect 4-0 away from Tad Smith Coliseum.
-Ole Miss went 0-2 on the week with losses to Western Kentucky and No. 11 Baylor. The Rebels move to 6-3 on the season and have dropped back-to-back games for the first time this season and have dropped both games by double figures.
-Kiara Golden had a career-night against Western Kentucky, leading the Rebels with a team-best 19 points for her second career game in double figures. Golden's 19 marked the fourth time a freshman has scored in double figures and the third time a rookie has led Ole Miss in scoring.
-Tia Faleru grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds against Baylor. It was her third game of double figure rebounds this season and she was just one point shy of her third double-double this season. In two games against Baylor, Faleru is averaging 11 rebounds.
-For the first time this season Ole Miss was held without a double figure scorer against Baylor. The last time Ole Miss didn't have at least one player in double figures was last season at Tennessee.
In the early part of the week, Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract. In the late part of the week, the Rebels learned their postseason bowl destination. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week that was:
- Bjork and Freeze broke the news of a new contract via Twitter early Tuesday. The terms of the new contract will be released as they are finalized and are expected in the coming days.
- For the second straight season, No. 9 Ole Miss will end its season in the same city in which it began it, having defeated Boise State in Atlanta in its season opener and now returning to Atlanta for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Dec. 31 against No. 6 TCU.
"It's an exciting time in college athletics, and we are thrilled to be one of the teams selected in the first 'New Year's Six' bowls," Freeze said. "We are honored to accept this great invitation and take on an outstanding TCU team. Atlanta is a place that is very dear to our program, and it's important to us that we represent our great university."
- When the regular season was said and done, Ole Miss had defeated the only two teams to be ranked No. 1 in the CFB Playoff Rankings (Alabama and Mississippi State) and three 10-win teams (Alabama, Boise State, Mississippi State), all of whom are also playing in "New Year's Six Bowls." Check out this infographic recapping the Rebels' 2014 season.
- TCU was ranked No. 3 in the College Football Playoff rankings last week, only to fall to No. 6 behind No. 3 Florida State, No. 4 Ohio State and No. 5 Baylor in the final rankings. Despite his team's exclusion from the national semifinals, TCU head coach Gary Patterson doesn't expect a letdown.
"I don't think it will linger at all," Patterson said. "Ole Miss has been ranked as high as third in the national standings. So, for us, we know we're playing a very good football team. We want to prove that we were a team that should have been in the playoffs, and the Peach Bowl and playing Ole Miss is exactly the game we should be in."
- Freeze has become the only coach in school history to guide Ole Miss to bowl berths in each of his first three seasons.
- Ole Miss will put its 23-12 bowl record (.657 winning percentage), the second-best in the nation, and a six-game bowl win streak, tied with Florida State for the longest in the nation, on the line against TCU.
- The matchup presents the No. 1 scoring defense (Ole Miss) against the nation's No. 2 scoring offense (TCU), which as both coaches noted on the media teleconference is kind of ironic, given Freeze's background as offensive coach and Patterson's background as a defensive coach.
"He's the defensive guru that I have wanted to learn from," said Freeze of Patterson.
- The Rebels' return to Atlanta is another homecoming of sorts for nine players from the Atlanta area, headlined by Evan Engram, one of the nation's best tight ends, Mike Hilton, the Rebels' leading tackler and Robert Nkmediche, a Lombardi Award semifinalist.
- Ole Miss has traveled well for bowl games in recent years, and within hours, discounted Ole Miss student tickets for the Chick-fil-A Bowl sold out. More ticket info here.
"We were really excited to find out about the announcement of both TCU and Ole Miss because both teams are renowned for their passionate fan bases, and so we believe we'll be in for our 18th straight sellout with both fan bases flocking to Atlanta to support two of the top-10 teams in the country," said Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl president and CEO.
- Men's basketball head coach Andy Kennedy notched perhaps the best non-conference win of his nine-year tenure, as Ole Miss defeated Oregon 79-73 in Eugene on Sunday afternoon. Stefan Moody led the Rebels with 22 points, including this first-half buzzer beater.
- Through eight games, Ole Miss has three quality non-conference wins, all away from home (vs. Creighton, vs. Cincinnati, at Oregon), while both of its losses came at home against Charleston Southern and TCU.
- Similar to Kennedy who sent a message to his team a couple of weeks ago, women's basketball head coach Matt Insell said his team has to get their effort back right and their toughness has to get better, having lost back-to-back games for the first time this season.
"We have to go back to the drawing board this week and figure out some things," Insell said. "I'm going to break down film and figure out what we can fix as a basketball team and why we're not playing as well as we played over Thanksgiving break and how we can start getting back to playing better before we head into SEC play."
- No. 18 Ole Miss won the annual "Egg Bowl" rivalry 31-17 over No. 4 Mississippi State in front of another sold-out crowd at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Saturday afternoon.
- The Rebels finish the regular season with nine wins for the first time since 2003.
- This was the third win over a ranked opponent in 2014, the most in the regular season since 1969.
- Already without Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss lost fellow wideout Vince Sanders in the second quarter, and a banged-up Bo Wallace behind a banged-up offensive line posted 532 total yards (2nd-most in SEC play this year) and 205 rushing yards (most in SEC play this year).
- Jaylen Walton rushed for a career-high 148 yards, including a highlight-reel 91-yard touchdown, and Evan Engram helped fill the void in the receiving corps with a career-high 176 receiving yards (fourth-most in a game in Ole Miss history) on five catches.
- The Rebel defense held Mississippi State to a season low-tying 17 points and racked up nine tackles for loss and three sacks, the most the Bulldogs have allowed this season.
- Ole Miss finished the regular season with the nation's No. 1 scoring defense, allowing just 13.8 points per outing.
- Ole Miss completed a prefect 2-0 week to capture the inaugural Emerald Coast Classic championship Saturday with a 66-64 win over Cincinnati.
- Junior guard Stefan Moody scored a career-high 26 points, including 17 in the second half, as Ole Miss handed Cincinnati its first loss of the season. The Rebels held the Bearcats to just 30.4 percent shooting from the floor including an almost 10-minute stretch with a field goal in the second half.
- Ole Miss advanced to the championship game with a 75-68 win over No. 23 Creighton in the semifinals. It marked the Rebels' first win over a ranked for since taking down No. 18 Wisconsin the in second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Senior Jarvis Summers led Ole Miss with 23 points, while senior LaDarius White added 18, including 16 in the second half.
- White is averaging 13.0 ppg during the last five games, all wins for the Rebels, and is shooting 58.9 percent from the field.
- The Ole Miss women's basketball team picked up its first in-season tournament victory since 2011-12 and the first of the Matt Insell era by winning the 2014 Nugget Classic Championship. Ole Miss defeated Utah, 52-38, in opening round action and clinched the championship with a 77-65 win over Nevada.
- Ole Miss' win over Utah marked the first victory for the women's basketball team over a Power Five non-conference foe since defeating Illinois during the 2009-10 season -- that victory also came at an in-season tournament.
-Toree Thompson had a career-night against Utah, scoring a career-high 23 points against Utah and following that up with 15 points and going 8-of-8 from the free-throw line against Nevada. Her efforts earned her MVP of the 2014 Nugget Classic. She was joined by teammate Tia Faleru who was named to the All-Tournament team.
-The wins were Ole Miss' first road/neutral-site wins of the 2014-15 season. Prior to the Nugget Classic, Ole Miss' last non-conference road win was at South Alabama on Dec. 16, 2013. The Rebels did defeat Arkansas in a neutral-site game at the SEC Tournament last season.
- Ole Miss finished the first season under head coach Steven McRoberts with a 22-10 overall record, 8-10 in the SEC
- The Rebels posted the best start in school history (14-0), the most wins since the 2007 season and the most SEC wins since the 2010 season
- The Rebels finished 12-4 at home to equal the most home wins in school history. In the 3-0 win over Georgia, the Rebels posted a school-record .432 attack percentage and ended the year with a school-record .254 percentage.
- Junior middle blocker Nakeyta Clair was named to the All-SEC Team, becoming the first Rebel to earn the honor since former All-American Regina Thomas in 2011. Clair set the single-season record for kills with 366 and moved into eighth on the career list with 818. She finished the year third in the SEC in hitting percentage at .405, which ranks second all-time in a season at Ole Miss.
- Sophomore setter Aubrey Edie ended the year third in the SEC in assists with 11.30 per set. She set the single-season record at Ole Miss with 1,322 assists and moved into third all-time with 2,271. Her career-high 62 assists in a win at Mississippi State set the single-match record.
- Sophomore Melanie Crow set the single-season record for aces with 42, including a career-high 5 in wins over Alabama and Georgia. In addition, Crow finished second in a season in kills (352) behind Clair's single-season record of 366.
- Freshman Lexi Thompson shined for the Rebels, posting 323 kills, which ranks as the fourth most in a single season and the most by a freshman in school history.
Ole Miss collected a lot of hardware over the weekend, as the football team reclaimed the Egg Bowl trophy and the men's and women's basketball returned home with regular-season tournament championship. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week that was:
- In the face of adversity, the Ole Miss football team turned in a complete performance, highlighted by an explosive offense and suffocating defense, in a 31-17 win over No. 4 Mississippi State to cap a 9-3 regular season. Check out what everyone was saying about the Rebels' Egg Bowl win.
"I kind of look at the big picture, and I know there are people in this program who probably disagree and that's OK," head coach Freeze said. "They're entitled to that. "To be sitting here 9-3, to have beaten the No. 1 team in the nation and the No. 4 team in the nation. We lost some very difficult games in conference on the road. We have come miles and miles in three short years. Anytime you end the season with nine wins and the Egg Bowl in your possession, that's a dang good year."
-Hugh Freeze called a great game, maybe his best as the head coach at Ole Miss, getting the ball to the team's playmakers with opportunities to make big plays, as the Rebels averaged 8.6 yards per play, including seven plays that gained 30 or more yards, on the way to 532 yards of total offense.
"It was a combination of having the right play called at the right time, so part of it was the scheme," Freeze said. "The plan was good, and then the kids executed it," Freeze said.
- Bo Wallace cemented his legacy, throwing for nearly 300 yards and adding a touchdown run, all on a sprained ankle. Already the school's all-time leader in total offense, Wallace became the first Ole Miss quarterback to defeat two top-five teams since Archie Manning in 1969 and became the first quarterback to lead Ole Miss to nine regular-season wins since Eli Manning in 2003.
- Defensively, Ole Miss held Mississippi State to a season-low tying 17 points and 445 yards of total offense, nearly 67 yards below its season average. The Rebels racked up nine tackles for loss and three sacks and held Dak Prescott to 48 yards on 24 carries.
"They're pretty good," said Freeze of Mississippi State. "They're going to get some yards. They have all year. At the same time, I'm not surprised. We are the No. 1 team in the country in scoring defense. We've been stingy with giving up points in the red zone. It was great to see, but I'm not really surprised."
- Speaking of, Ole Miss finished the regular season ranked No. 1 nationally in scoring defense (13.8), more than two points fewer than No. 2 Stanford (16.0) and gave up a nation-low 18 touchdowns, three fewer than UCF and Alabama (21).
- The home team continued its dominance in recent years, with the home team winning every meeting since 1999 except for 2003 in Starkville and 2010 in Oxford.
- On a related note, it was not quite the same as King Kobraz's "Feed Moncrief" two years ago, but Rebel Nation, particularly its students, have adopted Lil Jon's "Missisisppi Throw It Up (Remix)" and "Outta Your Mind" as their own this year, and it made for a great home field advantage.
- Ole Miss may not be a contender for the four-team playoff, but they may be a contender for a berth in a "New Year's Six" bowl, which this year includes the Fiesta, Cotton, Peach and Orange Bowls. CBS Sports' Jerry Palm projects Ole Miss to the Gator Bowl and play Iowa.
- The men's basketball team picked up two key wins, knocking off No. 23 Creighton, its first win over a ranked team since the 2013 NCAA Tournament, and Cincinnati to claim the Emerald Coast Classic Championship. The Rebels continued their strong start defensively, holding the Bearcats to a season-low 30.4 percent from the floor in a 66-54 win in the championship.
"We've posted two quality wins against teams (Creighton, Cincinnati) that are going to have good seasons," head coach Andy Kennedy told the AP. "We played just as hard tonight like we did against Creighton, but not as well. Still, this was a good win for our program to beat a team of this caliber."
- Stefan Moody turned in his best game in an Ole Miss uniform, scoring a career-high 26 points against Cincinnati to earn tournament MVP honors. If he keeps it up, he's going to be fun to watch.
"I've been telling people that he has explosive scoring ability," Kennedy said. "He carried the load for us. Good teams have good options. Tonight it was Stefan."
- The women's basketball team improved to 6-1, defeating Utah and Nevada to claim the Nugget Classic. After a road game at Western Kentucky on Thursday night, the Rebels return home for a much-anticipated matchup with No. 13 Baylor on Sunday afternoon. In case you forgot, Ole Miss played then-No. 9 Baylor to an 87-80 loss in Waco last year.
- The volleyball team made a strong final push under first-year head coach Steven McRoberts, defeating Alabama and Georgia to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive entering their regular-season finale against Texas A&M. The Rebels led 2-1 after taking the second and third sets, but the Aggies rallied to win sets four and five to take the match 3-2.
"It's tough to end it with a gut-wrenching loss," McRoberts said. "I'm thankful for this first year, that we've laid a solid foundation moving forward. Hopefully, our team is willing to put in the effort to get over that hump, so that we're celebrating at this point next year instead of being done at Thanksgiving."
- Former Ole Miss wide receiver Donte Moncrief capped the weekend with another big game, hauling in three catches for a career-high 134 yards, including touchdowns of 48 and 79 yards, his second and third career touchdowns. He and teammates T.Y. Hilton also threw up the Landshark, as they planned to do, and received the game ball after the game.
- To close, let me congratulate Metz Camfield, who has also been a part of this weekly feature, whose last day with Ole Miss Athletics Media Relations was Saturday. Starting next week, he will be the editor of CoachCal.com, so follow him over there and @MetzCamfield.
Awesome game working w/ awesome group of folks. Couldn't think of a better final day! So fortunate to have gotten to work here. #HottyToddy
It's that busy time of the year with the Ole Miss football, volleyball, men's and women's basketball teams all in action. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week that was in Ole Miss sports:
- A slow start (17-0 first-quarter deficit), a stalled running game (33 carries for 37 yards) and six turnovers (two in the red zone) all had a hand in a 30-0 loss at Arkansas, ending the Rebels' SEC West title hopes. There's not much else to say.
"I told our kids in locker room," Freeze said, '"I don't like the way we finished year two and I don't like the way we played tonight.'
- It's clear Ole Miss misses Laquon Treadwell, not just his production, but also his leadership and playmaking abilities. Playing without the sophomore star for the first time in SEC play, Ole Miss was shut out for the first time this season. The Rebels managed just three plays of 20 or more yards, and their active leading receiver, Vince Sanders, was held without a catch in the contest.
- Give the defense credit for keeping as close as they did for as long as they did. Facing a short field for much of the game, the Ole Miss defense allowed just one touchdown in five trips to the red zone for Arkansas. The Razorbacks started on average from their own 43-yard line and they had scoring drives of 52, 24, 49, 41, 0 and 0 yards, respectively.
- Ole Miss also found itself on the wrong side of history, as Arkansas became the first unranked team to ever shut out two ranked opponents in back-to-back games.
- With Arkansas becoming bowl eligible, an entire division will advance to the postseason for the first time in Southeastern Conference history. What's more impressive, the SEC West is a combined a 38-3 against non-SEC West opponents, including a combined 28-0 against non-conference opponents.
- For the second straight season, both SEC divisions will be determined on the final weekend. Alabama and Missouri each control their destiny, while Georgia needs an Arkansas win over Missouri, and Mississippi State needs a win over Ole Miss and an Auburn win over Alabama. Ole Miss, like Arkansas and Auburn, will play a spoiler role, looking to eliminate Mississippi State from SEC West title contention.
"If you can't get up for that one, you probably don't need to be playing," linebacker Deterrian Shackelford said. "It's everything, it's the Egg Bowl. And for the seniors, it's Senior Day. If I have to motivate people for next week, they probably shouldn't be playing."
- Ole Miss volleyball's Nakeyta Clair set the school single-season kills record in the rally scoring era, putting down nine kills in a four-set loss to No. 6 Florida this past Friday. The Rebels bounced back with a five-set win over Alabama on Sunday, the second match in a four-match homestand to close out the regular season. Ole Miss will host Texas A&M on Friday for Senior Day, where the Rebels will honor the senior trio Marie-Pierre Bakima, Cara Fisher and Rachael Weathersby.
- Father, Rick, and Middle Tennessee State got the best of son, Matt, and Ole Miss, in the first-ever meeting between father and son head coach in NCAA Division I women's basketball history. The result was not what Matt and the Rebels wanted, but the matchup provided a tough test for a young team learning every game and created some buzz and excitement surrounding the program.
- Here's a nice story on Rick and Matt Insell from Will Borthick from the Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Check it out.
- The Ole Miss men's basketball team rebounded nicely from a heartbreaking overtime loss to Charleston Southern, rattling off three straight wins over Troy, Southern and Northern Arizona, going into this weekend's game in Niceville, Florida. The Rebels will face Creighton and then either Cincinnati or Middle Tennessee State. The Blue Jays, which return one starter from last year's 27-8 team, is off to a 4-0 start, including a win over No. 18 Oklahoma.
- Head coach Andy Kennedy said he has been surprised by how much he has learned a lot about his team, one that includes five newcomers, and he spoke very honestly about what he has learned through four games: "We're not as tough physically as I would have hoped," said Kennedy after an 80-74 win over Northern Arizona. "We make excuses. I didn't know this group would do that. I know some of it is a defense mechanism. I get that. I have done this a long time. Sometimes, that's the easy way out. It's the default mode. I get it, but we have to get tougher. We have to play to our abilities. I don't think we have played to our ability yet."
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Nov. 10-16, 2014
Women's Basketball - The Ole Miss women's basketball team opened up the 2014-15 season with two wins over the weekend. The Rebels took down Grambling 92-67 in the season opener on Friday and followed that up with a 91-38 win over Mississippi Valley State on Sunday. Ole Miss is 2-0 for the first time under Insell and the first time since it opened 5-0 in 2012-13. - Tia Faleru became Ole Miss' 26th 1,000-point scorer with 19 points in the victory over Mississippi Valley. She is the first 1,000-point scorer since Valencia McFarland hit the mark as a junior in 2012-13. Faleru is sitting at 1,001 career points. - Ole Miss had 5,696 fans on hand to see it open the season at its annual School Kids game on Friday. The 5,696 fans were the second most to see an Ole Miss women's basketball game and just 175 fans shy of the largest crowd ever to see an Ole Miss women's basketball game.
Cross Country - For the first time in Ole Miss cross country history, the Rebels claimed the South Region Championship to earn a berth in the NCAA Championship. The Rebels' 54 points was 42 points better than runner-up No. 21 Florida State in a decisive victory. - Junior Wesley Gallagher (30:18.60) led the South champions in the 10K event, good for third overall. Freshman Sean Tobin (30:19.30) and sophomore Robert Domanic (30:20.00) finished right on his heels in fourth and fifth, respectively. - Sophomore Trevor Gilley (30:58.30) clocked the 19th overall time, and freshman Taylor Caldwell (31:02.00) finished 24th overall to round out the Rebels' five scoring times. Mark Robertson's (31:14.50) 29th finish, while not scoring for Ole Miss, was better than every other team's fourth-place finisher. - Gallagher, Tobin, Domanic, Gilley and Caldwell all earned All-Region honors. Last season, Domanic was the only All-Region selection for the Rebels. - The three top-five finishers match the previous program total of top-five regional finishes all-time. Barnabas Kirui finished first in 2006 and second in 2009, and Bernard Kuria was fourth in 1997. - The Rebels surged to first in the region after finishing ninth last year. The Rebels had finished no better than seventh since 2005 at regionals. - The Ole Miss women finished 13th out of 29 teams at the regional, led by Margaret Harkness at 55th overall. The finish concludes the season for the young squad.
Men's Basketball - Ole Miss dropped its season opener 66-65 in overtime to Charleston Southern on Friday. - It marked the first loss in a season opener for the Rebels under Andy Kennedy and the first since 2003. - Junior Martavious Newby led the Rebels with 14 points, one off his career high, on 4-of-5 shooting from the field including a couple of 3-pointers.
Volleyball - Ole Miss dropped a pair of matches this past weekend, falling to No. 15 Kentucky 3-1 at home, and then losing at Missouri 3-2. The Rebels won the first set in both matches. Against Missouri, the Rebels led 2-1 and it was tied 24-24 in the fourth set before the Tigers won three of the final four points to extend it to a fifth set. - The Rebels are now 2-2 in five-setters this year. - Freshman Lexi Thompson led the Rebels against Kentucky with 21 kills. - At Missouri, junior Ty Laporte recorded a career-high 23 kills, while senior Marie-Pierre Bakima notched a career-best 23 digs. - Junior middle blocker Nakeyta Clair needs just seven kills this coming weekend to set the Ole Miss single season record in the rally scoring era.
The Ole Miss football team was off, but it was a busy week in Ole Miss athletics nevertheless, as the men's and women's basketball teams opened their respective seasons. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week that was:
- The Ole Miss football team did not play Saturday, but the Rebels got the help they needed to remain in the Southeastern Conference Western Division race, as Alabama defeated Mississippi State and then Georgia defeated Auburn. To win the SEC West, Ole Miss still has to win on the road at Arkansas and at home against Mississippi State, and then Auburn must defeat Alabama on Nov. 29.
- On the other side, in the SEC Eastern Division, Missouri controls its own destiny at 8-2 overall and 5-1 in SEC play, with games remaining on the road at Tennessee and at home against Arkansas. If Missouri falters, Georgia would win the SEC East title at 6-2 in the SEC.
- Speaking of Arkansas, the Razorbacks were going to beat somebody, and they finally did it by shutting out LSU 17-0 to snap their 17-game losing streak. Stat of the game: Arkansas held LSU to just 123 yards of total offense.
- Bruce Feldman wrote about Body Blow theory last year, as it related to Stanford football. The same theory can perhaps be applied to this week's Ole Miss-Arkansas matchup. SEC teams are just 1-4 in games the week after playing LSU with the lone exception being Alabama's 25-20 win over Mississippi State.
- If Ole Miss defeats Arkansas and Mississippi State defeats Vanderbilt, Nov. 29 sets up for another memorable day in the SEC Western Division. Ole Miss and Mississippi State would both remain in the SEC Western Division race, while Alabama would control its own destiny and Auburn would look to play spoiler.
- Ole Miss moved up two spots to No. 8 in the Associated Press and coaches polls by virtue of losses by Arizona State and Auburn. The Rebels are the highest-ranked two-loss team in the country
- The men's basketball team dropped an overtime heartbreaker to Charleston Southern in its season opener. Ole Miss went 19-of-63 from the field and 6-of-30 from 3-point range, but it was unable to overcome a 54-50 rebounding deficiency, as the Buccaneers won the game 65-64 on a tip-in dunk with 0.1 seconds left in overtime.
"I have been doing this for 10 years, and I have never had one like this," head coach Andy Kennedy said. "You have to do your best to learn from it. It's easier said than done. It's going to hurt. You want it to hurt. They were stunned in there. They should be."
- One of the bright spots was the play of junior guard Martavious Newby, who led the team with 14 points and seven rebounds. He's a stabilizing force and calming influence, providing a toughness that Kennedy said he hopes can become more contagious and spread throughout the team.
- The women's basketball team is off to a 2-0 start with wins over Grambling State and Mississippi Valley State. Ole Miss suffocated MVSU, as they held the Lady Devilettes to just 38 points and forced 46 turnovers, turning them into 51 points off turnovers.
"I have coached teams that have forced that number of turnovers," head coach Matt Insell said. "That's a number we look at. We can gauge our hustle on how many turnovers we force and how many deflections we get. Sometimes you may not turn a team over a lot, but you get a lot of deflections. That's just as good as a turnover. We really gauge a lot of what we're doing on turnovers, deflections and steals. If those numbers are high, we played pretty darned good defensively."
- Newcomers make up six of the top seven scorers, with five of them already finishing in double figures this season. Leading the way, however, is senior forward Tia Faleru averaging 21 points and 12.5 rebounds through two games. She also became the 26th 1,000-point scorer in program history.
Football - Ole Miss took a break from the rugged Southeastern Conference and earned a 48-0 shutout win over Presbyterian on Saturday. - It was the Rebels' first shutout since beating Tulane 39-0 in 2012. - The Rebels matched last year's win total of eight. They are 8-2 for the first time since 2003. - Ole Miss dominated every facet of the game, out-gaining the Blue Hose in total yards (640-156), rushing yards (402-89), passing yards (238-67) and first downs (22-10). - He only played the first half, but senior quarterback Bo Wallace accounted for three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) and inched closer to Eli Manning's school record for career total yards. Wallace now needs only 111 yards to eclipse Manning and move into the top 10 in the all-time SEC record book. - Backup running backs Jordan Wilkins (171 yards, one touchdown) and Mark Dodson (128 yards, two touchdowns) both had career-best days. Combined, they had four runs of 50+ yards. - The Rebel defense did not allow Presbyterian to reach the red zone all day and racked up a season high-tying 12 tackles for loss.
Men's Basketball - Ole Miss went on a 30-4 run over a 9:57 stretch in the first half, turning a 14-11 deficit into a 41-18 lead on the way to a resounding 97-58 win in its lone exhibition game of the 2014-15 season. - Senior Jarvis Summers lead the team in scoring with 16 points, while a trio of newcomers in Stefan Moody (14 points), Roderick Lawrence (14 points) and Terence Smith (10 points) all posted double figures. Sophomore forward Sebastian Saiz led all players with 14 rebounds.
Women's Basketball - The Ole Miss women's basketball team cruised to a 111-43 exhibition win over Christian Brothers University on Friday. - Freshman Toree Thompson led the way with 25 points and nine assists while Kelsey Briggs, Tia Faleru and Bretta Hart combined for 22 rebounds in the win. - Each of Ole Miss' six freshmen scored in the contest and each of the 13 players who played earned a spot on the stat sheet.
Volleyball - Ole Miss went 1-1 last week, defeating Mississippi State 3-1 and losing to Texas A&M 3-1, both on the road. -
With the win at Mississippi State, the Rebels have reached 20 wins for
the first time since the 2007 season, when they finished 25-8. The
Rebels swept the season series with MSU and have now won four straight
and six of the last seven meetings. - Head coach Steven McRoberts now has 16 20-win seasons in 18 years as a head coach. -
Junior Nakeyta Clair hit .492 on the week, averaging 4.38 kills per
set. She has now hit above .300 in 21 of 26 matches, including 14 above
.400. With five blocks on the week, Clair became the second player in
school history in the rally scoring era to reach 300 career blocks. -
Sophomore setter Aubrey Edie recorded a career-high 62 assists against
Mississippi State to set the single match record in the rally scoring
era and then set the single season record Sunday at Texas A&M with
53 assists. She now has 1,037 assists to date this year and needs 14 to
notch 2,000 for her career. - Freshman Lexi Thompson posted
back-to-back double-doubles and now has seven for the season. She
averaged 3.38 kills and 4.38 digs per set for the week.
Women's Tennis - Senior Julia Jones competed in the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships and went 2-2 , including defeating the No. 50 ranked player in the nation and the No. 1 ranked player in Division II. - Jones finished the fall with a 10-3 record including the USTA/ITA Southern Regional Singles title.
Men's Tennis - Men's Tennis wrapped up the fall last week at the USTA Futures in Birmingham and at the Commodore Classic in Nashville. - Four players reached the final round of qualifying at the USTA Futures, while Stefan Lindmark and Gustav Hansson qualified for the main draw, with Lindmark advancing to the second round. - At the Commodore Classic, the Rebels earned 16 wins in singles and doubles.
Men's Golf - Senior Blake Morris fired an impressive, career-low, single round 7-under 65 to lead the Ole Miss men's golf team on the final day of the Warrior Princeville Makai Invitational. - Morris carded seven birdies, including four in a six-hole stretch, en route to a season-high seventh-place finish, posting a three-round score of 13-under, 203. - As a team, the Rebels finished in fourth with a three-round score of 31-under, 833, tying their season-best finish as a team. - After posting a career-low single round score in the second round, sophomore Noah West carded a career-low tournament score of 8-under, 208, and tied for 15th-place.
Women's Golf - Ole Miss women's golf concluded its fall slate at the Jim West Challenge. - The Rebels placed 10th with a score of 928. Alison Hovatter and Stani Schiavone led the Ole Miss contingent, finishing 22nd with 54-hole scores of 230. - Ole Miss played one of its better rounds this fall in the final round with a 305, which is the sixth best round for the Rebels during the fall.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 2014
Football - No. 4 Ole Miss lost a heartbreaker to No. 3 Auburn on Saturday night, 35-31. - In addition to losing the game, the Rebels lost star receiver Laquon Treadwell on what looked to be the go-ahead touchdown with less than two minutes left, but ended up being a fumble, turnover and season-ending broken leg for Treadwell. - Bo Wallace continued his strong play in SEC games with three more total touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) for nearly 400 total yards, and no interceptions. - Senquez Golson had an interception for the fifth straight game and is up to nine picks on the year, which leads the SEC and ranks second nationally. - Three Rebels had 100+ receiving yards (Evan Engram 123, Vince Sanders 105, Laquon Treadwell 103) for the first time in the Hugh Freeze era.
Volleyball - In their only match of the week, Ole Miss shut out South Carolina 3-0 Sunday at the Gillom Sports Center to improve to 19-5 overall and 5-5 in the SEC. With the win, the Rebels snapped a two-match losing streak and improved to 10-1 at home. - The win avenged an earlier loss this season to the Gamecocks in Columbia, South Carolina. - The Rebels have posted the most wins since the 2010 season, when they finished 19-11. - Ole Miss earned its first win of the season when hitting below .200 thanks to a strong defensive effort of 52 digs, including three players in double digits. - Junior Nakeyta Clair recorded three blocks to bring her career total to 299. She needs just one more to become the second player in school history to record 300 in a career in the rally scoring era.
Cross Country - The Ole Miss men's cross country team raced to a runner-up finish at the SEC Championships on Friday, tying the 1968 second-place result as the best in program history. The Rebels finished just six points behind SEC Champion Arkansas. - Junior Wesley Gallagher finished third overall in the 8K (24:21.28) to lead the Rebels. - Gallagher is the third Rebel in program history to earn a top-three finish at an SEC Championship and the first since Barnabas Kirui won the SEC title in 2010. - Freshman Sean Tobin (24:37.91) and sophomore Robert Domanic (24:38.50) clocked in at sixth and seventh, respectively, to propel Ole Miss to the historic finish. - The Rebels placed six runners in the top 29. Freshman Taylor Caldwell (25:02.17) finished 19th, freshman Mark Robertson (25:11.41) placed 25th and sophomore Trevor Gilley (25:20.63) was 29th. - Gallagher, Tobin and Domanic earned All-SEC first team honors by placing among the top seven finishers. Three All-SEC selections are the most in program history. Tobin's time was the fastest for any freshman on Friday, earning him All-Freshman team honors. Caldwell and Robertson joined him on the All-Freshman team, marking the most Rebels on the All-Freshman team in program history, as well. - The women's cross country team battled injuries and finished 12th at the SEC Championship. Senior Margaret Harkness led the way at 54th overall with a time of 21:32.18. Freshman Shelby Brown finished right behind her at 55th with a time of 21:32.95. The Rebels raced a young team consisting of six freshmen, two sophomores and a senior.
Soccer - Ole Miss closed out the 2014 soccer season Thursday night with an overall record of 8-6-5. The Rebels finished the year with a 3-2, double overtime loss against the Tennessee Volunteers. - Senior goalkeeper Kelly McCormick finished her career atop the all-time records list at Ole Miss in wins (42), saves (297), shutouts (22) and minutes in goal (6,839). - Head coach Matt Mott passed the 50-win mark this season, as he has averaged 10 wins a season in his first five years at Ole Miss.
Women's Tennis - The Rebels competed in the Roberta Allison Fall Classic this past weekend and picked up some more big wins, with two players advancing to the final of their respective draws and two doubles teams reaching the semifinals. - Senior Erin Stephens knocked off the No. 21 ranked player in the nation, Ronit Yurovsky of Michigan, in straight sets, and freshman Arianne Hartono defeated 42nd-ranked Georgina Petrasc of Mississippi State in straight sets.
Men's Tennis - Five members of the men's tennis team were in Birmingham, Alabama, competing in the Players' Choice Open at the Highland Tennis Center. Four players advanced to the final round of qualifying, while junior Stefan Lindmark and freshman Gustav Hansson advanced to the main draw with straight set wins Monday. They will begin play in the main draw Tuesday.
Women's Golf - Ole Miss women's golf opened its final tournament of the season Sunday at the Jim West Challenge in Bourne, Texas. - After the opening round, Ole Miss was sitting in ninth with a score of 314, and three players tied for 30th with a score of 6-over-par, 78.
In this week's edition of Observations from the Best Seat in the House, Metz Camfield and I teamed up to give you our thoughts and opinions of the week that was in Ole Miss athletics. There's a lot on our minds, so let's get into it:
Metz Camfield - First of all, everyone in Rebel Nation and beyond is thinking about Laquon Treadwell and hoping for a speedy and full recovery. He's a remarkable talent, but the way he carries himself both in games and out of games is also something to admire and makes him an easy guy to root for. The injury occurred because Treadwell was working so hard, dragging a defender and doing everything he could to get into the end zone, all qualities that Ole Miss fans admire about him, and opposing fans respect about him.
Austin Miller - We all wish Laquon Traadwell a speedy and full recovery. The talented sophomore underwent surgery late Saturday night to repair a fractured fibula and dislocated ankle. He posted this message on his Instagram account Sunday morning:
"Not everything in life is set out to be easy, & not every plan we have for ourselves work out in our favor. Even the greatest & most powerful people we praise or look up to have huge downfalls, but it takes a strong person & an even stronger mindset to prepare for that major come back. It didn't kill me, so watch as I become stronger. Thanks for the prayers everyone, God bless."
Bo Wallace also posted a message on his Instagram account Sunday afternoon in support of his injured teammate:
"Played my last down with one of the best to ever put on an Ole Miss uniform and one of the best leaders I have been around. It was a great ride @successfulquon the best is yet to come for you!"
MC - While you can never "replace" a talent like Treadwell, the Rebels have a very talented receiving corps, including senior Vince Sanders and sophomore tight end Evan Engram, who each topped the 100-yard mark against Auburn. Sanders, Engram, Quincy Adeboyejo, et al will have to step up for the final three games of the regular season in order to fill the void caused by Treadwell's absence. They are capable of doing that.
AM - A lot has been said and written about Treadwell's injury and the impact going forward. Here's an all-encompassing look from the Clarion-Ledger's Hugh Kellenberger.
MC - Bo Wallace once again showed his resolve Saturday night by bouncing back from the LSU game in a big way. Wallace threw for 341 yards and two touchdowns, completed 70 percent of his passes (that percentage could have been higher if not for some desperation throws on the final drive), and also ran for a team-high 61 yards and one touchdown.
AM - Bo Wallace might not have had his winning moment Saturday, but he bounced back from one of the worst games of his career with one of the best games of his career to give his team a chance, as he has done time and time again during his Ole Miss career.
"He played well," co-offensive coordinator Dan Werner said. "Guys made plays for him. I haven't seen the stats but I feel like he threw the ball pretty well. He played well enough to win, but he just didn't get the breaks."
AM - It may have gone largely unnoticed, but Ben Still deserves a lot of credit for playing through a sprained MCL in his knee. When starting left tackle Laremy Tunsil was unable to go due to a bicep and shoulder injury, Fahn Cooper moved from right tackle to left tackle, Robert Conyers moved from center to right tackle, and Still stepped into the center spot.
"Man, he just gutted it out," head coach Hugh Freeze said. "He'll be so sore. He'll be hurting the rest of the week for sure, and I'm just proud of him. I told him that at halftime. I'm just crazy proud of him."
MC - There's no use in getting upset about the injuries Ole Miss has endured in the past two weeks. Being upset about the injuries won't cause the student-athletes to get healthy faster, they'll simply cloud your ability to fully enjoy the ones who are healthy and the season that remains. Injuries are a part of sports, especially one as physical as football.
Engram, who suffered a season-ending injury last year as a freshman, said it well after the game yesterday: "It's part of the game, and it stinks to see how much work we put in. Especially guys like Laquon (Treadwell) and Denzel (Nkemdiche), but we love each other and will fight for each other the rest of the season. In one play it could be gone. Last year I experienced that and now guys will have to step up."
AM - With the loss to Auburn, Ole Miss lost control of its destiny to the SEC Western Division title and the College Football Playoff. It's a long shot at this point, but there's a path. It starts with winning out against Presbyterian, Arkansas and Mississippi State and then getting a lot of help.
At No. 12 in the latest AP poll and No. 13 in the latest coaches poll, Ole Miss is the highest-ranked two-loss team. The Rebels debuted at No. 4 in the first College Football Playoff rankings, and it will be interesting to see how far they drop in the second edition of the rankings Tuesday.
"When you watch the game, if they're really watching games, we can't drop far," Wallace said. "We lost a game by that much. I just watched the replay of Laquon (Treadwell). We lost it by that much. I don't see how far they can drop us. Our season is still alive, we feel like. We'll find out Tuesday how far we fall, but we're going to keep fighting, and crazy things can happen."
AM - To that point, CBS Sports bracketology/bowls expert Jerry Palm projects Ole Miss to play in the Peach Bowl, one of the new selection committee bowl games, against Marshall. There's still a lot to play for, as the Rebels close out the regular season.
AM - The ending to the game likely evoked two painful memories for Ole Miss fans: Billy Cannon's 1959 Halloween night punt return and Eli Manning tripping over his lineman's foot on a fourth down against LSU in 2003.
The Rebels went on to win a share of the national title in 1959, 1960 and 1962, while 2003 seemed to mark the end of an era. Parity reigns today, and runs like those of John Vaught's don't happen in modern college football, but like those teams, Ole Miss is back on the national football map, and there's hope and optimism surrounding a new normal for the football program.
AM - The football team was not alone in heartbreak this weekend. Needing only a draw against Tennessee to secure its place in the SEC Tournament, the Ole Miss soccer team conceded a golden goal with less than three minutes left in the second overtime and was eliminated from contention as the Lady Vols advanced in the final spot.
Proud of our team. This sport can be so cruel. I hurt for our players. They deserved better!
AM - The Ole Miss volleyball team avenged an earlier 3-2 loss to South Carolina, as the Rebels shut out the Gamecocks 3-0. With the win, Ole Miss improved to 19-5 overall and moved into sole possession of sixth place in the SEC standings.
AM - This time, a week from now, we'll have observations on the men's and women's basketball teams from a preseason press conference Tuesday and an exhibition doubleheader Friday. So stayed tuned for those.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Oct. 20-26, 2014
Football - Ole Miss took its first loss of the season with a 10-7 defeat to No. 23 LSU in Baton Rouge. - The Rebels held LSU to 10 points and created four turnovers (two fumbles, two interceptions). - The Rebels have forced multiple turnovers in seven of eight games this year and have forced at least one turnover in 31 straight games, which leads the nation. - Cornerbacks Senquez Golson and Mike Hilton both had interceptions, increasing Ole Miss' national lead to 17. - This was the latest in the year that Ole Miss suffered its first loss since the 1963 season. - The LSU crowd of 102,321 marked the second straight Rebel road game in which the opponent set a school record for attendance. At Texas A&M, it was even a Southeastern Conference record and state of Texas football record.
Soccer - Ole Miss picked up four crucial points in the SEC standings over the weekend with a draw against No. 21 Missouri and a 2-1 win at Vanderbilt. - Junior midfielder Jessica Hiskey scored a pair of goals on the week, including the game-winner at Vanderbilt on Sunday. She has two game winners in three matches against the Commodores and also added an assist on the Rebels' other goal Sunday. - The Rebels seek to clinch a berth in the SEC Tournament for the third straight season and make a push for the NCAA Tournament against Tennessee on Thursday night at 7 p.m. - Ole Miss will honor its lone senior Thursday night when it recognizes goalkeeper Kelly McCormick prior to the start of the match against the Lady Vols.
Volleyball - Ole Miss lost a pair of matches last week, suffering its first home loss of the season, 3-0 to LSU on Wednesday and then falling to Tennessee on the road Sunday. - It's the team's first two-match losing streak since the opening weekend of SEC play. - Ole Miss is 16-0 overall and 4-0 in the SEC when hitting above .200, but just 2-5 and 0-5 in league play when hitting under .200. - Despite hitting well under her average last week, junior middle blocker Nakyeta Clair still ranks second in the SEC in hitting percentage at .411. - With 82 total blocks so far this year, Clair has moved into second all-time on the Ole Miss charts in the rally scoring era with 296.
Women's Tennis - The Rebels hosted the Ole Miss Invitational this past weekend, welcoming in Georgia, Texas Tech and Vanderbilt. - The Rebels posted 13 total wins in singles and doubles on the weekend. - Senior Julia Jones went 2-1 in singles, including knocking off the No. 6 ranked player in the nation from Georgia. With two more wins, Jones improved to 8-1 and earned her fourth win over a ranked opponent this year.
In this week's edition of Observations from the Best Seat in the House, Metz Camfield and I teamed up to give you our thoughts and opinions of the week that was in Ole Miss athletics. I was able to travel with the football team to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for Saturday's SEC West showdown between Ole Miss and LSU. Here's what we have looking back on the previous week:
Austin Miller - Give a lot of credit to the Ole Miss "Landshark" defense that gave the team a chance Saturday, forcing four turnovers and limiting LSU to 10 points in four red-zone trips, but the offense couldn't take advantage of their opportunities, particularly late in the game.
"Our kids fought," head coach Hugh Freeze said. "Our defense gave us a chance to win the game, to be in the game, but we could not manage any points."
AM - Offensively, LSU bludgeoned the Ole Miss defense, executing 55 run plays compared to 16 pass plays, as the Tigers rushed for 264 yards. The two scoring drives for LSU: 17 plays, 90 yards, 9:07 and 13 plays, 95 yards, 5:59, featured a combined 25 run plays.
"They just wore us down and kept the ball from us," Freeze said. "We didn't have but maybe two possessions in the second quarter. They just ate the clock, and they're really good up front. That offensive line is really solid, and their backs are really good. That's the first time we've faced an offense quite like that."
AM - Defensively, LSU held Ole Miss to 107 yards of total offense in the second half, forcing five straight punts to start the half, including four three-and-outs. The Rebels finally put together some first downs on their last two drives, which ended in a turnover on downs and an interception with two seconds left.
"They were pretty good, number one," Freeze said. "They were able to stay in two-high on first and second down and stop our run game. We struggled there with (left tackle) Laremy (Tunsil) out for most of the second half, and we had to move some people around. That caused us some issues with playing younger kids, and they struggled a little bit in this environment against a really good defense."
AM - The Ole Miss defense extended two impressive streaks, having forced at least one turnover in 31 straight games and having allowed 20 or fewer points in 10 straight games. Both are the longest active streaks in the FBS.
AM - Another bright spot, in addition to the stingy, opportunistic Ole Miss defense, was the punting brilliance of Will Gleeson who landed four of his six punts inside the 10-yard line. For the season, he has landed 20 of his 38 punts inside the 20-yard line.
AM - Ole Miss played in front of a stadium-record crowd for the second straight road game (102,321), the second-largest crowd Ole Miss has ever played in front of, and it had an impact on the game. Maybe it did not a significant impact, but it had an impact nonetheless. Personally, Saturday night was as loud a stadium as I have ever heard covering Ole Miss.
AM - The history backs it up, as LSU improved to 46-3 during Saturday night home games under head coach Les Miles with the three losses coming against teams that were either ranked No. 1 at the time of the game or reached No. 1 at some point during that season.
Metz Camfield - I thought it was interesting that after the win the LSU fans rushed the field. For Ole Miss, this should come as a sign of respect and another sign of the "new normal." The football program has now gotten to a point where a win by an opposing team is so significant that its fans rush the field.
AM - Two more impressive stats that speak to LSU under Miles: The Tigers are now 21-16 when trailing at halftime, and it was their 24th fourth-quarter comeback.
AM - As Freeze noted in his postgame press conference and CBS Sports bracketology/bowls expert Jerry Palm notes here, Ole Miss remains in control of its destiny in the SEC Western Division and likely the College Football Playoff.
MC - The Rebels' dream season is still very much in tact, as Ole Miss has just one loss and a number of highly-ranked opponents still on the schedule. If Ole Miss wins out, it will represent the Western Division in the SEC Championship game and will almost be guaranteed a spot in the inaugural College Football Playoffs thanks to a number of impressive wins.
AM - Looking ahead, Ole Miss hosts Auburn in a de facto playoff game featuring one-loss teams. Two things to watch this week: An injury update from Freeze on Monday, including the status of Denzel Nkemdiche, Robert Nkemdiche, Laremy Tunsil, Cody Prewitt and Ben Still, and the release of the first playoff committee rankings on Tuesday.
AM - The Ole Miss soccer team picked up three big points, rallying past Vanderbilt 2-1 on the road, ahead of their final regular-season match against Tennessee at 7 p.m. Thursday. Both teams will be looking to secure a spot in the 10-team SEC Tournament. It's also Senior Night for goalkeeper Kelly McCormick, the all-time wins leader for a goalkeeper at Ole Miss.
AM - Congrats to former Ole Miss wide receiver Donte Moncrief, now of the Indianapolis Colts, who hauled in seven catches for 113 yards and his first career touchdown.
AM - In case you missed it, here's a unique video from Ole Miss Sports Productions: Landshark Symphony set to Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Oct. 13-19, 2014
Football - Ole Miss rode its dominant defense to a 34-3 homecoming win over Tennessee on Saturday to improve to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in Southeastern Conference play. - The Rebels are 7-0 for just the second time in school history. The other time was in 1962 when the team went 10-0 and earned a share of the national title. - The Rebel defense held Tennessee without a touchdown and limited the Vols to zero rushing yards in yet another impressive showing. The "Landshark" defense now leads the nation allowing just 10.6 points per outing. - Senquez Golson intercepted two more passes to increase his SEC lead to seven interceptions, which ranks second nationally. - Freshman DE Marquis Haynes had 2.5 sacks (of the team's seven total) and now ranks third in the conference and tied for 10th in the nation with 6.5 sacks this year. - The Vaught-Hemingway Stadium crowd of 62,081 was third-largest in school history.
Volleyball - Ole Miss went 2-0 last week, earning a 3-1 win at Auburn followed by a 3-2 win at Alabama to improve to 18-3 overall and 4-3 in the SEC. - The win at Auburn marked the Rebels' first SEC road win of the season and snapped a three-match losing streak to the Tigers. - Ole Miss rallied from a 2-1 deficit to hand Alabama its first home loss of the season on Sunday. The Rebels have now won five of the last eight meetings against the Crimson Tide, which had an RPI of 29 coming into the match. - Freshman Lexi Thompson notched a career-high 23 kills in the win against Auburn and then posted a double-double of 15 kills and 14 digs in the win at Alabama. - Aubrey Edie tallied 48 assists at Auburn and then recorded 56 assists at Alabama, paving the way for four Ole Miss players to record double-digit kills, including Thompson, Nakeyta Clair, Melanie Crow and Ty Laporte. - Clair tallied 13 kills and four blocks while hitting .333 at Auburn. Against Alabama, she posted a team-high 17 kills, including the match clincher, and hit .560. She now has 13 matches with at least 10 kills and 17 matches with at least a .300 hitting percentage. - The Rebels, winners of three in a row, are now the only conference team undefeated at home (9-0). The Rebels currently own the best overall record in the league at 18-3 and moved up in the standings to fifth after the weekend wins. - Aubrey Edie was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week. That makes five of the first eight weeks for the Rebels to earn one of the league's weekly honors. The Rebels lead the league with five different players recognized to date.
Men's Tennis - The Rebels participated in the USTA/ITA Southern Regionals last weekend in Auburn, Alabama. Junior Stefan Lindmark reached the semifinals in singles and senior William Kallberg and freshman Gustav Hansson reached the semifinals in doubles. - It marked the third year in a row and the fourth year in the last five for the Rebels to have a singles semifinalist. It also marked the fourth year in the last five for the Rebels to have a doubles semifinalist as well. - Junior Joe Rogers and freshman Zvonimir Babic teamed up for the first time to reach the quarterfinals in doubles.
Cross Country - Men - Against a field consisting of nine of the top 30 teams in the nation, the Ole Miss men's cross country team grabbed an eighth-place finish in the Pre-Nationals Invitational on Saturday. - Freshman Sean Tobin led Ole Miss in his second meet by clocking a time of 25:03.4 in the 8K, good for 48th overall. - Junior Wes Gallagher (25:12.7) and sophomore Robert Domanic (24:36.88) finished 55th and 61st, respectively, to round out the top three Rebels at the meet.
Cross Country - Women - The Ole Miss women raced a young team in the 6K, consisting of four freshmen, two sophomores and a senior. - Freshman Shelby Brown (22:46.4) recorded the best time for the Rebels for the second consecutive meet.
Soccer - Ole Miss had an 0-2 weekend, dropping a pair of road matches at Kentucky and South Carolina. -
Ole Miss returns home to host Missouri on Friday night after an
extended road swing that has seen the Rebels go almost a month without
playing a home match. - Senior goalkeeper Kelly McCormick will set
the school record for shutout victories (23) with her next shutout this
season, currently she is tied with Brittany Gillespie who set the mark
in 2003. - Two of the final three regular-season matches will be at
home for the Rebels, which also host Tennessee on Oct. 30 to close out
the regular season on Senior Day, honoring McCormick.
Women's Golf - The Ole Miss women's golf team sent Alison Hovatter, Maria Toennessen and Sofia Idoyaga as individuals to the Mercedes Benz Championship over the weekend. - Hovatter led the Rebels, finishing in a tie for 22nd-place with a three-day score of 224. - Hovatter's 224 is a season-low 54-hole score and her second round score of 70 was a season-low for 18 holes.
It's Sunday, so that means it's time for this week's Observations from the Best Seat in the House. There was no shortage of observations surrounding the Homecoming festivities this weekend. Let's get into it:
1. When "College GameDay" visits Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Saturday, it will be the third time in four weeks a nationally-televised college football pregame show will air on-site prior to an Ole Miss game.
If Ole Miss and Auburn continue to win, "College GameDay" producer Lee Fitting said GameDay would likely return to Oxford on Nov. 1, making it four times in five weeks. And if Ole Miss and Mississippi State continue to win? "College GameDay" could visit Oxford an unprecedented three times this season.
2. The SEC West might no longer be undefeated against SEC East teams, but it placed four teams in the top five of the latest AP Poll. Mississippi State and Ole Miss held at Nos. 1 and 3, respectively, while Alabama moved up three spots to No. 4 and Auburn moved up a spot to No. 5.
It's the first time one league has ever had four of the nation's top five teams in the AP Poll, much less the same division. Ole Miss has already defeated one (23-17 vs. Alabama) and gets the other two at home (Nov. 1 vs. Auburn, Nov. 29 vs. Mississippi State).
3. That being said, I have said it, Metz has said it, and Coach Freeze has said something to the same effect: For fans who are worried about polls and playoff projections, rest assured, if Ole Miss keeps winning, everything will take care of itself.
4. Don't look now, but LSU might have regained its mojo, having won its last two games (30-27 at Florida, 41-3 vs. Kentucky) and returning to the national rankings. Strange things tend to happen in this rivalry, and then you add a role reversal with Ole Miss as the favored team and a night game in Death Valley to the equation, and it should make for an intriguing matchup.
5. Speaking to the media Friday, Marcus Spears compared this year's Ole Miss team to his 2003 LSU team, which finished 13-1 and defeated Oklahoma 21-14 in the Sugar Bowl to win the BCS National Championship.
The 2003 LSU team was led by a dominant defense that allowed just 11.0 points per game and forced 33 turnovers, returning seven for touchdowns. Offensively, the Tigers had an efficient quarterback in Matt Mauck and some explosive playmakers in Michael Clayton, Devery Henderson and Skyler Green.
As you can tell, there are some definite similarities between the two teams.
6. Another mistake-free game from Bo Wallace. Through four SEC games, Wallace has yet to turn the ball over, while throwing seven touchdowns and running in another two. In case you missed it, you want to watch his appearance on the Dan Patrick Show earlier this week, where he poked fun at the "Good Bo, Bad Bo" narrative.
7. Senquez Golson picked off two more passes, giving him seven for the season, which leads the SEC and ranks second nationally. It was his second multi-interception game of the season, and the third of his career. The other? 2012 at LSU. Golson also now has an interception in three straight games.
8. What a difference a year makes on the defensive line. In last year's matchup with LSU, also seven games into the season, Ole Miss was forced to move Bryon Bennett from defensive tackle to defensive end out of necessity because of injuries. A year later, the Rebels are rotating 11-12 guys on the defensive line and redshirting a trio of talented freshmen.
"For most of the guys, we try to rotate them with an even number of reps for some games," defensive coordinator Dave Wommack said. "Robert (Nkemdiche) is going to be in there a little bit more because he's a little bit of a freak at that 3-technique and means so much to us doing that. Most of them get close to the same number of reps."
9. One of those 11-12 guys is freshman Marquis Haynes, the reigning SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week, who accounted for 2.5 of the Rebels' 7.0 sacks against Tennessee. He has 4.5 sacks over the last two games and 6.5 sacks for the season, 1.5 sacks shy of Jadaveon Clowney's freshman record.
"Marquis Haynes gets better every week," head coach Hugh Freeze said. "I told a lot of people in preseason, if they called me and they asked me who nobody knows about that was going to make a name for themselves, and I would say without hesitation it was going to be Marquis Haynes. He's proving to do that."
10. Not to pat ourselves on the back, but it's impeccable how well players have performed when they're featured in the game day programs. Notably, Senquez Golson sealed the win over Alabama when he was featured in the Alabama game day program. And Saturday against Tennessee, Mike Hilton intercepted a pass when he was featured in the player spotlight. Go back and look.
11. This was the best Square Jam yet. There was what looked to be the biggest crowd in the history of the three-year event and a star-studded panel of judges, and then Stefan Moody and Roderick Lawrence put on a show in the slam dunk contest. Earlier this summer, Moody said he had a 46-inch vertical jump, and he showed it off, as he rocked the rim to take home the title.
13. The Ole Miss volleyball found some answers on the road, winning at Auburn and Alabama this weekend, running its win streak to three matches in the process. Ole Miss returns home to host LSU in a nationally-televised match on the SEC Network.
14. We always plug him, but don't miss out on Josh McCoy's photo gallery from Square Jam. Great action and great backdrop made some great photos.
The No. 3 Ole Miss Rebels showed they belong among the nation's upper
crust with a dominating 35-20 win at No. 14 Texas A&M on Saturday. -
Ole Miss jumped out to a 21-0 first-half lead and led 35-7 in the
fourth quarter before a pair of late Aggie touchdown strikes. - The Rebels improved to 6-0 for the first time since 1962 and only the sixth time in school history. -
The Rebel defense held Texas A&M scoreless in the first half for
the first time in the Kevin Sumlin era, and limited the Aggies to a
season-low 20 total points. - Cody Prewitt returned an interception
75 yards for a touchdown and Keith Lewis added a 21-yard fumble return
for a score, marking the first time Ole Miss had two defensive
touchdowns in a game since 1996 vs. Georgia. - Bo Wallace accounted
for three touchdowns (one passing, two rushing) and has yet to turn the
ball over in a Southeastern Conference game this year.
Ole Miss went 1-1 last week, falling to Arkansas on the road 3-0 before
downing Mississippi State 3-0 at home Sunday. The Rebels improved to
16-3 overall and 2-3 in the SEC. - With Sunday's win, the Rebels set
the school record for most consecutive home wins (9), and are off to
their best start since the 1989 season when they started 17-2. - Ole Miss improved to 68-23 against Mississippi State and has won seven of the last eight meetings. -
The Rebels hit .402 in the win over Mississippi State, which is their
best hitting percentage in an SEC match this year and the second best
overall. - The Rebels rank among the top five in the SEC in hitting
percentage, opponent hitting percentage, kills per set, assists per set,
service aces per set and blocks per set. - Junior Nakeyta Clair
continues to rank second in the league in hitting percentage at .425.
She also ranks seventh in kills per set at 3.45. Aubrey Edie ranks
fourth in assists per set at 11.15.
Women's Tennis -
Ole Miss participated in the USTA/ITA Southern Regionals and senior
Julia Jones captured the singles title with an impressive run. In the
final, she rallied to defeat the top seed, Pleun Burgmans of Auburn,
5-7, 6-4, 7-6(4) to punch her ticket to the USTA/ITA National Indoor
Championships, which will be held in November at the Billie Jean King
USTA National Tennis Center. • Competing in her first tournament of the fall, Jones defeated the Nos. 36, 42 and 61 ranked players to begin the year 6-0. •
Jones was the fourth singles finalist in the last five years for the
Rebels, and the fourth player in school history to win it. • Overall,
the Rebels had a great tournament at the USTA/ITA Southern Regionals,
with freshman Arianne Hartono reaching the quarterfinals, and the
doubles team of Erin Stephens and Iris Verboven advancing to the
semifinals before losing to the No. 1 ranked team in the nation in the
Rifle • Ole Miss dropped both its matches this past weekend, falling to No. 5 Murray State and No. 9 Nebraska. • Against Nebraska, freshman Jessica Haig equaled her career-best with a 588 in air rifle.
Men's Golf -
Sophomore Ben Wolcott notched his third top-20 finish of the young
season, placing 11th at the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate in Tuscaloosa,
Alabama. - Wolcott fired a three-day total of 211 to just miss the top 10. -
The Rebels finished in a tie for 10th with Georgia State and UT-San
Antonio after a team total of 293 in the final round gave them a
three-round total of 873.
Women's Golf - The Ole Miss
women's golf team traveled to the UNC Tar Heel Invitational in North
Carolina, the home state of senior Taelor Rubin (Raleigh, N.C.) - The Rebels placed 18th and saw sophomore Maria Toennessen card a career-low round of 72 in the second round.
In this week's edition of Observations from the Best Seat in the House, Metz Camfield and I teamed up to give you our thoughts and opinions of the week that was in Ole Miss athletics. I was able to travel with the football team to College Station, Texas, and it was a great experience. Here's what we have looking back on the previous week:
Austin Miller - The best seat in the house Saturday was among the 110,633 at Texas A&M's Kyle Field, a football record crowd in the state of Texas, an SEC record, and the largest crowd that Ole Miss has ever played in front of. The Rebels silenced the record crowd in a wire-to-wire 35-20 win that never felt as close as the final score indicated.
AM - Attending Midnight Yell was another big item to check off my bucket list. Seeing and experiencing other schools' traditions is one of the best parts of covering a team, and this was my first time to visit Texas A&M. I watched, more than I participated, but between the clapping, swaying, singing and yelling, it's something else. Here's a quick video.
AM - Texas A&M is in the middle of a $450 million renovation of Kyle Field. Half of the stadium was demolished and rebuilt before the 2014 season, and the other half will be demolished and rebuilt before the 2015 season, bringing an expanded seating capacity of 102,500, making it one of the five largest stadiums in college football.
AM - The press box at Kyle Field is located on the 9th level of 10, and it literally sways during the Aggie War Hymn before the game and before the fourth quarter. It makes for a surreal experience, but it's not a recommended one for those who suffer from a fear of heights.
AM - When you travel with the team, you travel first-class, from the chartered planes and buses, to the hotel accommodations. The game ended before 11:30 p.m., and we arrived back in Oxford shortly before 3:30 a.m. That's traveling in style.
Metz Camfield - Ole Miss' impressive showing in the Lone Star State started from the very beginning. After holding Texas A&M to a three-and-out on the Aggies' opening possession, Ole Miss got its offense in gear by going 69 yards on five plays to take a 7-0 lead and temporarily silence 110,633. I took this as a major sign of maturity with this team coming off a major victory over then-top ranked Alabama to come out strong on the road in a hostile environment. If the Rebels had gotten off to a slow start and allowed Texas A&M to take an early lead - no matter the margin - the entire game could have been different.
MC - It seems senior quarterback Bo Wallace is realizing he doesn't need to be the one to win games for this football team. When you have a defense as talented, as impressive and as overwhelming as the Rebels' is, the quarterback doesn't need to force the issue. Over the last two weeks, Wallace has not committed a single turnover, and while his numbers haven't been as over the top as they have in the past (to be fair, Ole Miss' past two opponents have been two top-15 teams in Alabama and Texas A&M), his performances have been quite possibly his best two of the season.
AM - Wallace may have laid the "Good Bo, Bad Bo" narrative to rest with his performance against Alabama. And against Texas A&M, he may have emerged as a serious Heisman Trophy candidate. There might be more talented players on the team, there might be players with a brighter NFL future on the team, but it's hard to argue there's a more valuable player on the team. And that's sometimes enough, especially if you're the quarterback of a national championship contender.
MC - With this defense, if the Ole Miss offense does not commit a turnover, the Rebels are as difficult a team to beat as there is in the country. Period.
AM - The Ole Miss defense allowed 455 total yards but allowed just 5.2 yards per play against a Texas A&M offense that ranked third nationally in total offense (583.2 ypg) and fifth nationally in yards per play (7.5). The Rebels allowed just 54 rushing yards on 35 carries, a 1.5 yards per carry average.
AM - You might have missed it among the other big-time players and big-time plays on defense, but sophomore Tony Conner led the Rebels with a career-high 11 tackles, his second straight game with a career high in tackles.
AM - With the first-half suspension of Trae Elston, Mike Hilton slid over from cornerback to Rover safety and Kendarius Webster made his first career start at cornerback, as they helped the Rebels pitch a first-half shutout. Hilton has now started at every position in the secondary, having started at Huskie, cornerback, free safety and now Rover safety.
"Mike is so smart," said defensive coordinator Dave Wommack of Hilton. "I brought him in Sunday last weekend started going through the film and he kept shaking his head. I said, 'How do you know this?' He said, 'Coach I played Huskie so I understand rover too.' He has a great football IQ and he is one of the most valuable players on our defense."
MC - To anybody getting caught up in the polls, worrying about whether Ole Miss is currently projected to be in the College Football Playoffs or what seed it'd be right now, just stop. It doesn't matter right now. First off, there are way too many weeks left in the season. Secondly, if Ole Miss continues winning, everything will take care of itself. Enjoy the ride. It'd be a shame to stress yourself out about those types of things and look back on the year kicking yourself for not enjoying it as much as you could.
AM - Ole Miss is No. 3 in both polls, picking up five first-place votes in the Coaches Poll and three first-place votes in the AP Poll. For fans who are worried about polls and playoff projections, rest assured, if the Rebels keep winning, everything will take care of itself.
"We beat the number one team in the country last week, by some polls, and then we beat a top-15 opponent in their house in front of 110,000 tonight," head coach Hugh Freeze said. "I'll tell our team tomorrow, 'No one, no poll and no media gets to decide for us how we define ourselves,' and I'll tell them that again tomorrow.
"It's good for our fans. They like that stuff. We could lose every game left on our schedule with the league we play in, so we better just focus on us. It would be great to be voted wherever they vote us. We would consider that an honor and we'll try to represent and be worthy of that voting. I'll tell our team, 'We don't give credence to it until the end of the year. That's when it really matters.'
"I do think the SEC West deserves two in the playoffs, though."
AM - As of Sunday, Oct. 12, the road to Atlanta goes through Mississippi. As the last two undefeated teams in the SEC West, two of just six remaining unbeaten FBS teams, Ole Miss and Mississippi State control their own destiny.
AM - With that said, if you haven't already locked up your Egg Bowl tickets, you might want to get on that. Think about the seating capacity of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. It might not only be the biggest Egg Bowl ever, it might be the hardest ticket for a regular season college football game ever.
MC - Also, don't miss out on Josh McCoy's photo gallery of the football game at Texas A&M.
AM - The Ole Miss volleyball team swept arch-rival Mississippi State 3-0 Sunday to improve to 16-3 overall and 2-3 in the SEC. The Rebels also remained unbeaten at home, improving to 9-0 at the Gillom Center this season.
AM - Former Ole Miss Rebel Lance Lynn gets the start for the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 2 of the NLCS against the San Francisco Giants. In Game 2 of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Lynn took a no-decision, as he allowed two runs on seven hits with two walks and eight strikeouts.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Sept. 29-Oct. 5, 2014
Football - Ole Miss outscored then-No. 1 Alabama 20-3 in the second half Saturday en route to a thrilling 23-17 victory over the Crimson Tide. It was the Rebels' first win over a top-ranked opponent in program history. - Senior quarterback Bo Wallace went 18-31 for 251 yards, three touchdowns and no turnovers. Wallace finished the game by completing each of his final three pass attempts for 57 yards and two touchdowns. The win was the Rebels' first over Alabama since 2003 when Eli Manning was the Ole Miss quarterback. - Despite Alabama entering the game averaging 42.0 points, the Ole Miss defense held the Crimson Tide to just 10 points. The Rebels also held Alabama to 3.8 yards per carry, which is nearly two yards fewer than its season average. - Senior cornerback Senquez Golson sealed the game with an interception with 37 seconds remaining in the back of the Ole Miss end zone. Ole Miss has forced a turnover in 28 straight games, which ranks among the top five streaks nationally. - The Rebels are 5-0 for the first time since 1962. Ole Miss is also 2-0 in Southeastern Conference play.
Soccer - The Rebels posted a fourth undefeated weekend after playing Auburn to a 2-2 draw and posting the shutout victory over Alabama this past weekend. - Senior goalkeeper Kelly McCormick tied for first on the all-time shutout list at Ole Miss with a 1-0 victory at Alabama on Sunday. McCormick has 21 shutout wins for her career. - Ole Miss will now have a bye week after moving the match with Georgia to the season-opener for the SEC Network, and return to action in two weeks with road matches at Kentucky and South Carolina. - Jennifer Miller scored her second goal of the season, hitting the game-winner in the 1-0 victory at Alabama to extend the Rebels' win streak over the Crimson Tide to four matches.
Volleyball - Ole Miss downed defending SEC Champion Missouri 3-0 in its only match of the week, snapping the Tigers' 20-match SEC win streak dating back to Nov. 23, 2012. The Rebels improved to 3-0 against Missouri in Oxford. - Junior Nakeyta Clair posted a team-high 14 kills and hit .500 to lead the offensive attack, also adding three blocks defensively. Clair ranks second in the SEC in hitting percentage at .425. - Freshman Taylor Alexander, in just her third start, posted a career-high eight blocks to lead the defensive effort. She had four blocks in the second set to help the Rebels erase a 22-16 deficit and win the set 25-23. For her efforts, Alexander was named the SEC Freshman of the Week. - With the win, the Rebels improved to 8-0 at home this season. - Head coach Steven McRoberts earned his 490th career win in the victory over Missouri. - The Rebels rank second in the SEC in hitting percentage (.271), second in opponent hitting percentage (.167), third in assists per set (12.61), fourth in kills per set (13.54) and fourth in blocks per set (2.47).
Rifle - Ole Miss hosted its second annual "Shoot Pink" match Saturday as part of the Ole Miss Invitational. The Rebels posted a 4603 aggregate score with a 2336 in air rifle to finish sixth overall. - The Rebels were paced by two freshmen. Jessica Haig fired a 588, while Nadia Hata posted a 586 in air rifle. Sophomore Alison Weisz shot a 583 in air rifle. - In smallbore, the Rebels were led by freshman Shelby Sandstrom, who turned in a 569.
Men's Golf - The Ole Miss men's golf team placed three players in the top 20 of a tournament for the first time since 2012. - Seniors Joe Lewis and Blake Morris, and sophomore Noah West help propel the Rebels to a fourth-place finish at the 2014 Shoal Creek Invitational. - With first-year head coach Chris Malloy at the helm, Ole Miss has finished in the top five in two of its three tournaments this season.
Cross Country - Men's Team - The Ole Miss men's cross country team, ranked fourth in the USTFCCCA South Region, finished second in the Greater Louisville Classic on Saturday. The finish was above 12 other regionally ranked teams and all four other SEC teams competing. - Junior Wes Gallagher led Ole Miss in his first event as a Rebel. The Northeastern transfer clocked a time of 24:00.74 in the 8K, good for seventh overall. The Rebels placed six runners in the top 33. - Gallagher, Robert Domanic, Sean Tobin, Daniel Bulmer, Taylor Caldwell and Mark Shaw all made their first appearance of the season in the strong performance for the Rebels.
Cross Country - Women's Team - The Ole Miss women placed 17th overall in the 5K race. Freshman Shelby Brown turned in a time of 18:10.51 to pace the Rebels. Brown has improved on her 5K time in each race this season. She's shaved 38.82 seconds from her opening meet time. - Ole Miss raced a young squad at the meet. The nine Rebels competing included six freshmen and two sophomores. Women's Basketball - The women's basketball team officially opened the 2014-15 season with its first practice on Sunday, Oct. 5 inside the Tuohy Center. - The Rebels will open the regular season campaign Nov. 14 when they host Grambling for the 12th annual School Kids game at 11 a.m.
Men's Basketball - The men's basketball team officially opened the 2014-15 season with its first practice Friday, Oct. 3 inside the Tuohy Center. - The Rebels open their season Nov. 14 with a home game against Charleston Southern at 6:00 p.m.
It's Sunday, so that means it's time for this week's Observations from the Best Seat in the House. There was no shortage of observations this week. Let's get into it:
1. It's the day after, and I still can't believe yesterday happened. Ole Miss became the epicenter of college football, from ESPN's "College GameDay," to Katy Perry, to the game itself, to the celebration and national attention that followed. It could not have been a better day for the football program, athletics department and the university itself.
"Let's utilize the filter, the platform and the marketing power of athletics to then help the entire university," said Athletics Director Ross Bjork earlier this week. "This is one of those examples that because of athletics the university can be put on a pedestal in a great way to showcase all the great things that are happening. That's a responsibility that we take very seriously.
"We're not the most important thing, but we happen to be the most visible and this will be one of those examples where because of athletics that visibility takes hold and now we can show the world how beautiful our campus is and the hospitality of the Ole Miss family."
2. Let's start with "College GameDay." The crew loved it and the fans loved the show's first visit to the Grove, to the tune of the highest overnight rating this season. The passion and hospitality of Ole Miss fans and the beauty and atmosphere of the Grove were on full display.
And depending on future results, the show may make a return later this season, either Nov. 1 vs. Auburn or Nov. 29 vs. Mississippi State.
Dear The Grove, there is no place like you. You exceeded all expectations! Let's bring back @CollegeGameDay this season! #HOTTYTODDY
3. Beside the bliss of standing within shouting distance of Katy Perry as she made her way to the GameDay set to make her picks, which was a great moment for me, she was great for Ole Miss. With her fame and popularity, she got people to tune into GameDay and then promptly stole the show.
She picked the Rebels, which started a full-on embrace of Ole Miss and Oxford, as she hugged the Black Bear mascot, became a regular on the Jumbotron wearing an Ole Miss visor, stormed the field with the masses of fans and then celebrated with them at the bar at Funky's. I can't begin to describe what her ties to Ole Miss, if even for a day, means to the university.
4. There are a lot of places you can start with the game itself, but I'm going to start with Bo Wallace.
The much-maligned quarterback had his day, much like Andrew Ritter had against LSU last year, becoming the first quarterback since Eli Manning to defeat Alabama.
He completed 18-of-31 passes for 251 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions, completing each of his final three pass attempts for 57 yards and two touchdowns with the game on the line. "Good Bo, Bad Bo" had been the popular narrative entering the game, one that Wallace hoped to have rid of once and for all.
"That thing's the most annoying thing I've ever heard," Wallace said. "I also feel like I'm the only quarterback in the nation who throws interceptions. Hopefully I can be 'Good Bo' the rest of the year."
5. When called upon, to keep Ole Miss in the game in the first half and then win the game on the final drive, the Rebels defense rose to the challenge as they have all season. Sound familiar?
The Ole Miss defense allowed just 10 points, despite facing an Alabama offense that entered the game averaging 42.0 points. The Rebels also created two timely turnovers, one of which led to the game-winning touchdown, and the other effectively ended the game.
6. Including the fumble returned for a touchdown by Alabama, the Ole Miss defense has given up just four touchdowns this season, the fewest in the nation. The Rebels also rank second in scoring defense, giving up just 10.2 points per game, and rank fifth in total defense (277.6 ypg) and yards per play allowed (4.1 yard per play).
7. To quote the great philosopher Drake, the Ole Miss senior class started from the bottom, and now they're here.
From a forgettable 2-10 season, to a 5-0 start and a top-five national ranking. There are a lot of talented underclassmen on the roster, but these seniors who stayed have showed out themselves and have provided invaluable leadership so far this season.
"After the 2-10 season and we lost our head coach, a lot of players were thinking about getting out," senior Senquez Golson said. "I almost left to go play baseball and we talked to the coaches and we just decided to stay."
8. For the historic 2013 signing class, Saturday was another moment of validation, the first win over a top-ranked team in program history and the Rebels' first win over Alabama since 2003. They all played big roles in the win and creating a "new normal" in Oxford.
"I came here with the 2013 class to change the culture around here," said sophomore Robert Nkemdiche, the consensus No. 1 recruit in the nation from that class. "We came to do something different. I could have gone to Alabama or LSU, but I wanted to come here and make a difference. And that's what we have done. I'm really proud of ourselves."
9. Ole Miss' win over Alabama was just one shockwave as part of Shakeout Saturday that saw five of the top eight teams in the AP poll lose on the same weekend. Florida State, Auburn and Baylor survived, while Oregon, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and UCLA joined Alabama in defeat.
10. As part of the shakeout, Ole Miss moved into a tie with Mississippi State for No. 3 in the AP poll. And with Auburn at No. 2, three of the top four teams in the AP poll reside in the SEC West. Mississippi State hosts Auburn and ESPN's "College GameDay" this Saturday.
11. The eyes of college football descended on Ole Miss. To see what everyone is saying in local and national news and the best tweets from Saturday and Sunday morning, click here.
13. Speaking of photos and video, Josh McCoy did yeoman's working covering the days leading up to and including "College GameDay" and the win over Alabama. Check out his gallery from the Alabama game here.
And a tip of the hat to Michael Thompson, Micah Ginn and the rest of the marketing and productions staff for creating a big-time atmosphere in the stadium to match the big-time atmosphere in the Grove.
14. I would stay tuned for what might be the best episode of "The Season: Ole Miss Football" yet.
15. Lost in the euphoria of "College GameDay" and the historic win over Alabama, volleyball head coach Steven McRoberts and his team had a signature moment of their own. Missouri came in as the defending SEC Champion with a 20-match conference win streak, and the Rebels swept the Tigers 3-0 in front of a nationally-televised audience on the SEC Network.
"It's huge," said junior Nakeyta Clair who led the team with 14 kills and a .500 hitting percentage in the match. "It shows not only us, but it shows our fans that we can do it this year. We have a lot of confidence in ourselves this year. It didn't faze us they were SEC champs last year."
16. Senior goalkeeper Kelly McCormick tied the school shutout record with the Ole Miss soccer team's 1-0 win at Alabama on Sunday. The Rebels grabbed four points on the road this weekend, as they also played Auburn to a 2-2 draw Friday.
17. The Ole Miss men's basketball team opened fall practice Friday, and the team's trip to the Bahamas in August is already paying dividends. Don't forget Square Jam is set for Friday, Oct. 17, the day before the football team's homecoming game against Tennessee, and the men's and women's basketball teams open their respective seasons Friday, Nov. 14.
"We're so far ahead based on what we had the opportunity to experience in the Bahamas," head coach Andy Kennedy said. "We have been with this team for 10 practices in July and August, and then we had two games in the Bahamas, so I feel much further along with this group.
"We already put in some of our baseline stuff so that we can start to make adjustments based on what we saw this summer. Our foundation is pretty much set. Now, we're building off that based on the skill-set of our players."
18. Two former Ole Miss Rebels in Aaron Barrett (Washington) and Lance Lynn (St. Louis) are still playing in the MLB Playoffs. He took a no-decision, but Lynn worked six strong innings, giving up two runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts and two walks in Game 2 of the NLDS against Los Angeles on Saturday.
19. Looking ahead, it doesn't get any easier for the football team as Ole Miss travels to No. 14 Texas A&M this Saturday. With an 8 p.m. kickoff on ESPN, Kyle Field should be rocking. A trademark under head coach Hugh Freeze has been a team that bounces back from the highest highs and the lowest lows, but the spotlight has never shined as bright as it does right now.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Sept. 22-28, 2014
Football - No. 10 Ole Miss used a dominant defensive effort to put away Memphis 24-3 on Saturday, setting up one of the biggest games in recent history this coming Saturday against the Alabama Crimson Tide. - The Rebels allowed just 104 total yards the entire evening, including 23 rushing yards on 31 carries. Excluding one 42-yard pass play by Memphis in the first quarter, the Rebel defense allowed just 62 total yards on the other 61 plays from scrimmage. - The 104 total yards allowed were the fewest since giving up 24 yards to Mississippi State in 2008. - Sophomore Laquon Treadwell had five catches for a career-high 123 yards and a career high-tying two touchdowns to lead the offense. - Memphis native Jaylen Walton had a game-high 78 yards on 10 carries with a touchdown. - The defense has allowed only two touchdowns this season, which is the fewest in the nation. - Ole Miss improved to 4-0 for the first time since 1970.
Soccer - Ole Miss went 0-1-1 on the weekend, splitting a match with Arkansas on Thursday before falling 2-1 to No. 10 Texas A&M on Sunday. - Sophomore forward Gretchen Harknett bent in her second goal of the season to help the Rebels play Arkansas to a double overtime draw. - Junior defender Maddie Friedmann scored her first goal of the season with a header off a double-assisted goal Sunday afternoon to put the Rebels on the board against No. 10 Texas A&M. - After the weekend, Ole Miss is now 4-1-3 at home this season with the lone loss coming at the hands of the 10th-ranked Aggies. - Ole Miss will now hit the road in SEC play and not play a home match over the next three weeks before closing things out with two of the last three matches of the season at home.
Volleyball - The Rebels dropped both their matches on the opening weekend of SEC play to fall to 14-2 overall and 0-2 in conference. - Friday, the Rebels lost a five-setter at South Carolina after having a 2-0 lead. They had match point in the fourth set, but the Gamecocks won the final three points to force a fifth set. In the fifth set, the Rebels led 12-11 but the Gamecocks won four straight points to take the match 3-2. - Against South Carolina, junior Nakeyta Clair equaled her career-high with 20 kills and hit .395, and also had four blocks. Clair ranks third in the SEC in hitting percentage at .420. - Freshman Taylor Alexander got her first start of the year against South Carolina and finished with nine kills, a .375 hitting percentage and four blocks.
Men's Tennis - Five Rebels competed in the pre-qualifying at the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Freshman Gustav Hansson won his first round match, but none of the five advanced to the qualifying. The Rebels will have two players in the qualifying with Stefan Lindmark and William Kallberg in singles, and two doubles teams with Lindmark/Hansson and Kallberg/Ricardo Jorge.
Women's Tennis - Junior Mai El Kamash won three matches in pre-qualifying at the Riviera ITA All-American Championships to advance to the qualifying tournament, which begins Tuesday in Pacific Palisades, California. She improved to 4-1 on the year.
It's Sunday, so that means it's time for this week's Observations from the Best Seat in the House. I'll handle the bulk of the notes this week, but we also have some insight from Austin Miller here as well. Let's get started:
1. Did you hear ESPN's College GameDay is coming to town? Unless you legitimately live under a rock - a rock that blocks out all outside sound - you have heard this. It's going to be awesome. What a great day that will be for Ole Miss, this university and this town. Finally, the premier college football pregame show will visit the premier college football tailgating scene. The buzz that will surround Oxford and that football game will be palpable all week. Can't wait.
2. That Ole Miss defense is legit. The Rebels allowed just 104 total yards, and just 23 rushing yards on 31 carries. For those without a calculator, that's 0.74 yards per carry. Here's another stat nugget I enjoyed from that game: Memphis ran 62 plays, and if you take out the Tigers' 42-yard pass play in the first quarter, the Rebel defense allowed just 62 total yards on the other 61 plays from scrimmage. If you still haven't gotten a calculator, that's 1.02 yards per play.
3. Let's not forget this was a Memphis offense that accumulated 469 yards on the road against UCLA earlier this season. In that game, which the Tigers, despite having to travel across the country, only lost by seven points, Memphis had 164 yards rushing and 305 passing yards. Oh, by the way, UCLA is ranked No. 8 in the latest Associated Press top 25.
4. As the calendar turns to October, fans will be treated to a loaded slate in the Southeastern Conference this upcoming weekend, including three successive top-15 matchups in the SEC West: No. 6 Texas A&M at No. 12 Mississippi State (11 a.m. CT, ESPN), followed by No. 1 Alabama at No. 11 Ole Miss (2:30 p.m., CBS) and No. 15 LSU at No. 5 Auburn (6 p.m., ESPN). We're going to learn a lot about this division next week.
5. Want to know how good the top of the SEC West has been in recent years? With Alabama coming to town ranked No. 1 in the AP poll that makes five straight years Ole Miss has faced the nation's top-ranked team: Auburn in 2010, LSU in 2011 and Alabama in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
6. Ole Miss boasts the nation's third-best scoring defense, allowing just 8.5 points per game. More impressively, Ole Miss has given up just two touchdowns all season, the fewest in the nation. Big reason why; opponents have scored just two touchdowns in 10 trips to the red zone.
7. To that point, Memphis ran just two plays inside the 20-yard line Saturday and came away with three points. Among the four games played, opponents have run 37 plays inside the 20 and come away with 29 points.
8. I thought it was so great with all of the festivities surrounding Chucky Mullins, his memory and legacy, that Deterrian Shackelford, the guy who wears No. 38 in Mullins' honor, led the team in tackles Saturday.
9. The committee of running backs approach produced favorable numbers Saturday. Juniors Jaylen Walton (10 carries for 78 yards) and I'Tavius Mathers (14 carries for 57 yards) combined for 135 yards on 24 carries. Freshman Jordan Wilkins contributed with five carries for 33 yards and sophomore Mark Dodson had five carries for 16 yards.
10. After catching seven passes for 105 yards and one touchdown against Boise State in week one, sophomore wide receiver Laquon Treadwell had been held to a combined eight catches for 79 yards and no scores against Vanderbilt and Louisiana-Lafayette. The preseason All-SEC selection broke out a bit Saturday though, catching five passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns against the Tigers.
13. It was a tough weekend for the Ole Miss volleyball team. The Rebels closed out the non-conference portion of their schedule with a perfect 14-0 mark, the best in program history, but opened SEC play Friday with a tough five-set loss at South Carolina, followed by a three-set loss at No. 10 Florida, which is always a very difficult place to play for any team. This Rebel team is playing good volleyball and is a lot of fun to watch. Be sure to show this team your support and head out to the Gillom Center on Wednesday for a huge SEC match against Missouri at 6 p.m. CT.
14. The Ole Miss soccer team went 0-1-1 on the week in a pair of SEC home matches against Arkansas and No. 10 Texas A&M. After a 1-1 tie Friday against the Razorbacks in a really physical contest, Ole Miss lost 2-1 Sunday against the highly ranked Aggies. Ole Miss scored the first goal against Texas A&M in the 62nd minute, but Texas A&M responded with goals in the 72nd and 79th minute. The Rebels will head out on a four-match SEC road swing now with two matches next weekend in the Yellowhammer State against Alabama and Auburn, respectively.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Sept. 15-21, 2014
Volleyball - Ole Miss went 4-0 to capture the Rebel Classic and improve to 14-0 on the season. - Through four weeks of the season, the Rebels have equaled last year's win total (14-17). - Sophomore setter Aubrey Edie was named the Rebel Classic MVP ... Edie tallied 127 assists, (9.77 per set), to earn her fourth consecutive all-tournament honor ... The Fayetteville, Arkansas, native also posted 12 total blocks ... Junior middle blockers Nakeyta Clair and Ty Laporte were also named to the Rebel Classic All-Tournament Team ... Laporte finished with 34 kills and hit .500, while adding 13 total blocks to earn her third straight all-tournament honor ... Clair posted 30 kills on a .533 attack percentage and added a team-leading 20 total blocks, including seven solo. - In the win over Samford, the Rebels hit a school-record .431 with just five errors. - The Rebels rank first in the SEC in hitting percentage (.286), kills per set (13.98) and assists per set (13.06).
Soccer - The Ole Miss soccer team went 1-1 on the week with a 1-0 win at Mississippi State on Friday before falling at UCF 4-0 on Sunday. - Addie Forbus scored in under a minute to give the Rebels a 1-0 win at Mississippi State and a second consecutive win in the Magnolia Cup. - The shutout win over Mississippi State was the fourth of the season for the Rebels and 21st career shutout for senior goalkeeper Kelly McCormick. - McCormick needs one more shutout to tie the career record of 22 set by Brittany Gillespie in 2003.
Women's Golf - The Ole Miss women's golf team finished 17th at the 2014 Cougar Classic at Yemans Hall in Charleston, South Carolina. Stani Schiavone was the Rebels' top finisher after tying for 30th-place with a three-day score of 219. - Sophomore Madisen Bentley, who is playing her first season at Ole Miss after transferring from Portland State, made her debut in the Ole Miss lineup last week. She posted her best round in the third round with a 4-over-par 76. -Rookie Sofia Idoyaga had her best round of collegiate golf to date at the Cougar Classic, posting a 3-over-par 75 in the final round, while draining a career-best five birdies.
Men's Golf - Sophomore Ben Wolcott fired an impressive 1-under-par 70 in the final round of the DICK'S Collegiate Challenge Cup to tie for 18th-place, marking his fifth top-20 finish of his Rebel career. - As a team, Ole Miss finished in eighth-place. The Rebels have placed in the top 10 in their first two tournaments of the season. - In the ACC-SEC Conference Challenge, junior Connor Davis carded Ole Miss' only win against Clemson. Davis downed the Tigers' Miller Capps 3&2 in match play.
Men's Tennis - The Rebels kicked off the season at the SEC Fall Classic in Gainesville, Florida. Junior Stefan Lindmark and sophomore Ricardo Jorge teamed up in their first tournament together to reach the semifinals in doubles, but lost a tight match 8-7(6). - In singles, senior William Kallberg advanced to the third round. Jorge finished as the runner-up in the singles consolation after they did not play the final due to Ole Miss' travel plans. One of his three wins included a triumph over the 46th-ranked player in the nation, who teammate Stefan Lindmark defeated Friday in the main draw first round.
This is the fourth installment of Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations from the previous week in Ole Miss Sports. This week was a combined effort with Metz Camfield. Let's get into it:
1. The Ole Miss football team was on a bye week, but the volleyball and soccer teams went a combined 5-1 on the weekend, as both of those teams wrapped up nonconference play.
2. As much fun as it is covering Ole Miss home and away games, and they are, it's also fun to have a Saturday to watch games from 11 a.m. - and thanks to the late-game dramatics between Oregon and Washington State - until late into the night. That game, along with Mississippi State-LSU and Florida State-Clemson were the highlights for me, but it was an overall great day of football.
3. After moving up four spots the previous week, Ole Miss remained No. 10 in the latest Associated Press poll, one of six SEC West teams ranked in the top 17. Think about that, approximately one of every three teams in the top 17 are from the same division of the SEC. That's insane.
4. Among those six SEC West teams is Mississippi State, which entered the top 25 at No. 14 after its road win over LSU. Its inclusion marks the first time since the final poll of 1999 that both Mississippi schools are ranked in the Associated Press top 25.
5. Oct. 4 is shaping up to be a potentially huge day in Mississippi with No. 10 Ole Miss hosting No. 3 Alabama and No. 14 Mississippi State hosting No. 6 Texas A&M. Standing in the way are Memphis (at Ole Miss) and Arkansas (vs. Texas A&M in Dallas).
So Oct. 4 looks like it will be bananas in the Magnolia State. Alabama at Ole Miss AND Texas A&M at Mississippi State.
6. When asked what he wanted to get out of the bye week, head coach Hugh Freeze said he wanted to build depth and work on two-minute, third-down and red-zone offense. Those are some areas to watch in the Rebels' matchup with Memphis on Saturday.
7. Speaking of Memphis, the Tigers are 2-1 to start the season for the first time since 2004. That was also the last time Memphis defeated Ole Miss. Don't forget, earlier this season, Memphis put a scare into then-No. 11 UCLA in Los Angeles before falling short 42-35.
Rebels with the classic trap game Saturday against Memphis. Can't snooze on these Tigers right now. Took UCLA to the wire earlier this year
10. The new ball that will be used in college baseball this season, which features lowered seams, is definitely going to make a difference. While it doesn't seem to come off the bat any hotter, it does carry further. In talking with coaches and players after Saturday's scrimmage, there were a few balls hit Friday and Saturday that would have been fly ball outs last year. This will certainly be a topic again as we get closer to the season, but this is a good thing for college baseball.
No need to sprint around the bases when you crush a ball to the picnic tables in LF like Tate Blackman just did. pic.twitter.com/De5P5qascW
11. Former Rebels Aaron Barrett (Washington Nationals) and Lance Lynn (St. Louis) have clinched berths in the postseason, with Barrett and the Nationals having already clinched the NL East Division. Tip of the hat to them.
NL East Champs!! Wow.... Can't describe how amazing this is! What a team! #Nats
12. Sticking with the theme of former Rebels in the big leagues, how about a shout out to Chris Coghlan of the Chicago Cubs and Drew Pomeranz of the Oakland A's? Coghlan went 4-4 with two home runs and four RBIs Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, his second home run, a two-run shot in the eighth inning, proved to be the game-winner. Pomeranz, meanwhile, finished with a strong line against the Philadelphia Phillies in a start, going 5.0 innings, with one hit, zero runs, zero earned runs, two walks and six strikeouts.
13. Amory, Mississippi, native Addie Forbus scored in the first minute, and the Ole Miss defense made it stand up, as the Rebels defeated Mississippi State 1-0 to retain possession of the Magnolia Cup. It marked the Rebels' first win in Starkville since 2009. Congrats to Coach Matt Mott and the girls.
14. With a 4-0 weekend, the Ole Miss volleyball team remained undefeated at 14-0, matching last year's win total ahead of the start of SEC play. The Rebels open SEC play with matches at South Carolina and Florida, which will likely serve as a measuring stick for the team after being pushed to five sets just once in the nonconference.
15. The Ole Miss athletics department will be honoring the life and legacy of former Ole Miss football player Chucky Mullins this weekend. He will be inducted posthumously into the M-Club Hall of Fame and Ole Miss will rename Coliseum Drive "Chucky Mullins Drive." For more on the celebration of Chucky Mullins, click here.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Sept. 8-14, 2014
Volleyball - Ole Miss captured the Magnolia Invitational this past weekend to improve to 10-0, its best start in school history. - The Rebels downed UAB and Mercer 3-0 and then defeated Jacksonville State 3-1 after dropping the first set for the first time all year. - Freshman Lexi Thompson was named the tournament MVP, while Ty Laporte and Aubrey Edie joined her on the all-tournament team. - Thompson averaged 2.80 kills, 3.00 digs and 0.50 blocks and aces per set to lead the Rebels to the title. She tallied a career-high 18 kills, and a career-best 17 digs in the 3-1 win against Jacksonville State. With the Rebels dropping the first set for the first time all year, Thompson tallied 7 of her 18 kills in the second set, as the Rebels evened the match. - Laporte finished the tournament with 28 kills and 9 blocks and hit .375. Edie posted 122 assists (12.2 per set), to earn her third straight all-tournament team honor.
Football - Ole Miss used a high-octane offense and suffocating defense to claim a 56-15 win over Louisiana-Lafayette in its home opener Saturday. - The Rebels (3-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) moved up from No. 14 to No. 10 in the Associated Press poll, their first top-10 ranking since week four of the 2009 season. - The Rebel offense produced its second-highest scoring output of the Hugh Freeze era and accumulated 554 total yards in the rout. - Bo Wallace completed 23 of 28 passes for 316 yards and four touchdowns, notching his third straight 300-yard performance and the 10th of his career, which ties him with Eli Manning for the school record. - Vince Sanders set career highs of eight catches, 125 yards and two touchdowns, all in the first half. - The Rebels have surrendered only two touchdowns to their opponents this year and rank fourth nationally with just 10.3 points allowed per game. - The Rebel defense snagged three more interceptions against the Ragin' Cajuns and now leads the nation with eight this season.
Soccer - The Ole Miss soccer team went 2-0 on the week with a pair of shutout victories over Austin Peay (2-0) and Middle Tennessee (4-0) on Friday and Sunday, respectively. - Junior forward Olivia Harrison led the Rebels against the Lady Governors on Friday with a pair of goals in a three-minute span. Ole Miss out-shot Austin Peay 18-7 on the road in Clarksville, Tennessee. - Unlike Ole Miss' win over Austin Peay, the Rebels spread out the scoring against Middle Tennessee with four different goal scorers, including sophomore Georgia Russell's first career goal, and one goal each from Addie Forbus, Gretchen Harknett and Jennifer Miller. - The two shutouts by senior goalkeeper Kelly McCormick were her first two of the season and give her 19 for her career.
Women's Tennis - Freshman Arianne Hartono won the Country Club of Little Rock Invitational on Sunday for her first title with the Rebels. In the final, she defeated Houston's top player, Desponita Vogasari, who is ranked No. 68 in the preseason ITA Singles Rankings. - Before winning the singles title, Hartono teamed with junior Mai El Kamash to capture the doubles title in their first tournament together. The duo defeated 59th-ranked and the top-seeded duo of Arkansas, Yang Pang and Sasha Shkorupeieva, 8-6 in the final. On Saturday, Hartono and El Kamash took out the No. 2 seed from the University of Houston.
Women's Golf - The Rebels opened the 2014-15 season with the Memphis FedEx Intercollegiate (Sept. 8-9). Ole Miss took third-place with a score of 886 and Abby Newton claimed medalist honors. The third-place finish was Ole Miss' highest finish since taking runner-up honors at the UNC Tar Heel Classic in 2012-13. - Newton's win at the Memphis FedEx Intercollegiate was the first individual title for the Rebels since Natalie Gleadall won the Cougar Classic in 2010. - Several Rebels set new career marks at the tournament. Newton's second-round score of 68 was an 18-hole career-low, while her three-day tournament score of 210 was also a new 54-hole career low. Ole Miss' 886 is the sixth lowest total for the Rebels.
Men's Golf - The Ole Miss men's golf team claimed fourth-place at the Sam Hall Intercollegiate in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. - Junior Connor Davis finished the tournament with a career-low, three-round score of 208. He tied for fifth-place, which is a career-best for the two-year letterwinner. - Senior Joe Lewis and sophomore Ben Wolcott fired career-low tournament scores of 212 and 213, respectively.
Men's Cross Country - The Ole Miss men's cross country team grabbed a third-place finish in the Commodore Classic, besting both SEC rivals Mississippi State and Vanderbilt at the event. - Just as in the first meet of the season, freshman Mark Robertson posted the best time for the Rebels. His time of 25:00.31 in the 8K was good for 10th overall in the field of 242 runners. - The Rebels have a first-place and third-place finish on the season, while sending only a portion of the team to the meets.
Women's Cross Country - The Ole Miss women's cross country team placed sixth in a field of 17 teams at the Commodore Classic. - For the second time in as many events, Mary Alex England finished with the best run for Ole Miss. Her time of 17.23.33 in the 5K placed eighth overall of 260 runners.
This is the third installment of Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations from the previous week in Ole Miss Sports. This week was a combined effort with Metz Camfield. Let's get into it:
1. Another week, another unbeaten record in Ole Miss Sports. The football, volleyball and soccer teams went a combined 6-0 on the weekend, highlighted by volleyball improving to 10-0, its best start in school history, and football breaking into the top 10 of the AP poll.
2. It was a good looking crowd Saturday as 60,937 filled Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and were treated to a fantastic, and convincing, opening half. We know Rebel Nation will turn out again in two weeks against Memphis on Sept. 27.
3. On the field, Ole Miss has gone as Bo Wallace has gone, and Wallace leads the nation in completion percentage (75.5 percent), including 80.5 percent of his passes since the start of the second half against Boise State.
4. Wallace's complete stat line since the start of the second half against Boise State: 58-of-72, 875 yards with eight touchdowns and one interception.
"It's what I'm expecting out of myself," Wallace said. "I'm trying to get in a rhythm as soon as I walk out. Get in a rhythm, and I have felt good the past couple of games. I'm playing how I expect myself to play. I have to continue it each week."
5. With the help of long touchdown runs from I'Tavius Mathers and Jaylen Walton, the Rebels eclipsed 200 yards rushing for the first time this season. Co-offensive coordinator Dan Werner was pleased with the explosive plays in the running game, but he wants more consistent three and four-yard runs. He also noted opposing defense have been selling out to stop the run.
"I keep saying it every week, and it doesn't look like it's great, but we did have a bunch of yards," Werner said. "It opens up the passing game. If they're going to take the run away, we're going to pass it and get some big plays."
6. It's not Shark Week anymore on the Discovery Channel, but it seems like episodes keep airing during Ole Miss football games with that vicious Landshark Defense. The Rebels have allowed just two touchdowns in their first three games and only 189 passing yards in their past two games.
7. The pass defense ranks second in the SEC and 7th nationally, giving up just 4.4 yards per attempt. The biggest area of concern appears to be the run defense, as opponents are averaging 4.4 yards per rush, which is 12th in the SEC and 84th nationally.
8. Starting cornerback Mike Hilton and Senquez Golson continue to show up and make plays. Hilton picked off his first pass of the season and leads the team with 16 tackles and four pass break-ups, while Golson picked off two passes, including one that he returned 59 yards for a touchdown.
9. With their three interceptions, Ole Miss leads the nation with eight interceptions and ranks fifth nationally with nine turnovers forced. Individually, Golson is one of five players with three interceptions on the season.
10. With a 56-15 win over Louisiana-Lafayette, Ole Miss moved up four spots to No. 10 in the latest Associated Press poll, good for fifth among SEC Western Division teams. The Rebels play each of the other four teams in a five-week stretch starting with No. 3 Alabama on Oct. 4.
11. The SEC West is a combined 18-0 against non-SEC West teams, including wins over Boise State, South Carolina, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Texas Tech. The lone loss among SEC West teams this season was Arkansas' 45-21 loss at fellow SEC West team Auburn.
12. It was in doubt for a couple of sets, but the Ole Miss volleyball team rallied to defeat Jacksonville State 3-1 to capture the Magnolia Invitational and improve to 10-0 on the season. The Rebels have four more nonconference matches, at home in the Rebel Classic, before entering SEC play.
13. Freshman Lexi Thompson helped Ole Miss through the second and third sets, putting down a combined 13 kills in the two sets, to give the Rebels a 2-1 lead in the match against Jacksonville State. She finished with a career-high 18 kills and 17 digs and earned tournament MVP honors.
"I expected a change, but I didn't expect this big of a change," Thompson said. "I knew that we would do better, and I was excited to see what we would do with a new coach, and we're going well beyond any expectations."
14. After battling injuries for much of her Ole Miss career, Georgia Russell scored her first collegiate goal in a 4-0 win over MTSU Sunday. It was a cool moment for the Tupelo, Mississippi, native, one of four native Mississippians on this year's roster. Russell was one of three players to score her first goal of the season, along with Jennifer Miller and Gretchen Harknett.
"It was a struggle," Russell said. "I had to get back in shape and get my touch back on the ball. I hurt my ankle last season. It's been a struggle and I'm getting there. It looks like things are coming together. I'm 100 percent healthy, and I want to keep it that way."
15. A couple of interesting road trips on the horizon for Ole Miss soccer this weekend. On Friday, the Rebels travel to Mississippi State for a match that will be televised on the SEC Network. On Sunday, they play at UCF, the alma mater of Ole Miss head coach Matt Mott.
Football - Ole Miss moved up to No. 14 in the AP poll and No. 15 in the USA Today Coaches poll after its dominating 41-3 victory at Vanderbilt on Saturday. - It was the Rebels' largest margin of victory against an SEC opponent since beating Mississippi State 45-0 in 2008. - Ole Miss ranks fifth in the nation in scoring defense (8.0 ppg) and second nationally with five interceptions. - Ole Miss outgained Vandy 331-76 in total offense at halftime and finished 547-167. The Rebels also piled up 34 first downs -- the most in a game under Freeze. - Vanderbilt didn't get past midfield against the Rebels until the final couple minutes of the third quarter, and the Commodores had to settle for a field goal after recovering DeVante Kincade's fumble at the Ole Miss 5 in the fourth quarter.
Volleyball - The Rebels captured the Memphis Invitational this past weekend, defeating Memphis (3-2), Arkansas State (3-1) and UT-Martin (3-1) to win their second consecutive tournament title to open the year. - Junior Nakeyta Clair, sophomore Aubrey Edie and junior Ty Laporte were named to the All-Tournament team, while Clair earned Most Valuable Player honors for the second week in a row. - Clair finished the tournament with 55 kills, nine blocks and hit .463. She posted double-digit kills in all three matches, including a career-high 20 in the win over UT-Martin. Laporte finished with 13 blocks (1.00 bps) and equaled her career-best (eight) in the win against Memphis. Edie tallied 149 assists (11.40 aps). - The Rebels are 7-0 to start the year for the first time since the 2007 season. They are also the only SEC team still undefeated on the season. - For the weekend, the Rebels averaged 14.00 kills per set and 1.85 blocks per set. In the tournament finale, the Rebels hit .312 to defeat UT-Martin 3-1. - Senior Cara Fisher was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week last week for her performance at the Buffalo Classic.
Soccer - Olivia Harrison tallied her first career hat trick, including the golden goal, to give Ole Miss a 3-2 double overtime win over Minnesota on Friday. - Harrison scored two goals in three minutes Friday night against the Gophers to tie the match for the Rebels. - Harrison and sophomore Addie Forbus had two of the three hat tricks recorded by an SEC team this weekend following Harrison's performance on Friday night. - Jessica Hiskey tallied her third goal of the season in a 1-1 draw with Memphis on Sunday night as the Rebels went undefeated on the weekend.
This is the second installment of Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations from the previous week in Ole Miss sports. Let's get into it:
1. What a weekend. The football, volleyball and soccer teams went a combined 5-0-1 on the weekend, headlined by the 15th-ranked football team's 41-3 win over Vanderbilt at Nashville's LP Field, home of the Tennessee Titans.
2. Let's start there. Head coach Hugh Freeze may have downplayed the play of his team in his postgame press conference, but Saturday's win over Vanderbilt may have been the Rebels' most complete performance in the Hugh Freeze era.
3. Since the first half against Boise State, Bo Wallace has completed 35-of-44 passes for 559 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Between the Boise State second half and Vanderbilt first half, he threw for 488 yards, which would have broken Archie Manning's single-game school record.
"He didn't make any bad decisions, or anything that was even close," said co-offensive coordinator Dan Werner of Wallace's performance against Vanderbilt.
4. A lot of it is the small sample size, but here are some more fun stats: Bo Wallace is seventh nationally averaging 10.7 yards per attempt and has accounted for a nation-best 15 passing plays of 20 yards of more. That's a big credit to Wallace getting the ball in the hands of his talented group of receivers.
"We had a good game plan, and guys were running wide open the whole night," said Wallace after the Vanderbilt game. "Guys made some plays after the catch, and we put up some yards."
5. Another note: The 41-3 win over Vanderbilt was the Rebels' largest margin of victory in an SEC game since defeating Mississippi State 45-0 in 2008.
6. On a very related note, the margin of victory (38) was also former football player Chucky Mullins' jersey number, while the total number of points (44) was also former Vanderbilt football player Brad Gaines' jersey number. The SEC Storied documentary "It's Time," centered on the the inspirational friendship between Mullins and Gaines, debuted on Thursday on the SEC Network.
7. Robert Nkemdiche called the defense's performance in the season opener against Boise State the new normal. The defense showed up again, as they allowed only a fourth-quarter field goal and 167 yards of total offense against Vanderbilt. Through two games, the Rebels have allowed just 4.19 yards per play and just eight plays of 20 yards of more.
"We stopped the run primarily and we got some pressure on the quarterback and we didn't give up explosive plays and I think that's key for us this year," head coach Hugh Freeze said after the win over Vanderbilt. "We want to make people drive to earn points and I think we did that well."
8. Speaking of Nkemdiche, the former consensus No. 1 overall recruit recorded his first sack of the season, the third of his career, against Vanderbilt. It likely won't be his last.
9. It may get lost in the team's overall performance, but Cliff Coleman may have turned in the play of the game, making his first interception and returning it 39 yards for his first career touchdown to keep the momentum in the Rebels' favor and stretch their lead to 27-0 early in the third quarter.
10. Defensive coordinator Dave Wommack earlier said this freshman class was a hit across the board. Through two games, Kendarius Webster has been the one who has stood out. He had a well-timed pass breakup late in the game against Boise State and had two massive tackles to keep the shutout intact against Vanderbilt.
11. The reigning national punter of the week, Will Gleeson did not see the field, as Ole Miss did not punt in a game for the first time since 2002. Andrew Fletcher connected on each of his first two career field-goal attempts, one from 31 yards and another 25 yards, while Gary Wunderlich made his collegiate debut kicking off four times with three touchbacks and one kick out of bounds.
12. College GameDay producer Lee Fitting has said the Ole Miss looks like a strong a candidate for a visit from College GameDay on Oct. 4 if Ole Miss and Alabama are undefeated. It would be their first trip to the Grove. Home games against Louisiana-Lafayette and Memphis stand in the way for Ole Miss, while home games against Southern Miss and Florida stand in the way for Alabama.
13. With that said, don't sleep on Memphis. Under second-year head coach Justin Fuente, Memphis put a scare into No. 11 UCLA before falling short 42-35. The Tigers rolled up 469 yards of total offense, led by second-year quarterback Paxton Lynch who threw for 305 yards and accounted for two touchdowns.
14. The Ole Miss volleyball team is the last undefeated team in the SEC. With a 3-0 weekend to win the Memphis Invitational, the Rebels improved to 7-0 on the season for the first time since 2007, when they started a school-best 9-0.
15. In their first match of the weekend at Memphis, the Rebels saved a match point down 14-13 in the fifth and decisive set before scoring the next two points to clinch the match. Those are the kinds of wins where you can see the mentality change that first-year head coach Steven McRoberts has talked about since arriving in Oxford.
16. The Ole Miss soccer team had their own share of dramatics this weekend. Down 2-0, Olivia Harrison netted a pair of goals within four minutes of each other in the final 12 minutes of regulation to force extra time against Minnesota. She capped off her hat trick with the golden goal in the second overtime period.
17. Even more impressive, it was the second straight game where an Ole Miss player scored a hat trick, with Addie Forbus scoring three goals in their previous match against Louisiana-Lafayette.
18. The NFL is back, and so is the large contingent of former Rebels among its ranks. Mike Wallace caught a game-tying touchdown, as the Miami Dolphins scored 23 unanswered to rally to defeat the New England Patriots. On the defensive side of the ball, Greg Hardy, who was third in the NFL in sacks last year, recorded his first sack of the season, while Patrick Willis intercepted a pass and led his team in tackles.
19. Looking ahead, there's another big weekend on campus upcoming with volleyball's first three home matches of the season as part of the Magnolia Invitational on Thursday and Friday, football's home opener against Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday, and a home soccer match against Middle Tennessee State on Sunday.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Aug. 25-31, 2014
No. 18 Ole Miss opened the 2014 season with a 35-13 win over Boise
State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Atlanta's Georgia Dome. -
The Rebels led 7-6 entering the fourth quarter when senior quarterback
Bo Wallace and the offense exploded for 28 fourth-quarter points to
cruise to victory. - Wallace passed for 387 yards and four
touchdowns, and receivers Laquon Treadwell and Cody Core both set career
highs and went over 100 receiving yards. - The Rebel defense picked
off the Broncos four times, including Cody Prewitt's 10th career
interception that ranks him top 10 in school history. - Logging his
first start, junior wide receiver Cody Core finished with four catches
for a career-high 110 yards and his first two career touchdowns.
Ole Miss kicked off the Steven McRoberts era this past weekend by
winning the Buffalo Classic. The Rebels defeated Canisius, Siena, Lehigh
and Buffalo all by 3-0 scores to capture their first tournament title
away from home since 2007. - The Rebels started the year 4-0 for the
first time since 2007 and swept their first four matches for the first
time since 1984. - Melanie Crow, Aubrey Edie and Nakyeta Clair were
named to the All-Tournament Team, while Clair earned Most Valuable
Player honors. - The Rebels averaged 15.0 kills per set, led by
Crow, who posted 46 kills for an average of 3.83 kills per set. Crow
came up with several big kills in Sunday's win over Buffalo to stave off
the Bulls and also added 13 blocks, 7 service aces and hit .320 for the
weekend. - Clair finished the tournament with 42 kills and 13 blocks and hit .381, while Edie tallied 149 assists (12.42 per set).
Cross Country Men's Team -
The Ole Miss men's cross country team opened the 2014 season on a high
note, tying for first at the Brooks Memphis Twilight Classic. Three
runners finished in the top 10 for the Rebels. - In his first event
as a Rebel, freshman Mark Robertson recorded the best time for Ole Miss
in the four-mile run. His time of 20:07.74 was good for second overall
in the event. - The first-place finish was against a field consisting of four regionally ranked teams. Women's Team - The Rebel women's cross country team finished third in the Twilight Classic, ahead of two other regionally ranked teams. - Sophomore Mary Alex England's fifth-place finish in the 5K led the way for the Rebels. - Of the 10 Rebels who competed in the opening event, five were freshmen and four were sophomores.
Sophomore Addie Forbus turned in her first hat trick and added two
assists to help the Rebels defeat Louisiana-Lafayette 5-1 on Sunday. - Junior Jessica Hiskey added a pair of goals against Louisiana-Lafayette as the Rebels improved to 2-1-1 on the season. -
The Rebels split on the weekend, dropping a road contest at Louisville
1-0 on Friday before picking up the win over the Ragin' Cajuns to close
out play in week two of competition.
This is a new concept we've created for the Ole Miss Sports Blog that we're calling Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations from the previous week in Ole Miss sports. Some of these will be stat nuggets, some of these will be links to great work from other people, and some will simply be casual observations about a game/subject/whatever. Sometimes I'll be posting these weekly features, sometimes it will be Austin Miller, and sometimes we'll team up for it. We'll keep it professional, of course, but we're also going to have some fun with this because it is a blog after all. Let's get started:
1.) Great season-opening win by the Ole Miss football team. Was it always pretty? No. Does it matter? Not really. At the end of the day, the Rebels are 1-0, which is a fact half the teams in the country cannot say.
2.) He plays a position that doesn't always (OK, ever) get a whole lot of attention, but can we please give a shout out to Will Gleeson? The Punter from Down Under was a beast Thursday night against Boise State. Not only did he punt for distance, he also punted with precision, landing three of his four punts inside the Broncos' 20-yard line, including a 70-yarder that stopped at the 7.
3.) Here's a nice story on Gleeson from Hugh Kellenberger of The Clarion-Ledger from back on Aug. 10. Check it out.
4.) We had read and heard about the Ole Miss defense throughout fall camp, but when they're going against the Ole Miss offense there (obviously) aren't any big hits so as to prevent injury. Well, my guess is those defensive players had a little energy built up. There were some absolutely massive hits Thursday from a number of folks. Check out this Vine showing three of the bigger hits: https://vine.co/v/MlV2vObKAxE.
5.) In camp, defensive line coach Chris Kiffin said he expected really big things from sophomore defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche. The former consensus No. 1 overall recruit didn't disappoint. While his stats weren't necessarily eye-opening, if you watched the game you saw how much attention he drew from the Broncos, which thus freed up his teammates for three sacks and 10 tackles for loss. I really liked this quote from Nkemdiche after the game: "The Rebel defense really made a statement and are really getting an identity. You better get used to it. It's the new normal for us."
6.) Senquez Golson had a big-time game for the Rebels against Boise State. The senior from Pascagoula, Mississippi, made a game-high tying eight solo tackles, including one tackle for a loss and he also had a key interception in the end zone.
7.) Speaking of that interception in the end zone, the key to the game may have been the Rebels' defense bending but never breaking in the first half. Boise State had two drives stall inside the Ole Miss 5-yard line. In total, the Broncos ran seven plays inside the Ole Miss 5 and came away with just three points. If Boise State scores two touchdowns there the whole game could have been different.
8.) Stop me if you've heard this before: Cody Prewitt picked off a pass. The first team All-American picked up right where he left off a year ago when he led the Southeastern Conference with six interceptions.
9.) While there wound up being a lot of good that came from Thursday's game, there were also a couple head scratchers. Fourteen penalties is a whale of a number, first game or not, and that's surely something Coach Freeze and the rest of the Rebel coaching staff will be focusing on prior to their next game at Vanderbilt. Of the 14 penalties, half came as a result of false start calls ... in the first half.
10.) Ole Miss will also look to kick start its running game its next time out. Ole Miss finished the day with 34 rushes for just 71 yards and a touchdown. I, for one, believe the Ole Miss running back corps is a position of strength and the remainder of the year will be a different story.
11.) Here's a fun fact: With Thursday's win, Ole Miss Football is now 8-0 all-time in the month of August.
13.) What a great weekend for the Ole Miss volleyball team as it kicked off the Steven McRoberts era in grand fashion by going 4-0 in Buffalo, New York, at the Buffalo Classic.
14.) The Rebels didn't drop a set throughout the entirety of the tournament. The Rebels' 4-0 start is their best start since 2007, and it's their first time opening a season without dropping a set in their first four matches since 1984. Wow. The volleyball team will play in three matches next week (Sept. 5-6) in nearby Memphis, Tennessee, before hosting two tournaments in back-to-back weekends Sept. 11-12 and Sept. 18-20.
15.) The Ole Miss soccer team also continued its strong start to the year with a 1-1 weekend that saw it bounce back from a 1-0 loss at Louisville on Friday with a 5-1 win over Louisiana-Lafayette at the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium on Sunday. Love seeing a team respond from its first loss with five goals and a victory.
16.) The soccer team is now 2-1-1 after facing four tough opponents to open the season. Come on out to support your Rebels this upcoming week for two home games against Minnesota and Memphis on Sept. 5 and Sept. 7, respectively. It's a fun environment and the team really feeds off a strong crowd.
The SEC Network will debut at 5 p.m. CT Thursday with its flagship news and information show, SEC Now, live from all 14 SEC campuses.
The debut of SEC Now on Thursday will be a three-hour special hosted by Dari Nowkhah and Maria Taylor, and they will be joined by Brent Musburger, Paul Finebaum, Greg McElroy and Booger McFarland. There will be live whip-around reporting from each of the school's 14 campuses, with reporter Kaylee Hartung stationed at Ole Miss.
The three-hour special will be followed by the premiere of "SEC Storied: The Stars of Aligned" at 8 p.m. CT and will feature Shepard Smith representing Ole Miss.
The first two weeks of the network will also feature customized programming to feature 14 schools in 14 days. The "Best of Ole Miss" block of programming will air on Monday, Aug. 18 starting at 11 p.m. CT and will include "SEC Storied: Book of Manning," the 2008 game vs. Florida, the 2002 game vs. Florida, the 2003 game vs. Auburn and the 2013 game vs. LSU. The first two weeks will also include the soccer team's season opener vs. Georgia on Friday, Aug. 22 at 6 p.m. CT.
During the fall season, Ole Miss has 10 games scheduled to be featured live on the SEC Network, with the possibility of that number increasing with additional football games being picked up by the channel during the season. Ole Miss also has 30 total soccer and volleyball matches that will be offered exclusively as SEC Network+ events on WatchESPN and SECNetwork.com.
With the launch of the SEC Network just eight days away, ESPN released new animations for each of the 14 schools in the Southeastern Conference.
From the ESPN MediaZone press release:
Each school worked closely with the network to develop authentic and
timeless school IDs, including a 15-second "Quad" ID. All 14 Quad IDs
open with an iconic campus image which will then circulate into
legendary and current athletic imagery of coaches, players, fans and
school tradition. Each ID ends on a virtual SEC Network campus quad that
encapsulates the pageantry and passion of the individual school.
Below is the animation for Ole Miss. To check out the animations of the other 13 schools in the conference, go here.
The United States' run in the 2014 World Cup came to an end with a 2-1 extra-time loss to Belgium in the Round of 16. For many fans, it's also the end of the road, but for a few Ole Miss coaches, current players and former players, their teams march on to the quarterfinals, which start Friday.
The Round of 16 match between the United States and Belgium averaged 16,491,000 viewers and a 9.8 US HH rating, making it the second most viewed men's soccer match in the United States ever, behind the 18,220,000 viewers and 9.6 US HH rating for the opening round match between the United States and Portugal.
For comparison, just two 2013 college football games -- the BCS Championship game between Florida State and Auburn (14.8) and the Rose Bowl between Stanford and Michigan State (10.2) -- outdrew those two United States soccer matches.
Ole Miss soccer head coach Matt Mott has closely followed the World Cup and looks for a bump in attendance and interest, as the Rebels kick off the 2014 season with the first-ever live event broadcast on the SEC Network when they host Georgia on Friday, August 22 at 5 p.m.
"This coming fall it will have a great effect," said Mott on Head to Head Radio, Tuesday. "It will help our attendance and help attendance throughout the country. People are excited about it. We're growing in fans all the time and growing in kids who are playing. We're so close. The World Cup will end here in the next couple of weeks, and a few weeks after that we get going. World Cup years are always great for our sport."
As for those with rooting interests whose native countries in the World Cup, former soccer player Rafaelle Souza and volleyball assistant coach Ronaldo Pacheco have represented Brazil for their respective national teams.
Souza, who now plays for the Houston Dash of the National Women's Soccer League, made her first and only appearance for Brazil in 2012. She may also figure in the mix for the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada (June 6-July 5).
Pacheco grew up playing soccer, then briefly basketball, before the start of his volleyball playing career (1983-2001), where he played on 10 different teams, including the Brazilian National Team.
"Every single boy in Brazil wants to play soccer," Pacheco said. "I was too tall when I was 13 and I did not have enough skills to play soccer. Playing soccer in Brazil is like playing basketball here in the United States. There are too many good players. To succeed, you have to be good plus you have to be lucky. When I was younger, I played every single day. We would play in the streets or go to the park and play."
After his playing career, Pacheco served as an assistant coach for the women's national team from 2004-07 and helped Brazil to a fourth-place finish at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. It's that coaching experience he brings to the Ole Miss volleyball staff, having most recently spent the past two seasons at Tulsa as an assistant coach.
"It's really nice, before the game, to listen to your national anthem," Pacheco said. "I loved playing for the national team. I loved the pressure. It's not just go and play. You have to perform. People will say this or say that, and you have to learn to deal with all that. When I worked as an assistant coach, in 2004, it was almost like soccer because the soccer [team] wasn't doing well at that time, and volleyball had a stretch where the men's national team won three world championships in a row."
Like Souza and Pacheco, women's tennis head coach Mark Beyers grew up around soccer in his native Netherlands. His father played professional soccer, and he remembers going to AFC Ajax matches when he was younger.
"It's hard to keep up with all the clubs in Holland," Beyers said. "I try to follow them, but it's hard. With the World Cup, you get to see all the games. Even though I live in the U.S., I'm still Dutch. When you watch the national team play, that patriotism comes up. The other day, the game against Mexico, it was a mixture of English and Dutch being yelled at the TV."
A few other players and former players with ties to teams remaining in the World Cup are rising women's tennis senior Iris Verboven, also from the Netherlands, senior Marie-Pierre Bakima from France, freshman middle distance runner Julius Lembke from Germany, and former men's tennis players Marcel and Chris Thiemann from Germany, who have remained at Ole Miss while working on graduate degrees in accounting.
"In soccer, you have a lot of trash-talking and bragging rights if you do win," said Beyers, mentioning the Thiemann's with Germany. "It's a lot of fun. I'm excited that the United States is embracing it so much. The ratings are off the charts."
Baseball - Ole Miss claimed the Southeastern Conference Western Division title and the overall No. 2 seed at the SEC Tournament with a series win at Texas A&M this past weekend. - The Rebels posted a 40-16 record in the regular season with a 19-11 mark in SEC play. It's the fifth 40-win series in the Bianco era and sixth in program history. - Will Allen and Austin Anderson were named semifinalists for the Dick Howser Trophy by the NCBWS, presented annually to the organization's Player of the Year. - Allen was also named one of 15 semifinalists for the Johnny Bench Award honoring the top collegiate catcher in the nation. - Ole Miss will open SEC Tournament play Wednesday in game two of the day against the winner of the previous day's game between Arkansas and Texas A&M.
Track & Field - The No. 18 nationally ranked Ole Miss men achieved their best finish in 30 years with a fifth-place showing at the SEC Outdoor Championships. - Senior Ricky Robertson and junior Sam Kendricks stole the show with sensational SEC titles within a couple of minutes of each other Sunday in the high jump (7-3.25) and pole vault (18-6), respectively. - Robertson earned the SEC Commissioner's Trophy for scoring the most points at the meet (23), as he placed first in the high jump, second in the triple jump and fourth in the long jump. It was the second time in his career to win the award (2012 indoors), and he's the second straight Rebel to win the outdoor award (Isiah Young last year). - Kendricks set a Kentucky facility record with his winning pole vault of 18-6. He captured his first SEC outdoor title and second league crown overall. - Freshmen Robert Domanic, Sean Tobin and Trevor Gilley all scored team points for Ole Miss, led by Domanic's runner-up finish in the 1,500 meters (3:49.02) and Tobin's third-place showing in the 5,000 meters (14:16.74). - The Rebels scored 78 points, including a whopping 67 on Sunday's final day of competition. It was their second-highest point total at an SEC outdoor meet in program history. - The NCAA East Preliminary is up next. The top 48 athletes in each individual event and top 24 relays from the East region will compete May 29-31 in Jacksonville, Florida, for the right to advance to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon, June 11-14.
Men's Tennis - Nik Scholtz begins his quest for a national championship as the NCAA Singles Championship begins Wednesday. Scholtz is seeded 9-16 in singles for the third year in a row. In 2012, he reached the quarterfinals. - Head Coach Billy Chadwick will be inducted into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Hall of Fame on Wednesday night in Athens, Georgia. He becomes the second representative from Ole Miss to be inducted, joining 1995 NCAA doubles champion Mahesh Bhupathi, who entered the hall of fame in 2010. - Senior Johan Backstrom was named to the Capital One Academic All-District At-Large Team for the second year in a row. The Uppsala, Sweden, native posted a 4.0 grade point average this spring and boasts a 3.92 cumulative GPA. - Associate head coach Toby Hansson, who will take over as head coach after Chadwick's retirement, completed his first recruiting class last week, signing the top recruit from Croatia (Zvonimir Babic) and the top recruit from Egypt (Mazen Osama). They join Sweden's top recruit, Gustav Hansson, who signed in the fall.
Men's Golf - Junior standout golfer Blake Morris competed in the NCAA Auburn Regional in Auburn, Alabama, over the weekend. - Morris carded a three-round total of 235 and tied for 64th-place overall. - This concludes the 2013-14 men's golf season.
Baseball - Ole Miss maintained its lead in the SEC Western Division standings with a series win over Georgia this past weekend. - Junior outfielder Auston Bousfield continues to lead the SEC in batting average and hits, and drove in both runs in Sunday's 2-1 win in 10 innings. - Junior right-handed pitcher Chris Ellis improved to 8-0 on the year with the win over Georgia in the series opener Friday. - With the series win, Ole Miss is now tied with Georgia in the all-time series 37-37. - Ole Miss closes out the regular season at Arkansas State on Tuesday and at Texas A&M this weekend.
Men's Tennis - The Rebels rallied to defeat No. 30 Northwestern 4-1 to advance to the second round of the NCAA Championships before falling in a tight match to No. 13 Notre Dame 4-2. The Rebels' season ends at 16-14 overall. They made their 21st consecutive NCAA appearance. - Freshman Ricardo Jorge went 3-0 in singles and doubles in the NCAAs, winning both his singles matches in straight sets, to put the Rebels on the board in both matches after they had dropped the doubles point. - Senior Johan Backstrom rallied to clinch the win over Northwestern, the second time he has clinched a win in the NCAA Championships. - With the Rebels' team season coming to a close, the 35-year career of head coach Billy Chadwick comes to an end with five overall SEC championships, 10 SEC West titles, three SEC Tournament championships, 23 NCAA appearances, one NCAA finals appearance, four NCAA Final Four appearances, nine NCAA quarterfinal appearances and 16 Sweet Sixteen appearances. - Junior Nik Scholtz will compete in the NCAA Singles Championship beginning May 21 in Athens, Ga. He is seeded 9-16, marking the third straight year for the South African to be seeded.
Women's Tennis - The Rebels came back to defeat No. 26 Texas Tech in an exciting 4-3 match to advance to the second round of the NCAA Championships before falling to No. 3 UCLA 4-0. The Rebels ended the season at 14-10 overall. They made their sixth straight NCAA appearance under head coach Mark Beyers. - Junior Julia Jones rallied after dropping a close first set tiebreaker to win 6-2 in the third and clinch the opening win for the Rebels. The win improved the series lead against Texas Tech to 3-1. Jones finished the year with a team-leading 27-11 overall record, 16-7 in dual matches. She earned All-SEC second team honors after going 8-5 in the SEC. Jones also teamed with freshman Zalina Khairudinova for a 15-6 record in doubles. - Junior Erin Stephens ended the year on an 11-match winning streak. - Senior Caroline Rohde-Moe ended her four-year career with an 84-58 overall record. She earned All-SEC honors twice and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Mississippi.
Women's Golf - Sophomore Abby Newton competed in the 2014 NCAA East Regional and finished 38th in the individual standings. - The Katy, Texas, native saved her best round for the final day, firing a 2-under-par 70, giving her a three-day score of 220. The 70 was her first round under par this spring. - She also nailed an eagle on opening day action Thursday, her first this season and the third for an Ole Miss player this spring.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review April 28-May 4, 2014
Baseball - Ole Miss moved into first place in the Southeastern Conference Western Division with a series win over Arkansas this past weekend. - The Rebels have now won five SEC series and nine series overall this season, with two weekends left in the regular season. - Auston Bousfield leads the SEC in hits (77) and average (.368) after the weekend, and is in the top four in runs scored and steals. - Will Allen is second in the SEC in average (.359) and RBI (51), and is in the top three in home runs (7).
Track & Field - Ole Miss showed Saturday it belongs among the best track & field teams in the country with a strong performance at the five-team LSU Invitational, its final tune up for the May 15-18 SEC Championships. - The 16th-ranked Rebel men finished third in the team standings with 110 points behind No. 2 Texas A&M (166) and No. 10 LSU (143). No. 1 Florida was fourth (104), followed by Miami (28). On the women's side, No. 7 LSU took the title at home with 158 points, followed by No. 3 Texas A&M (135), No. 2 Florida (100), Miami (84) and Ole Miss (73). - The Ole Miss men and women finished the day with numerous personal and seasonal bests, and a total of six event victories. - Junior Phillip Young had an outstanding day in three different events. He won the triple jump with a big mark of 52-10.25 that ranks him fourth in the NCAA this year and sixth in school history. He also placed third in the long jump (24-6.25) and anchored the Rebels' 4x400-meter relay squad that finished runner-up in a season-best 3:08.38. - Freshman Robert Domanic was the top collegiate finisher in the 1,500 meters with a personal-best 3:44.78 that ranks him third-best in school history and top 50 in the NCAA this year. Ole Miss finished 1-2-3 in the 800 meters, led by freshman Sean Tobin in 1:48.79. Junior newcomers Dameon Morgan and Holland Sherrer clocked lifetime bests of 1:49.50 and 1:49.54, respectively. - On the women's side, freshmen Mary Alex England and Saga Barzowski captured event titles in the 5,000 meters and 3,000-meter steeplechase, respectively.
Men's Tennis - The Rebels earned their 21st consecutive and 23rd overall NCAA appearance. They will head to South Bend, Ind., May 10-11 for the first and second rounds. The Rebels will face Northwestern in the first round Saturday at 10 a.m. CT. The winner of that match will meet the winner of the match between Notre Dame/Wisconsin-Green Bay, Sunday at 1 p.m. for the right to advance to the sweet 16. - Ole Miss is 2-0 all-time against Northwestern. In their last meeting (2007), the Rebels defeated the Wildcats 5-2 in Evanston, Ill. This will be the first meeting in the NCAA Championships. - This marks the second time for the Rebels to begin NCAA play in South Bend. The last time they did so (1995), the Rebels advanced to the championship match in Athens, Ga., site of this year's sweet 16. - Junior Nik Scholtz earned the SEC's automatic bid to the NCAA Singles Championship, and is seeded Nos. 9-16. It marks the third consecutive year for him to be seeded. The NCAA Singles Championship begins May 21, following the conclusion of the team championships.
Women's Tennis - The Rebels earned their sixth consecutive, and 17th overall, NCAA bid. They will head to Los Angeles to take on Texas Tech in the first round, Friday at 12 p.m. CT. The winner of that match will meet the winner of UCLA/Sacramento State in the second round Saturday at 5 p.m. CT. - The Lady Raiders and Rebels have met three times, with Ole Miss leading the series 2-1. Last season, Texas Tech hosted Ole Miss in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Championships, but the two did not meet. - Ole Miss is one of 40 teams in Division I tennis to have both its men's and women's tennis teams in the NCAA Championships. This is the sixth consecutive year both Rebel teams have made it in the same year.
Women's Golf - Sophomore Abby Newton was selected to compete as an individual in the 2014 NCAA East Regional in Tallahassee, Fla., May 8-10. Newton was one of 18 individuals selected to compete. - This marks the seventh consecutive year Ole Miss will be represented at the NCAA Championships.
Softball - Ole Miss concluded its season last weekend in Knoxville, Tenn., against the then-No. 8 Tennessee Lady Vols. - Ole Miss jumped out to early leads in games one and two against the Lady Vols, but could not close out the Lady Vols in either game. The Rebels dropped the series and season finale Sunday, allowing just two runs and one hit in innings 2-6 after giving up three runs in the bottom of the first. - The 2014 Rebels (22-31, 3-21 SEC) set team program records in hits (396), RBI (217), walks (150), and tied the program record with five saves. It's the third straight year Ole Miss has increased its season hit total. - Individually, junior Allison Brown and senior RT Cantillo each logged 11-game hitting streaks, which tie the school's third longest streak. Cantillo, who was drafted in the fifth round of the National Pro Fastpitch College Draft by the Chicago Bandits, finished the 2014 season with the second best single-season batting average in program history (.424), the fourth most hits (61), tied the fifth most runs scored (35), tied the fourth most walks (30), tied the 10th best slugging percentage (.556) and logged the third best on-base percentage (.522). Brown's 12 doubles in 2014 are tied for the sixth most in single-season history behind the 17 she hit as a sophomore in 2013. Senior Londen Ladner tied the single season record for the ninth most home runs (seven) and also tied the mark for the seventh most RBIs (34). - Ole Miss is graduating six seniors in Cantillo, Shelby Jo Fenter, Carly Hummel, Ladner, Natalie Nimmo and Marina Parra.
Above are two completed image outside and inside the Manning Center. Inside the full gallery are images from some of the construction centered around the Manning Center, Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, and the new basketball arena at the University of Mississippi. Older images are from the 2012-2013 season. Construction images are from July 1, 2013 to today, and the completed images come from the 2013-2014 season. Currently, construction is underway for the new parking garage and new basketball arena. To learn more about concepts and ways to get involved, please visit http://forwardtogetherrebels.com/site
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review April 21-27, 2014
Baseball - Ole Miss went on the road and swept No. 17 Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., this past weekend for only the third time in school history, and the first time since 2002. - The Rebels scored 39 runs on the weekend, the most in a three-game SEC series in school history. Ole Miss also tallied 49 hits and six home runs. - Junior outfielder Auston Bousfield hit .714 for the series with eight runs scored and seven RBIs to help pace the Rebels' offense in the sweep. - Ole Miss will host four games this week, including a Wednesday night contest with Southern Miss and a weekend series against Arkansas.
Track & Field - The No. 11 nationally ranked Ole Miss men's team competed at the Arkansas State Red Wolves Open this past weekend, while the Rebel women split between the Drake Relays and the Red Wolves Open. - Between the two squads, Ole Miss collected six event victories and posted some of its best results of the season. - Freshman Jalen Miller once again burned the track in the 100 and 200 meters. He placed runner-up in both events to former Rebel and Olympian Isiah Young (running unattached). Miller equaled his personal best of 10.24 in the 100 and ran 21.02 in the 200 as the top collegiate finisher. - Sophomore Nathan Loe won the hammer throw with a heave of 209-7 that was just shy of his school record of 210-3. Loe has now placed in the top two at all five outdoor meets this year. - On Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa, freshman Mary Alex England won the Drake Relays 10,000 meters and set a school record with her time of 34:48.66. Amazingly, it was her first ever competitive race at that distance. - Other victories for the men went to freshman Will Spiers in the 1,500 (personal-best 4:00.95), junior Robert Semien in the 110 hurdles (14.19) and the 4x400 relay (3:11.84), while Margaret Harkness claimed the women's 1,500 title in Jonesboro (4:45.77).
Men's Tennis - Junior Nik Scholtz (Caledon, South Africa) was named the SEC Men's Tennis Player of the Year last week. Scholtz is the highest ranked player, nationally, in the SEC at No. 9. He finished the regular season 15-1 at No. 1 singles, 8-1 in the SEC. - Scholtz became the fourth Rebel to earn the league's top honor, and the first player in program history to earn freshman of the year and player of the year honors during his career. - The Rebels are expected to earn their 21st consecutive NCAA appearance when the selections are announced Tuesday at 4 p.m. The announcement of the 64 teams and 16 host sites will be broadcast on NCAA.com.
Women's Tennis - Junior Julia Jones earned All-SEC Second Team honors as the league office announced the 2014 postseason awards last week. Jones (St. Petersburg, Fla.) owns a team-leading 26-10 overall record, 15-6 in dual matches and 8-5 in the SEC. She posted a 4-2 record at No. 2 singles, 11-4 at No. 3 singles. Jones also went 15-5 in doubles with freshman Zalina Khairudinova, 7-3 in the SEC. - This marks the second time for Jones to be recognized by the league office, as she was named to the all-freshman team in 2012. - The Rebels have had at least one member of the squad named to the all-SEC team every year of head coach Mark Beyers' career (13 years). - The Rebels are expected to earn their sixth consecutive NCAA appearance when the selections are announced Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. The announcement of the 64 teams and 16 host sites will be broadcast on NCAA.com.
Softball - Ole Miss celebrated Senior Weekend last week against then-No. 24 LSU by recognizing two of its six seniors - RT Cantillo, Shelby Jo Fenter, Carly Hummel, Londen Ladner, Natalie Nimmo and Marina Parra - prior to each game of the three-game series. - Ole Miss couldn't get its offense going in the series' opening two games though, and couldn't slow down the Tigers in Sunday's series finale. - Redshirt freshman Alyssa Invergo went 3-6 with an RBI in the series vs. LSU, while Nimmo batted in three runs over the course of the three games. - Ole Miss will close out its regular season schedule with a three-game series at No. 8 Tennessee beginning Friday at 5 p.m. CT. Game two will begin Saturday at 1 p.m., and game three is scheduled for Sunday at noon and will be televised by Fox Sports Network.
Men's Golf - The Ole Miss men's golf team competed at the 2014 SEC Championships at St. Simmons Island, Ga., at the Sea Island Golf and Country Club. - Junior Joe Lewis was the Rebels' top competitor, carding a three-day total of 217 and tying for 43rd place. - As a team, Ole Miss finished in 14th with a tournament total of 875.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review April 14-20, 2014
Baseball - Ole Miss went 1-2 last week vs. No. 7 LSU, dropping a 13-inning affair in the series opener before taking game two and falling in the series finale. - Ole Miss became the first team in the Southeastern Conference to hit the 30-win mark with a 5-1 win over No. 7 LSU on Friday night. - Junior outfielder Auston Bousfield leads the SEC in hits with 61 on the season and leads the team in hitting at a .347 clip. - Senior catcher Will Allen is second in the SEC in RBIs (42), while junior first baseman Sikes Orvis is second in home runs (9). - Ole Miss will play four road games this week, including the Governor's Cup game Tuesday vs. MSU, and a three-game series at Kentucky this weekend.
Track & Field - The No. 11 Ole Miss men had a successful week at the historic Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif. - The biggest highlight came Friday when freshman Sean Tobin shattered a 29-year-old school record in the 1,500 meters with a time of 3:42.07. He moved up to No. 7 in the NCAA this year and is also ranked 11th nationally in the 800. - Several other Rebel freshmen stood out in California. Robert Domanic ran a personal-best time of 14:08.78 in his first college outdoor 5,000 meters to rank fifth in school history. Jalen Miller (10.30 in the 100, 21.01 in the 200) and Kailo Moore (personal-best 21.07 in the 200) shined in the short sprints. Trevor Gilley achieved a personal best in the 1,500 (3:47.43) and moved into the top 10 in school history - Senior Ricky Robertson won silver in the high jump with a clearance of 7-3.75. Junior Phillip Young recorded a season-best 51-9.75 in the triple jump and moved up to 10th in the NCAA this year and ninth in school history. Junior Robert Semien won a bronze medal in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.07. - At the War Eagle Invitational in Auburn, sophomore Nathan Loe won the hammer throw with a heave of 200-9. - The Ole Miss men and women are in action this week at the A-State Red Wolves Open (men) and the Drake Relays (women).
Men's Tennis - The Rebels went 1-1 at the SEC Tournament, knocking off No. 18 Tennessee 4-2 in the second round before falling to No. 11 Kentucky in a close 4-2 match in the quarterfinals. - Stefan Lindmark clinched the win over Tennessee for his second consecutive clinch against an SEC opponent. He defeated Jarryd Chaplin 6-0 in the third set at No. 3 singles to clinch the Rebels' fifth straight against the Volunteers. Lindmark also teamed up with William Kallberg to upset the No. 1 ranked doubles team in the nation to clinch the doubles point. The Swedish duo handed the Vol tandem just their second SEC loss since 2012. - Nik Scholtz won both his singles matches to improve to 15-1 at No. 1 singles, including a win over Kentucky's Tom Jomby, ranked No. 11, for the second time this year. It marked Scholtz' fourth top-12 win of the season. His win over No. 27 ranked Hunter Reese gave the Rebels a 3-2 lead and set up Lindmark's clinching victory against Tennessee. - Johan Backstrom and Joe Rogers improved to 9-3 overall and 7-3 at No. 3 doubles with a huge win against Tennessee. For the second straight SEC match, the duo faced match points but rallied to win 8-7(7) to set up their teammates' clinching win at No. 1 doubles.
Women's Tennis - The Rebels (13-9) dropped their opening match in the SEC Tournament second round to South Carolina, 4-2. - Junior Julia Jones won her match in straight sets to improve to 26-10 overall, 15-6 in dual matches. - Junior Erin Stephens earned her 10th straight victory.
Men's Golf - The Ole Miss men's golf team hosted the Reunion Intercollegiate at the Reunion Golf and Country Club in Madison, Miss. - Junior Blake Morris finished with a two-round score of even-par 144 and claimed second-place. This marked Morris' fourth top-five finish of the season. - Morris helped lead Ole Miss to a fourth-place finish as a team, which marked the second-straight tournament the Rebels have posted a top-five finish. - The Rebels will be back in action April 25-27 at the SEC Championships in Sea Island, Ga.
Women's Golf - The Ole Miss women's golf team closed out action at the SEC Championships on Sunday in 14th-place with a three-day score of 925 (313-305-307-925). Abby Newton and Alison Hovatter led the Rebels with scores of 228 and 230, respectively. Ole Miss will now wait to see if it is selected for the NCAA Regionals on May 5.
Softball - Ole Miss went 2-3 last week, cruising in a home doubleheader against Alcorn State before dropping three games at No. 13 Missouri. - The Rebels were red-hot Tuesday at the Ole Miss Softball Complex as they emphatically beat Alcorn State 18-5 (5) and 13-1 (5), respectively. - Behind a season-high 18 hits, Ole Miss scored a season-high 18 runs and cruised in game one of the doubleheader. The Rebels' 18 runs scored were their highest total since scoring 22 runs Feb. 13, 2008. The Rebels scored in each of the eight innings it came up to bat in the two games combined, and of the 15 outs they recorded in game two Tuesday, 11 came by way of strikeout. - After taking a one-run lead in the top of the seventh of the series opener Friday at Missouri, Ole Miss lost 5-3 on a walk-off three-run home run. The Rebels then fell 2-0 in game two of the doubleheader despite allowing just four hits against the Tigers, which entered the series with the second most hits in the SEC. Ole Miss couldn't get its bats going Saturday and dropped the series finale at Missouri 9-1 (6). - The Rebels open a three-game home series Friday vs. LSU. Ole Miss will recognize its six seniors in the series with two seniors honored prior to the start of each game.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review March 31-April 6, 2014
Baseball - Ole Miss picked up its second sweep in SEC play with three wins over the Auburn Tigers this past weekend, including a doubleheader sweep Saturday. - Left-handed pitcher Christian Trent posted a complete-game shutout of the Tigers on Saturday. It was his first complete game and his first shutout as a Rebel. - Austin Anderson hit a three-run home run Friday night in the 13th inning to propel the Rebels to an 8-5 win over Auburn in the series opener. - Right-handed pitcher Sam Smith picked up his fourth win of the season and fellow right-handed pitcher Josh Laxer snagged his fourth save in the finale against the Tigers, a 5-1 win.
Football - Ole Miss capped its physical, competitive spring practice season with the 2014 Regions Bank Grove Bowl on Saturday. Using a modified scoring system, the offense edged the defense 15-12 for the victory. - Rising junior running back I'Tavius Mathers had the highlight of the day with an impressive 96-yard run. He finished the day with four carries for 121 yards. - Rising senior quarterback Bo Wallace led the Ole Miss offense, going 10-21 for 152 yards with a touchdown. Battling for the second-string job at quarterback, redshirt freshmen Ryan Buchanan and DeVante Kincade each had strong moments Saturday. Buchanan went 6-10 for 100 yards, including a 45-yard completion to rising sophomore running back Mark Dodson. Kincade finished 5-8 for 57 yards and a score, and also logged six carries for 38 yards. - Graduate student linebacker Deterrian Shackelford was named this year's Chucky Mullins Courage Award winner, becoming the first ever two-time recipient. He will wear Mullins' No. 38 jersey this fall. - Rising senior wide receiver Collins Moore received the Eli Manning Award (most improved offensive player of the spring), and rising senior defensive back Cliff Coleman earned the Jeff Hamm Memorial Award (most improved defensive player of the spring).
Women's Golf - The Ole Miss women's golf team hosted its annual Rebel Intercollegiate last weekend and closed the tournament in 10th-place. Abby Newton and Stani Schiavone led Ole Miss with a three-round score of 222 and finished tied for 20th. - The Rebels 10th-place finish was their third consecutive top-10 finish, and their final round score of 286 was the best round of golf for Ole Miss this spring. Additionally, Stani Schiavone fired a closing round 4-under-par 68, which tied for the lowest round of the day and was her best round this season. - The Rebels will take some time off before heading to the 2014 SEC Championships. Ole Miss will compete for the SEC title and a spot in the NCAA Regionals April 18-20 at the Greystone Country Club in Birmingham, Ala.
Track & Field - Sophomore Nathan Loe broke his own school record in the hammer throw (210-3), and Ole Miss athletes collected 13 event titles at the Mississippi College Twilight Invitational on Friday evening. - Other highlights for the No. 12 ranked Rebel men, who only sent a portion of the team to the meet, included Robert Semien winning the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.15 that matches his season best. Other wins went to Max Holman in the 1500 meters (4:02.18), Ian Carter in the 5000 meters (15:23.77) and Marcus Franklin in the discus (151-11). - The Rebel women were led by long jumpers Kierra White, Kennadi Bouyer and Shari Russell, who finished 1-2-3 with some big jumps. White leaped to a season-best 20-1.75 that will rank her among the top 25 nationally. Bouyer posted a mark of 19-6.25 and Russell 19-5.25. White now ranks No. 8 in Rebel history, while Bouyer joins Russell on the list of the top-15 long jumpers all-time. - Ole Miss is back in action Friday in Tuscaloosa, Ala., for the Alabama-Mississippi Border Clash featuring Alabama, Auburn and Samford against Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Southern Miss.
Women's Tennis - The No. 24 Rebels went 1-2 last weekend, falling to No. 40 South Carolina 4-2 and No. 7 Florida 4-2, before shutting out Arkansas-Pine Bluff 6-0. The Rebels did not drop a single game in the win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Ole Miss concluded its home schedule 8-4. - Junior Julia Jones came up with the biggest win of her career, defeating No. 23 ranked Alex Cercone of Florida for her sixth win in a row. She is now 24-9 overall and 11-4 at No. 3 singles. She has not dropped a set in her 24 wins. - Erin Stephens has won eight in a row, including beating nationally-ranked Belinda Woolcock of Florida in straight sets to keep the Rebels' hopes alive in the match. - The Rebels are at Texas A&M Friday night followed by a trip to face Missouri on Sunday to close out the regular season.
Men's Tennis - The Rebels went 0-2 last weekend, falling to No. 40 South Carolina 4-2 and No. 15 Florida 4-1. - Nik Scholtz suffered his first loss at No. 1 singles in the match against South Carolina, but rebounded nicely on Sunday to post his 10th win at No. 1 singles. He is one win away from 20 for the year. - The Rebels close out their home schedule this week beginning with a tripleheader against Arkansas-Pine Bluff Wednesday at 10 a.m. On Friday, the Rebels will welcome No. 10 Texas A&M and celebrate Senior Day for the Rebels' lone senior Johan Backstrom. The match begins at 2 p.m., and there will also be a celebration of Coach Chadwick's last home weekend with fans receiving a commemorative Billy Chadwick Stadium Cup. Sunday, the Rebels will host Alcorn State in a doubleheader at 10 a.m.
Football, soccer and men's track and field were among the big winners at the fourth annual Rebels' Choice Awards Monday night.
The event featured a red carpet for student-athletes and athletic department staff before the program, which included a season highlight video, blooper reel, special recognition for Jamil Northcutt, assistant A.D. for internal operations, and the awards themselves.
Deterrian Shackelford, a previous recipient of the Community Service Award in 2012 and the Chucky Mullins Award in 2011, took home the men's Hotty Toddy award, one of seven different awards for the football team, which also included coach of the year (Hugh Freeze).
"Jamil Northcutt was one of my mentors and somebody that I have looked up to since I have gotten here," Shackelford said. "This event allows our athletes to come together, which we rarely do because we're always in different places and always competing. Every award I remember I accepted on crutches, so to be able to walk is certainly a blessing."
Soccer took home three awards, including team of the year and most valuable Rebel (Rafaelle Souza), while men's track and field won both team of the year and most valuable Rebel (Sam Kendricks).
"It was a really good night, said Mandy McCalla, who accepted the team of the year award on behalf of soccer. "We put a lot of effort into this past season, so it's really nice to have something like this to show for our hard work. It's really special."
"As an individual, I do what I can do, but I'm glad to have these people behind me," said Kendricks, the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Pole Vault champion. "We all work hard individually, but we all know we're backing each other up. I could hear them in the crowd."
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review March 24-30, 2014
Track & Field - The No. 12 Ole Miss men claimed three event titles at the prestigious Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, highlighted by junior Sam Kendricks' world-leading pole vault. - Kendricks easily won against an elite field of pole vaulters with his mark of 18-8.25 that ranks No. 1 in the world. He attempted to break his own school and meet record when the bar was raised to 19-1, but he was unable to clear that enormous height. - Senior Ricky Robertson won the high jump with a season-best leap of 7-6 that ranks him No. 1 in the NCAA and No. 2 in the world this year. - The distance medley relay team of freshman Robert Domanic, senior Montez Griffin, freshman Will Spiers and freshman Sean Tobin won with a time of 9:39.51 that ranks them No. 2 in school history. They also won that race to claim an SEC title during the indoor season. - Another strong performance came from junior Phillip Young, who placed fifth in the triple jump with a mark of 51-2.75 that ranks him No. 7 in the NCAA. He also ranks eighth nationally in the long jump. - The Rebels return home this week to host the Ole Miss Invitational on Saturday. Former Rebs and current pros Brittney Reese and Isiah Young are expected to compete alongside the collegians.
Women's Golf - The Ole Miss women's golf team picked up its second consecutive top-5 finish by taking fifth-place at the Aunenue Spring Break Classic in Hawaii. Junior Stani Schiavone led the Ole Miss contingent with an 11th-place finish for her second consecutive top-15 finish. - Kaitlin Voll, competing as an individual, recorded her first career top-20 finish, closing the weekend in 16th. She fired three straight rounds of 75, which ties her career low for 18, and her three-day total of 222 is a new career low for 54 holes. - The Rebels will host their lone home event this weekend as they host the 2014 Rebel Intercollegiate. Ole Miss welcomes 17 teams to the Ole Miss Golf course this weekend for the sixth annual event.
Women's Tennis - The Rebels are knocking on the door of the top 25, as they moved up to No. 26 in last week's ITA Rankings. - The Rebels defeated Mississippi State 4-2 to win their 25th in a row against the Bulldogs. After dropping a close doubles point, the Rebels picked up straight set singles wins at 3-6. - With the win, the Rebels improved to 11-5 overall and 5-4 in the SEC. It marked the team's fourth straight SEC victory and fifth win overall in their last six matches. - Erin Stephens got the party started by winning her sixth in a row to put the Rebels on the board against State. - Mai El Kamash has won seven straight and is 11-3 on the season at No. 4 singles. - Iris Verboven clinched the MSU win and improved to 8-0 at No. 6 singles. She has now clinched two of the last three SEC wins for the Rebels. - The Rebels host South Carolina on Friday at 3 p.m., followed by a doubleheader with Florida and Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Sunday beginning at 11 a.m., to close out the regular season home schedule.
Baseball - Ole Miss is 21-8 on the season and returns home for four games this week, including a weekend series against the Auburn Tigers. - Senior infielder Austin Anderson leads the Rebels at the plate, hitting at a .368 clip with a team-leading 25 runs scored. - Junior outfielder Braxton Lee leads the Rebels in swiping bases, stealing successfully on 11-of-14 attempts this year. - Ole Miss has 20 home runs this season, three shy of the total mark set through 62 games in the 2013 season.
Football - Ole Miss wrapped up its third week of spring practice with a competitive scrimmage Saturday. - The defense edged out the offense in the scrimmage, thanks mostly to a series of big turnovers forced by the "Landshark" D. Among them were a pick six by Cody Prewitt and fumble recoveries for touchdowns by Serderius Bryant and Bryon Bennett.
Men's Tennis - The Rebels went 3-1 last week, sweeping Jackson State three times and then losing a tight match to No. 17 Mississippi State, 4-2 on Sunday. - The Rebels won the doubles point for just the fourth time all season and the second time in SEC play. - Nik Scholtz has won 10 in a row since mid-January and is 9-0 at No. 1 singles, 4-0 in the SEC. Seven of his matches have not finished, including Sunday's match where he was serving for the win in the third set. - The Rebels are on the road this weekend at South Carolina and Florida.
Softball - Ole Miss moved to 19-18 on the season and 3-9 in SEC play after falling on the road at UT Martin and in a three-game set at South Carolina. - Junior pitcher Lauren Lindsey, starting her second game of the season, pitched a career-high 6.2 innings in a 3-2 loss at UT Martin. She allowed just one earned run and struck out three. - Ole Miss got a lead early and plated five runs in each game of Saturday's doubleheader at South Carolina, but could not cool off the Gamecocks' bats and dropped a pair of games. Ole Miss lost game one 9-5 and fell in game two 13-5 (6). - Sophomore designated player Madi Osias led the Rebels offensively in game one with her first career grand slam, while freshman catcher Courtney Syrett led the Rebels offensively in game two, going 2-3 with a season-high two RBIs and a season-high tying two runs scored. She also hit the first home run of her career. - Senior first baseman Londen Ladner led the Rebels in their series finale Sunday at South Carolina by going 2-4 with four RBIs, one run scored and one home run. It was the fourth game this season in which Ladner has driven in four or more runs. Ole Miss lost the finale 7-6.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review March 17-23, 2014
Track & Field - The Rebels began the 2014 outdoor season inside the friendly confines of the Ole Miss Track & Field Complex on Saturday, and produced a few record-breaking performances to kick off the season in strong fashion. - Junior All-American Sam Kendricks broke his own facility record in the pole vault yet again with a mark of 18-2 to crush the field of competitors. - Senior All-American Ricky Robertson was back in action for the first time since 2012 and returned in good form by tying his own facility record in the high jump at 7-5, easily winning the meet. He also placed fifth in the long jump with a mark of 23-6.75. - Sophomore Nathan Loe, a transfer from Illinois, made his Rebel outdoor debut a memorable one by setting a school record in the hammer throw with a mark of 202-1. He bested the previous record of 201-7 by Stacy Andrews in 2003. - Freshman indoor All-American Jalen Miller also had a memorable outdoor debut, winning the 100 and 200 meters, and anchoring the victorious 4x100-meter relay team. His time of 10.29 (that beat such competitors as Olympian Isiah Young and All-American Mike Granger) ranks him No. 6 on the Rebels' all-time outdoor chart. - Ole Miss is back in action this week at the Texas Relays in Austin, Wednesday-Saturday.
Baseball - Ole Miss improved to 21-4 on the season with a perfect 4-0 week that included a series sweep of Missouri - the only sweep in SEC play this week. - The Rebels posted two come-from-behind wins to bring the season total to nine come-from-behind wins to date. - Ole Miss also improved to 8-1 in one-run games this year with a pair of 4-3 wins this past week. - Sikes Orvis hit three home runs on the weekend to bring his season total to a team-leading six home runs. - Ole Miss has 19 home runs through 25 games this season. The Rebels only hit 23 total home runs all of last season.
Softball - Ole Miss went 3-1 for the week and improved to 19-14, 3-6 SEC. The Rebels won a mid-week home game against Louisiana Tech before then winning an SEC home series over Arkansas. - The Rebels opened the week Wednesday with a 3-0 victory over Louisiana Tech in which pitchers Carly Hummel, Shelby Jo Fenter and Madi Osias combined to throw a no-hitter. It was the sixth no-hitter in program history, and the first combined no hitter in Ole Miss history. In all, Ole Miss retired the first 19 batters of the game in order. - The Ole Miss bats started hot and stayed hot throughout the Rebels' series-opening 11-4 victory over Arkansas on Friday evening. Each of the Rebels' first four batters in the lineup hit home runs, and 10 of the Rebels' 11 runs in the game came with two outs away. - Trailing 5-0 in game two against Arkansas, Ole Miss rallied to score 13 runs in four innings to win 13-6 Saturday afternoon. Ole Miss entered the bottom of the third inning trailing Arkansas 5-0, but rallied to plate four runs in the third inning, two runs in the fourth and fifth innings, and then another five runs in the sixth inning. - Ole Miss faces UT Martin on the road Tuesday before traveling to South Carolina for an SEC road series against the Gamecocks.
Women's Tennis - The Rebels went 2-0 last weekend, beating Arkansas 4-2 and LSU 4-1. The Rebels improved to 10-5 overall and 4-4 in the SEC. - The Rebels have now won three in a row in the SEC and four of their last five matches overall. They have also won three straight against LSU. - Julia Jones earned her 20th win of the year in the win over LSU. She also teamed up with Zalina Khairudinova for their 13th win in doubles. - Iris Verboven improved to 7-1 in dual matches and 7-0 at No. 6 singles. - Mai El Kamash won twice to improve to 10-3 at No. 4 singles. She has won six matches in a row. - The Rebels continue on the road at arch-rival Mississippi State Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.
Football - An energetic scrimmage witnessed by fans at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium capped the Rebels' second week of spring practice on Saturday. - Trae Elston broke up a pass on the last play of the organized scrimmage, helping the defense defeat the offense, 15-14. - Ole Miss is scheduled to practice four more times this coming week, highlighted by another Saturday morning session open to the public.
Men's Tennis - The Rebels went 1-2 last week, losing to No. 4 Southern California 5-2 before defeating Arkansas 4-2 and falling to LSU 4-1. - The Rebels have now won 27 straight matches against Arkansas. - Nik Scholtz has won eight in a row and improved to 7-0 at No. 1 singles, 4-0 in the SEC. He continued his winning ways last week, knocking off the No. 11 ranked player against USC and then winning twice over the weekend. - The Rebels face Jackson State on Tuesday before hosting arch-rival Mississippi State on Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review March 10-16, 2014
Track & Field - Ole Miss finished tied for 24th in the final men's team standings at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque, N.M. - It was the second straight top-25 NCAA indoor finish and third straight top-25 NCAA finish overall for head coach Brian O'Neal's men. The Rebels placed 23rd at last year's indoor meet and a program-best eighth at last year's outdoor championships. - Junior Sam Kendricks finished runner-up in the pole vault at the conclusion of a world-class duel between the top American and top Canadian vaulter, Akron's Shawn Barber. - Kendricks matched his own school record and the best mark by an American this year at 18-8.25, but Barber was one bar better at 18-10.25 (a new Canadian national record). - Freshman Jalen Miller advanced to the final of the 60-meter dash, where he placed eighth to score one team point for the Rebels. He's the first Ole Miss men's freshman to score points in the 60 at the NCAA indoor meet since teammate Mike Granger in 2010. - The Rebels begin outdoor season this week when they host the Ole Miss Open on Saturday at the Ole Miss Track & Field Complex. Admission is free.
Baseball - The Rebels went 3-2 in week-five action, taking both games at Southeastern Louisiana before dropping the series at top-ranked South Carolina. - Auston Bousfield hit the first grand slam of his career to push the Rebels to a 6-4 win at No. 1 South Carolina in the series opener Friday. - Ole Miss returns home from a five-game road trip to host Arkansas State and Missouri this week at Swayze Field.
Men's Basketball - Ole Miss knocked off Mississippi State 78-66 in the second round of the SEC Tournament Thursday before falling to Georgia 75-73 in the quarterfinals on Friday. - Senior Marshall Henderson and junior Jarvis Summers each scored 21 points as the Rebels rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit to beat Mississippi State. Henderson hit seven 3-pointers on an SEC Tournament record 19 attempts in the game. - Henderson and Summers combined for 45 points, but the Rebels fell to Georgia 75-73 in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals. - Henderson finished his Ole Miss career with a 3-pointer in an SEC record 66-straight games and ranks third on the Rebel career list with 267 3-pointers.
Men's Tennis - The Rebels split their weekend matches, downing No. 23 Vanderbilt 4-1 and then falling in a close match to No. 15 Kentucky 4-1, to conclude their four-match SEC road trip 2-2. - Nik Scholtz rallied to knock off the nation's No. 10 ranked player, Tom Jomby, of Kentucky, handing the Wildcat just his second loss of the season. It marked the first ever meeting between the two players. Scholtz was also leading 16th-ranked Gonzales Austin of Vanderbilt when play was stopped after the Rebels clinched the match. Scholtz is 4-0 at No. 1 singles with six unfinished matches on the season. - Freshman Ricardo Jorge won his match against Vanderbilt at No. 5 singles in straight sets to set up his teammate's match-clinching win. Jorge improved to 4-1 at No. 5 singles. - The Rebels begin a five-match home stand Wednesday, hosting No. 5 Southern California at 2 p.m. at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.
Women's Tennis - The Rebels went 2-1 last week, downing VCU 6-1, falling in a very close match to No. 11 Vanderbilt 4-3 and then defeating No. 24 Kentucky 4-2 to end the week. The Rebels (8-5, 2-4 SEC) have now won six-straight against Kentucky. - Freshman Zalina Khairudinova picked up two ranked wins last week, beating 73rd-ranked Cindy Chala of VCU and 63rd-ranked Georgina Sellyn of Vanderbilt. Khairudinova also won in straight sets Sunday to clinch the win against Kentucky. She improved to 5-3 at No. 1 singles. - Khairudinova and junior Julia Jones improved to 12-3 overall in doubles, 9-3 at No. 3. - Sophomore Mai El Kamash became the first 20-match winner of the season, with her comeback win at No. 4 singles against Kentucky.
Rifle - Freshman Alison Weisz shot a 587 to finish 16th in air rifle in her first ever NCAA Championships. - She ended the year with a team-leading 586.5 average in air rifle, including a career-best 594 at Memphis, one off the school record. She averaged 589.7 in her last eight matches. - Weisz became the first freshman in the history of the program to qualify for the NCAA Championships as well as earn all-conference honors.
Softball - Ole Miss opened with a midweek, road doubleheader at ULM and closed it out with a tough three-game series at home against No. 9 Alabama, finishing 1-4 for the week. - Redshirt-freshman second baseman Alyssa Invergo led Ole Miss at the plate throughout the week with a team-high seven hits, highlighted by a double, a pair of home runs, a team-high six runs and a team-high tying four RBI. - After dropping the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader at ULM, Ole Miss rebounded in a big way to dispatch the Warhawks 11-1 in five innings, including 10 runs in the final three innings of the game. - Ole Miss will remain in Oxford this week when it hosts Louisiana Tech on Wednesday, followed by a three-game series against Arkansas beginning Friday. The Rebels and Razorbacks' game Sunday will be featured on Fox Sports at 3 p.m. CT.
Women's Golf - The Ole Miss women's golf team picked up its first top-five finish of the spring, taking fourth at the 2014 Clover Cup in Mesa, Ariz. Sophomore Abby Newton led Ole Miss carding a three-day score of 221 (76-72-72--221). The Rebels' top-five finish was their first since taking runner-up honors at the Tar Heel Invitational last fall. - The Rebels had two eagles on the weekend. Juniors Stani Schiavone and Taelor Rubin both carded eagles on the weekend. The pair both nailed eagles on No. 15 at the Longbow Golf Course in Mesa, Ariz. - Ole Miss hits the links in Maui, Hawaii, next week. The Rebels will play Kapalua Bay at the Anuenue Spring Break Classic hosted by Hawaii. Ole Miss will then return home to host the 2014 Rebel Intercollegiate at the Ole Miss Golf Course April 4-6.
Men's Golf - The Ole Miss men's golf team competed at the Chris Schenkel Invitational hosted by Georgia Southern University at the Forrest Heights Country Club in Statesboro, Ga. - Junior Blake Morris led the team with a three-round score of even-par 216. Morris finished in a tie for 15th place, marking his sixth top-20 finish of the season. - As a team, Ole Miss placed eighth, finishing ahead of SEC-foes No. 28 Kentucky and Florida. - The Rebels will return to action April 7 at the Old Waverly Collegiate Championship in West Point, Miss.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review March 3-10, 2014
Baseball - Ole Miss improved to 14-2 on the season with a series sweep of UALR this past weekend that included the team's fifth walk-off win of the season. - The Rebels moved up to No. 12 (USA Today/Coaches) in the national rankings with the release of the latest national polls Monday. - Freshman infielder Brantley Bell paced the Rebels with a .533 performance at the plate, including the game-tying run and game-winning hit vs. UALR on Friday night. - Junior right-handed pitcher Sam Smith improved to 3-0 on the season with his quality start against UALR on Sunday to clinch the series sweep.
Softball - Ole Miss completed a long, arduous week of softball last week. The Rebels opened the week by splitting a doubleheader in Salt Lake City on Monday, followed by a doubleheader sweep at home Tuesday before opening SEC play Friday at Gainesville, Fla., where the Rebels took one of three against the No. 1 ranked Florida Gators. - Senior pitcher Carly Hummel had a fantastic week. Hummel threw the first perfect game in program history Monday in a 5-0 win over Utah State, and followed that performance with a three-hit, complete game shutout victory at No. 1 Florida. For her work, Hummel became the first Rebel to be named SEC Pitcher of the Week since 2009. - Hummel finished the week with a team-high 20.0 innings of action, throwing a complete game in each of her three appearances. She posted a team-best ERA of 0.70, struck out a team-high 27 batters and walked just two. Her perfect game Monday is the only such performance in the SEC this season, and was just the fifth no-hit performance in Ole Miss history. - Ole Miss' 2-0 victory at No. 1 Florida on Friday was its first win over a No. 1 ranked opponent since 2007, and was just the program's second ever such victory. - Ole Miss has now won its SEC opener each of the past three seasons, including back-to-back seasons with SEC-opening wins over top-15 ranked opponents. The Rebels opened the 2013 season with a 3-1 win at No. 15 Kentucky.
Men's Basketball - Ole Miss knocked off Vanderbilt 65-62 on Senior Day on Saturday. Senior guard Marshall Henderson, who was honored before the game, scored 11 second-half points as the Rebels erased a 12-point second half deficit to knock off the Commodores. - Head coach Andy Kennedy picked up his 170th career win at Ole Miss and moved past Florida's Billy Donovan and Alabama's Wimp Sanderson for the third-most wins in SEC history by a coach in his first eight years in the league at one school. - Henderson extended his own SEC record with a 3-pointer in his 64th-straight game - The Rebels earned the No. 6 seed in the upcoming SEC Tournament. Ole Miss will be looking to defend last year's title as it opens play Thursday vs. the winner of the Mississippi State-Vanderbilt matchup.
Women's Basketball - The Ole Miss women's basketball team advanced to the second round of the 2014 SEC Women's Basketball Tournament with a thrilling 63-62 win over Arkansas in opening round action Wednesday. The win was Ole Miss' first win in the SEC Tournament since the 2010 Tournament. - Ole Miss concluded the 2013-14 season Thursday with a 70-54 loss to Auburn. Ole Miss concluded the season with a 12-20, 2-14 SEC record and advanced to the second round of the SEC Tournament. The loss marked the end of the collegiate careers for Valencia McFarland, Kenyotta Jenkins and Diara Moore. - McFarland concludes her collegiate career as Ole Miss' No. 6 scorer with 1,655 career points. She also landed a spot on Ole Miss' single-season assists list. Her 201 assists in 2013-14 are the third most in a season at Ole Miss.
Men's Tennis - The Rebels split the weekend, downing No. 13 Tennessee 4-1 and then falling to No. 16 Georgia 4-0 on the road. - The Rebels have now won four straight against Tennessee. It also marked the first time this year for the Rebels to come back and win after losing the doubles point. - William Kallberg knocked off No. 21 ranked Hunter Reese of Tennessee to clinch the win. It marked Kallberg's best win of the year and his best since a win over the nation's No. 3 ranked player his freshman year. - The Rebels continue their road swing this weekend at No. 18 Vanderbilt and No. 22 Kentucky.
Women's Tennis - The Rebels split a pair of matches this past weekend, defeating Tennessee 5-2 and then losing to No. 11 Georgia 5-2. The victory over Tennessee marked the Rebels third straight win against the Lady Vols in Oxford. - In the win over Tennessee, freshman Zalina Khairudinova earned her best win of the season, upsetting No. 55 ranked Eve Repic at No. 1 singles. - Khairudinova and Julia Jones are 10-2 on the year overall, 7-2 at No. 3 doubles. - The Rebels continue their five match homestand with a midweek match against VCU Wednesday at Noon. On Friday, the Rebels will host No. 7 Vanderbilt at 3 p.m. followed by No. 22 Kentucky on Sunday at noon.
Men's Golf - The Ole Miss men's golf team competed at the Querencia Cabo Intercollegiate hosted by Southern Methodist University at the Los Cabos Querencia Golf Club in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. - Freshman Ben Wolcott led the team with a three-round score of 220. Wolcott finished in a tie for 18th place, marking his second top-20 finish of the season. - As a team, Ole Miss finished the tournament tied for 10th place with Lamar University. The Rebels posted a three-round total of 898. - The Rebels will be back in action March 14 at the Chris Schenkel Invitational in Statesboro, Ga.
Football - The Ole Miss football team began spring practice on Tuesday and totaled three workouts in the first week before spring break. - Among the new faces to the team this spring are high school early enrollees C.J. Hampton (DB), Kendrick Doss (QB) and Marquis Haynes (DE) and junior college transfers Jeremy Liggins (QB/TE) and Christian Russell (LB). - Also enjoying the spring are Anthony Alford (DB) and Fadol Brown (DE), who are preparing to play this fall after sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules. - Ten players, assistant coach Tom Allen and team chaplain John Powell are doing mission work in Haiti during spring break. Among the players on the trip are Justin Bell, Serderius Bryant, Ryan Buchanan, Deterrian Shackelford and John Youngblood. - The Rebels will return to the practice fields after spring break on Monday, March 17. - Practices that will be held at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and open to the public are slated for March 22, March 29, April 4 and April 5 (Grove Bowl).
In less than a full indoor season with the Ole Miss track & field team, Australian distance runner Daniel Bulmer has had a significant impact on the school record books and set the stage for a lot more to come in the near future.
Bulmer, who is classified as a junior and is working on his master's degree at Ole Miss, has jumped into the No. 3 spot in the school record books in the indoor mile (4:01.37) and distance medley relay (9:40.17). He will be among the nationally ranked Rebels' top competitors when outdoor season begins later this month.
After his first few days in Mississippi, Bulmer blogged about his experience, and it's a really good reflection of the life of a foreign college athlete in the United States. Here are some excerpts:
"I have always been intrigued by the U.S. I'm not entirely sure why but it has to do with the fact that everything is done on a massive scale, certainly in comparison to Australia, and as I was about to find out track and field was no different.
I have only been on campus at the University of Mississippi (affectionately known as Ole Miss) for less than a week but I already feel at home ... This is because the people of Oxford, the college town in which Ole Miss is situated, have lived up to the reputation that the people of the southern states are extremely nice and welcoming and will go out of their way to help you out. This also extends to the track team. I have met so many great people in such a short time which has definitely made the transition easier. It also helps that Ole Miss is such an aesthetic campus, regularly ranked among the nation's most beautiful universities ...
Anyway, now I'll give you an insight into what you're all probably interested in hearing about, the life of a student-athlete. I'll also give you a rundown of our facilities. First of all let me say this place blew my mind! As I mentioned before, everything is done on a massive scale right down to the smallest details. Student-athletes are treated like royalty here, there are buildings dedicated solely for use by athletes and can only be accessed via fingerprint scanners! Yes, fingerprint scanners! Anything that an athlete can dream of is available here and all the staff is devoted to helping you reach your potential and achieve your goals in your chosen sport, such is the U.S. collegiate athletic scene ...
Our school has some of the best facilities and latest technology available to its athletes for daily use. Examples of such technology and facilities include, both an underwater treadmill and an alter G treadmill, hot and cold recovery baths, Normatec compression boots, a state of the art indoor practice facility complete with an indoor track, multiple weight rooms, a mondo track and my personal favourite the fuel stations where you can find anything an athlete would need from a nutrition standpoint from water and Gatorade to vitamin and recovery mixtures as well as fruit, bagels....the list goes on! There is even an academic building for athletes (Yes, they also care about the academic side of things) where we can jump onto a computer, do some quiet study or access a tutor ...
Along with the exceptional facilities there is also a great support team that includes sports trainers, a doctor, nutritionists, a massage therapist, strength and conditioning coaches, academic advisors and staff and of course the respective coaches of each discipline all who work tirelessly to manage our needs as athletes which creates a great atmosphere for training and enables us to perform as best we can come race day ...
On another note, a unique aspect at Ole Miss is the positive relationship between sports which apparently doesn't occur at all schools. For instance we share the same training facilities as the football team and they are as nice as anyone on campus and will always say hello and have a chat. There is a great deal of respect between athletes no matter what sport you play as everyone knows we all work as hard as each other.
All in all I feel very privileged to be in the position that I am now, competing as a member of a division 1 school in arguably the strongest conference in the nation giving myself every opportunity to better myself as an athlete. I am appreciative to have been given the chance to run alongside a young group of athletes that has the potential to achieve big things in the not too distant future especially under the guidance of Head Coach O'Neal and the men's distance coach, Coach Vanhoy."
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Feb. 24-March 2, 2014
Baseball - Ole Miss posted four straight walk-off wins this past week on the way to two wins over ULM and a sweep of UCF. - Junior right-handed pitcher Chris Ellis has not allowed an earned run through three starts, and only one run total in 22.0 innings. - Sophomore left-handed pitcher Christian Trent has not allowed a walk through three starts and 20.1 innings of work. - The Rebels continue to play at home with a midweek game against Memphis and a weekend series against UALR.
Men's Basketball - Ole Miss split a pair of games last week, knocking off Alabama 79-67 at home Wednesday before falling to Texas A&M 71-60 on the road Sunday. - Sophomore Martavious Newby posted his first career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, as Ole Miss rolled Alabama. Jarvis Summers scored 20 points and sparked a decisive first-half surge to help lift the Rebels to the win. - Senior Marshall Henderson broke Pat Bradley's Southeastern Conference record with his 61st consecutive game with a 3-point shot, breaking the mark on his first attempt from the field vs. Alabama. Henderson now has hit a 3-pointer in 62 straight games and has at least two 3-pointers in 61 of his 62 career games with the Rebels. - The win over Alabama was Andy Kennedy's 169th career win at Ole Miss, which moved him into a tie with Billy Donovan and Wimp Sanderson for the third-most wins by a coach in their first eight seasons in the league at one school. - Summers had a team-high 18 points and Henderson added 16 points in the Rebels' road loss at Texas A&M on Saturday. Ole Miss travels to Arkansas Wednesday before hosting Vanderbilt on Saturday.
Women's Basketball - The Ole Miss women's basketball team closed out the regular season with a 73-71 overtime win over Auburn on Senior Day. - The Rebels' win snapped a nine-game losing streak and gave the Rebels a 9-7 record at the Tad Smith Coliseum this season. - Ole Miss is the No. 14 seed for this week's SEC Tournament held in Duluth, Ga. Ole Miss will face the No. 11 seed Arkansas on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. CT. Ole Miss is making its first appearance in the SEC Tournament since 2011-12.
Track & Field - The Ole Miss men claimed SEC titles in the pole vault and distance medley relay to highlight a seventh-place team performance at the SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships, hosted by Texas A&M. - Sam Kendricks, a junior from Oxford, Miss., won his first SEC title in the pole vault with a clearance of 18-2 to score 10 team points. It was the second SEC indoor pole vault title in school history (Baker Vinci, 1985), and Kendricks added one more accolade to his list that already included an NCAA outdoor title and three All-America honors. - Ole Miss also won an SEC crown in the distance medley relay, with a squad composed of three freshmen (Robert Domanic, Will Spiers, Sean Tobin) and a senior (Montez Griffin). Tobin ran an amazing anchor leg for the victory in 9:39.54, which nearly broke the SEC meet record of 9:39.06 set by Alabama in 2011. It was the Rebels' first ever SEC title in the distance medley relay. - Other top performances at the SEC meet included Tobin's runner-up finish in the mile and freshman Jalen Miller's third-place effort in the 60 meters. - Ole Miss now awaits for the final declaration of athletes for the NCAA Championships (March 14-15 in Albuquerque, N.M.). Those expected to receive invites include Kendricks (pole vault) and Miller (60 meters).
Softball - Ole Miss traveled west to compete in San Diego for the San Diego Classic I, but rain intervened while the Rebels were in the Golden State and washed out all five scheduled games. - Thanks to a flight cancelation while in Salt Lake City, Ole Miss will play a doubleheader against Utah State and Utah on Monday. - The Rebels also have a home doubleheader against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Tuesday, followed by their first SEC series of the year at Florida on Friday-Sunday.
Women's Tennis - The Rebels dropped both opening SEC matches this past weekend falling to No. 23 Auburn and No. 10 Alabama on the road. - Julia Jones went 3-1 in singles and doubles, including an 8-0 win over the 35th-ranked team from Alabama at No. 3 doubles. - Jones and freshman Zalina Khairudinova improved to 9-1 overall, 7-1 in dual matches with both wins at No. 3 doubles this past weekend. They are 2-0 in the SEC. - The Rebels begin a five-match home stand this weekend with Tennessee on Friday at 3 p.m. and No. 12 Georgia Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.
Men's Tennis - The Rebels lost both of their SEC matches last weekend to fall to 2-5 overall and 0-2 in league play. - Ricardo Jorge made his home debut last weekend and went 2-2 in singles and doubles. - William Kallberg rallied to knock off 75th-ranked Becker O'Shaughnessey of Alabama 2-6, 6-2, 6-3. - The Rebels travel to No. 11 Tennessee and Georgia this weekend.
Rifle - Ole Miss hosted the Great American Rifle Conference Championships this past weekend. Senior Melissa Quartarone shot a 591 in air rifle to make the finals, and then her 182.3 total landed her in third place. - Freshman Alison Weisz qualified for the NCAA Championships in air rifle. She became the first freshman in program history to qualify for the NCAAs. She finished the regular season leading the team in air rifle with an average of 586.5. In her last seven matches, she averaged 590.1. Weisz also earned All-Conference Honorable Mention honors in air rifle. She became the first freshman in program history to earn all-conference honors.
Women's Golf -The Rebels kicked off the 2014 spring season at the AllState Sugar Bowl Classic last week. - Ole Miss closed the two-day tournament in 17th place with a three-round score of 894 (294-302-298--894). - Abby Newton was Ole Miss' top individual finishing in 49th place with a three-day score of 222. - Ole Miss will next be in action at the Notre Dame Clover Cup at Longbow Country Club March 14-16. The Rebels host the Rebel Intercollegiate April 4-6 at the Ole Miss Golf Course.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Feb. 17-23, 2014
Softball - Ole Miss went 7-0 last week. The Rebels opened the week with a doubleheader sweep on the road at Southern Miss, and closed it out by going 5-0 at the Red and Blue Classic at the Ole Miss Softball Complex. - Senior center fielder RT Cantillo hit .556 for the week to raise her season batting average to .525, which is second best in the SEC. - Junior right fielder Jamie Morgan hit a team-best .556 at the Red and Blue Classic with a team-high five RBI. Morgan is now batting .452 on the year. - Prior to allowing a run in the fourth inning vs. Saint Louis on Sunday, Ole Miss had gone 25 consecutive innings without allowing a run. - Led by seniors Shelby Jo Fenter and Carly Hummel, the Ole Miss pitching staff combined for a 1.03 ERA at the Red and Blue Classic.
Baseball - Ole Miss went 3-1 on the week with a 6-0 home-opening win over Tennessee Martin prior to winning the first two games of a three-game home series against Georgia State. - Junior right-handed pitcher Chris Ellis threw the first complete game of his career with a shutout of Georgia State last weekend. - Ole Miss has posted three shutouts through seven games this season. - Ellis has turned in two shutouts to start the season, while Saturday left-handed starter Christian Trent has allowed only two runs and walked none in two starts and 13.0 innings. - Junior catcher Will Allen continues to lead the Rebels at the plate, hitting .429 with two home runs and 13 RBI through seven games.
Women's Tennis - The Rebels went 2-0 last weekend, shutting out Lipscomb 7-0 and defeating No. 32 Memphis 4-3 to improve to 5-1. They have now won four matches in a row. - Head coach Mark Beyers picked up his 200th career coaching victory with Sunday's win over Memphis. That total includes a 50-8 record as the head women's coach at his alma mater, Armstrong Atlantic State. - Senior Caroline Rohde-Moe and Mai El Kamash both remained undefeated in dual matches at 4-0. - The Rebels have won the doubles point in five of their six matches, and are a combined 13-3 at all three spots. - The Rebels begin SEC play this weekend at Auburn and Alabama.
Men's Tennis - The Rebels went 1-1 last week on the road, downing SMU 4-0 before falling to No. 7 Baylor 4-0. The Baylor match was much closer than the final score indicated, with the doubles point coming down to a tiebreaker at No. 1, and five of the six singles matches going three sets. - Freshman Ricardo Jorge made his debut and went 2-0 in singles and doubles. He clinched the win over SMU at No. 5 singles, and then teamed with Nik Scholtz for an 8-6 win at No. 2 doubles against Baylor. - The Rebels return home this weekend to open SEC play. They will host Auburn on Friday at 2 p.m., followed by Alabama on Sunday at 1 p.m. Fans coming to Friday's match will receive free bucket hats, and on Sunday they will get a Spring Break tank top.
Men's Basketball - Senior Marshall Henderson tied Pat Bradley's Southeastern Conference record with his 60th consecutive game with a 3-pointer on Saturday. - Ole Miss dropped a pair of home games to top-20 teams last week as the Rebels fell to No. 16 Kentucky on Tuesday and No. 2 Florida on Saturday. It was the first time since 1998-99 that Ole Miss had hosted two top-20 teams at home in the same week. - Jarvis Summers scored 20 points, including 14 in the second half, and Marshall Henderson added 22 first-half points, but it was not enough against the Gators. - Summers scored 22 points and Anthony Perez scored 21, but the Rebels' second-half comeback fell short as the Wildcats defeated Ole Miss 84-70 in Oxford on Tuesday night.
Women's Basketball - Junior Tia Faleru averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds last week, and posted back-to-back double-doubles against No. 13/16 Texas A&M and Mississippi State. She now has 15 double-doubles on the year, which leads the SEC and is ranked 18th nationally. - Faleru is approaching the 1,000-point mark, as she is just 66 points away from the milestone. She will need to average 22 points in each of Ole Miss' next three games to reach the feat this season. She will become Ole Miss' 26th 1,000-point scorer. - Valencia McFarland set a new career-high with 29 points in Ole Miss' overtime loss at Mississippi State. McFarland has topped the 20-point mark on 11 occasions this season. She also posted a season-best five triples against the Bulldogs. - Ole Miss will close out the 2013-14 regular season this week. The Rebels will travel to Missouri on Thursday for a televised contest on Fox Sports Midwest/Sport South. Tipoff will be at 7 p.m. CT. Ole Miss will close the season at home against Auburn on Sunday at 2 p.m. Seniors Kenyotta Jenkins, McFarland and Diara Moore will be honored.
Rifle - The Rebels competed in the NCAA Qualifier last weekend in Lexington, Ky. They posted a 4612 aggregate score. Senior MaryAnn Banks led the squad in smallbore with a 574 as the Rebels totaled a 2277. Freshman Alison Weisz continues to lead the Rebels in air rifle, posting a 588 on the day as the Rebels finished with a total of 2335. - The Rebels will find out Thursday when the NCAA team and individual selections are made, if anyone will qualify for the NCAA Championships. Senior Abbey Stanec has made it the past two years. - This weekend, the Rebels will host the GARC Championships for the 10th consecutive year at the Patricia C. Lamar National Guard Readiness Center. Action begins Friday at noon with individual smallbore. Competition continues all day Saturday and concludes Sunday with the finals of air rifle.
The spring athletics season has official kicked off, and here are a few key dates that won't show up on the usual team schedules. You will be hearing tons more about these events in the coming weeks, but consider this your save the date.
March 5 - Football spring practice starts March 31 - Rebels Choice Awards April 5 (AM) - 25th Annual Chucky Mullins Courage Award Ceremony Presented by the M-Club April 5 - Grove Bowl April 13-18 - BancorpSouth Rebel Road Trip
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Feb. 10-16, 2014
Baseball - Ole Miss went on the road and picked up a sweep of Stetson, outscoring the Hatters 26-3 on the weekend. - Will Allen led the Rebels at the plate, hitting .545 with 10 RBI in 11 at bats and a pair of home runs. - Four Rebels combined for six home runs on the weekend, including two home runs each from Will Allen and Preston Overbey. - Nine players made their Rebel debuts over the weekend, including seven freshmen and two transfers.
Track & Field - Ole Miss athletes broke two school records to highlight another strong weekend for the No. 25 Rebel men's team in the final meets before the upcoming SEC and NCAA Indoor Championships. - On Friday, Sam Kendricks smashed his own school record with one of the best indoor pole vaults in NCAA history at the Don Kirby Elite Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M. Kendricks jumped 18-8.25, which ranks him No. 1 in the NCAA, No. 1 among Americans and No. 13 in the world this year, while he moves into a tie for ninth place on the all-time NCAA indoor list. - On Saturday, freshman Sean Tobin ran his first mile as an Ole Miss Rebel and became the first person in school history to break four minutes with his time of 3:59.91 that won the men's late division race at the Husky Classic in Seattle. In addition to breaking the school record, he also moved into the top 25 in the NCAA this year. - Junior Malcolm Davis won the Don Kirby Elite men's long jump (non-invitational division) with a personal-best leap of 24-8.5 that ranks him top 25 in the NCAA this year and No. 11 in the school record book. - Senior Mike Granger and freshman Jalen Miller led the way in the 60 meters. Granger, who is getting back to full health, clocked a season-best 6.67 (converted from 6.65 for altitude) to place third in the final, followed by Miller in fifth at 6.68. Granger moves to No. 21 on the NCAA indoor list this year. - The Rebels also had two milers run strong races in Albuquerque, as junior Daniel Bulmer placed third and freshman Robert Domanic sixth. Their altitude-converted times of 4:01.37 and 4:04.46 rank them second and fourth in school history, respectively.
Men's Basketball - The Rebels dropped a pair of last-second buzzer beaters on the road last week falling 67-64 at Alabama on Tuesday, and 61-60 at Georgia on Saturday. - Senior Marshall Henderson has hit a 3-pointer in 58 straight games, just two shy of Pat Bradley's SEC record of 60 straight games. - The Rebels host a pair of top-20 ranked teams in No. 16 Kentucky and No. 3 Florida at home this week. That marks the first time since 1998-99 that Ole Miss has hosted two top-20 teams at home in the same week.
Women's Basketball - Tia Faleru set a new career-high in points and rebounds with 31 points and 16 rebounds in Ole Miss' loss to Kentucky on Thursday. Faleru's 31 points is the most for a Rebel this season and the most points for an Ole Miss player since the 2010-11 season. - Faleru recorded her third double-double in the last four games with her 31 points and 16 rebounds and has an SEC leading 13 double-doubles on the season. - Valencia McFarland had 21 points vs. the Wildcats, her third consecutive game in double figures and her 10th game of 20 or more this season. The senior point guard also played her third consecutive game of 40 minutes, and has played the entire game in seven of Ole Miss' last nine games. - The Rebels will host Texas A&M on Thursday for its annual Tickled Pink at the Tad Pad game. Tipoff is at 6 p.m. and will travel to Starkville to close the week for a Sunday afternoon matchup against Mississippi State at 2 p.m.
Softball - Ole Miss went 2-3 last week at the College of Charleston Classic in Charleston, S.C., with wins over Kansas and Western Carolina and losses to Fordham, DePaul and College of Charleston. - Junior third baseman Allison Brown led Ole Miss last weekend with a team-high batting average of .563 (9-16). - Brown tied a pair of program single-game records Saturday night vs. Western Carolina when she notched four hits and four runs on her 4-4 night that also included two RBI. - Senior first baseman Londen Ladner had a team-high nine RBI at the tournament, highlighted by a grand slam vs. WCU. - Senior pitcher Shelby Jo Fenter allowed just one earned run in Charleston in 11.0 innings of work with 11 strikeouts.
Rifle - The No. 12 ranked Rebels lost to No. 11 Murray State 4649-4610 last Saturday. - Senior Melissa Quartarone posted a season-high 592 in air rifle to lead the Rebels. The mark was two off her career best. - Freshman Alison Weisz posted a 590 for her fifth score in the 90s in the past seven matches. - The Rebels head to Lexington, Ky., this weekend for the NCAA Qualifier.
For more than a decade, Nike has invited college administrators to see their factories that they contract with and see how the company does business in Asia.
This past month, Ole Miss' Ross Bjork was among the group of five athletics directors and three representatives that toured Nike overseas facilities in Vietnam and China. Bjork was joined on the 10-day tour by Tom Bowen (Memphis), Scott Leykam (Portland), Dr. Hans Mueh (Air Force) and Rob Mullens (Oregon).
"For Nike, it's an education to make sure everyone is comfortable with the process and how we do business in Asia," Bjork said. "You have these big contracts with a university to outfit their teams and their product. It's a great thing for Nike to do this to make sure that we know how they conduct themselves and that we feel comfortable with them."
Bjork flew out of Memphis on Jan. 15 to Chicago and then to Tokyo and finally to Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in Vietnam and the first stop of the tour, where the group took day trips to nearby villages and toured two Nike-contracted factories.
From Ho Chi Minh City, the group traveled to three cities in China, starting with Guangzhou, which Bjork described as a city of factories, before wrapping up the trip with stops in Shanghai and Beijing and then flying home on Jan. 25.
"Nike is very conscientious about factory and working conditions and making sure they're partnering with the right companies who operate these factories," Bjork said. "They are conscientious about labor and workers' rights. I knew that before the trip, but until you actually see it and walk on a factory line, you can't really understand it."
It was not just a clearer, first-hand understanding of Nike and their work in Asia, Bjork said, but also an appreciation for the people of Vietnam and China.
"I learned perspective and appreciation for the freedom we have in the United States but also great respect for what those people have to go through to live in China and Vietnam and go about their business under the same values and principles that we have, but in a much more controlled environment," Bjork said.
Bjork was also impressed with how Nike and their contracted factories have similar business fundamentals, in terms of vision statement, purpose and core values. The difference is how they present them, which Bjork said they might emulate and try to bring to Ole Miss.
"The one thing that I was impressed with was the visual presentation that they do in these factories around their core values and mission," Bjork said. "When you walk in the front door of the factory buildings, they had vision statement, purpose and core values on the wall. We talk about those things here, but they visualize it.
"If you walk in our building, we don't have our perspective up. That's one thing that I want to look at here is to maybe visualize in our buildings what we stand for and how we operate. I was very impressed with that. Whether it was China or Vietnam, the factories all had their purpose and vision in full display."
Moving forward, Ole Miss has a full apparel contract with Nike, a seven-year deal that started on July 1, 2012, which Bjork noted was negotiated and in place before he was named athletics director on March 21, 2012.
From his observations and conversations on the tour with Nike and factory staff, Bjork said he is pleased with Ole Miss' relationship with the company, as well as their relationship with Kit Morris, Nike's Director of College Sports Marketing and an Ole Miss graduate.
"I see our Nike relationship evolving and growing because we have great relationships with Kit, his staff and his team," Bjork said. "Our equipment staff has a great relationship with the people at Nike.
"I see the relationship evolving and growing over the life of the contract, but also as you look to the future and what happens after 2019. Nike is a great partner, and we'll see what happens as we get closer to that point."
Men's Basketball - Senior Marshall Henderson scored 29 points, including eight 3-pointers, and four Rebels scored in double figures as the Rebels held off the Missouri Tigers 91-88 at home Saturday. - Henderson hit 8-of-15 from 3-point range and added five assists for Ole Miss, which remained in sole possession of third place in the Southeastern Conference. Jarvis Summers and LaDarius White had 16 points apiece, and Anthony Perez had 11. - The Rebels hit 14 3-pointers vs. Missouri, one off the school record of 15 set earlier this year versus Oregon. - Henderson has now hit a 3-pointer in 56-straight games, four shy of tying Pat Bradly's SEC record of 60-straight games. - Ole Miss' win over Missouri gave the Rebels their first top-50 RPI win of the season, and was their fifth top-100 RPI win of the season. - The Rebels improved to 5-0 in the SEC at home.
Men's Tennis - Playing without their No. 1 player, the No. 21 nationally ranked Ole Miss men's tennis team shut out visiting Southern Miss 7-0 Friday at the Gillom Sports Center. The Rebels picked up their first win of the season to improve to 1-2. - Junior William Kallberg, playing only his second match ever at No. 1 singles, won 6-4, 6-4 to clinch the victory. - Vinod Gowda earned his first career dual match victory after coming so close on the opening weekend. He won in straight sets at No. 4 singles. - Sophomore Joe Rogers, playing in his first singles dual match and first singles match in more than two years, won 6-4, 1-6, 10-6 at No. 5 singles to complete the sweep.
Track & Field - The Ole Miss men and women tracksters broke two school records and had several nationally relevant marks in New York over the weekend at the prestigious Armory Collegiate Invitational. - The No. 21 Rebel men were led by the distance medley relay team of Robert Domanic, Montez Griffin, Sean Tobin and Daniel Bulmer. They shattered a 29-year-old school record by running a 9:40.17, which ranks them 12th in the NCAA this year. - The women's 4x200m relay squad of Mary Ashton Nall, Kierra White, Erika Sisk and Kennadi Bouyer broke a 25-year-old school record when they clocked a 1:43.66. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of that record is that only one of those (Bouyer) is a sprint specialist. The others are a multi-eventer (Nall) and two jumpers (White and Sisk). - Junior Robert Semien clocked a personal best time of 7.81 to finish third in the 60m hurdle final, and moved up to No. 3 in school history and top 20 in the nation this season. - Freshman Jalen Miller blazed his way to third place in the 60m final with a personal-best 6.62 that moves him up to No. 11 in the NCAA this year and keeps him at fifth-best in school history. - Junior Daniel Bulmer, who anchored the DMR team, ran a time of 8:12.19 in the 3,000 meters Saturday, which moved him into fifth place in the school record books. - Freshman Trevor Gilley burst onto the scene by winning the college division mile run with a season-best time of 4:08.65 that ranks him ninth in school history. - The Rebels have one more weekend of competition this coming Friday and Saturday (split between the Don Kirby Elite Invitational and the Husky Classic) before the SEC Championships in College Station, Texas (Feb. 27-March 1). Rifle - Powered by a school record in air rifle (2353), the No. 12 ranked Ole Miss rifle team rallied to defeat No. 13 Navy 4629-4610 on Saturday. - The Rebels found themselves trailing the Midshipmen by nine after smallbore, but came out strong in air to overtake Navy for the second straight year and win their second GARC match in a row. Ole Miss defeated No. 9 Memphis by one on Wednesday. - Freshman Ali Weisz fired a 592 in air to pace the squad again. It marked the fourth match in the last six for the Montana native to score in the 590s. - The Rebels are back in action Saturday, traveling to Murray, Ky., to face No. 11 Murray State.
Women's Basketball - Ole Miss went 0-2 on the week, dropping a
hard fought, 77-65 contest to No 8/8 Tennessee on Thursday before
taking an 84-63 road loss at the hands of Georgia. - Valencia
McFarland picked up her 1,500th career point with 14 points against
Georgia on Sunday. McFarland becomes one of just seven players in
program history with 1,500 career points, joining the likes of the
Gillom sisters and Armintie Price, among others. - Tia Faleru picked
up her SEC-leading 12th double-double against Tennessee with 23 points
and 11 rebounds. Her 12 double-doubles are the most for an Ole Miss
player since Nikki Byrd had 12 in 2011-12 - a number Faleru is poised to
surpass this season. - Amber Singletary set a new career high with
five 3-pointers against Georgia to finish with 15 points. Singletary was
in double figures for the second time this season. - Danielle McCray
posted her second double-double this season with 11 points and 10
rebounds vs. Georgia, while Kenyotta Jenkins added 10 rebounds for her
second game with double-figure rebounds this season.
Softball - Ole Miss opened the 2014 season at the FGCU/Four Points by Sheraton Invitational in Fort Myers, Fla., with a 2-3 mark that included wins over Georgetown and Liberty on day two of the three-day tournament. - Senior outfielder RT Cantillo led the Rebels at the plate with a .563 average in 16 at bats. Cantillo batted in two runs and scored three more, while going a combined 5-of-6 in Ole Miss' two victories. - After dropping each of its first two games at the tournament to Western Kentucky and host Florida Gulf Coast by 3-2 marks, Ole Miss bounced back on the second day of the tournament with a 2-1 victory over Georgetown and a 5-1 win over Liberty. Ole Miss lost 9-2 in the third-place game against Georgetown on the final day of the tournament Sunday. - Redshirt-freshman pitcher Emily Gaitan threw a fantastic game in her collegiate debut against Georgetown on Saturday, going all seven innings while striking out seven, walking one and allowing just three hits and zero earned runs. - The Rebels closed out the second day of the tournament with a 5-1 victory over Liberty in which senior Shelby Jo Fenter picked up her first win by going 6.1 innings and striking out eight before sophomore Madi Osias, who hit a three-run home run earlier in the game, came on for the save.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Jan. 27-Feb. 2, 2014
Men's Basketball - Ole Miss split a pair of game last week, falling on the road at Tennessee on Wednesday before rallying to beat the South Carolina Gamecocks 75-71 at home Saturday afternoon. - The Rebels rallied from a 15-point, second half deficit to knock off South Carolina on Saturday, and ended the game on a 29-10 run. Senior Marshall Henderson scored 21 points for Ole Miss and junior Jarvis Summers added 16 points, including 8 of Ole Miss' final 11 points in the come-from-behind victory. Ole Miss trailed by 5 points at halftime and was down by 15 points with nine minutes in the game remaining before starting its run. - The Rebels' comeback against South Carolina was their largest second-half comeback since overcoming a 15-point deficit at Arkansas in 2012. - Ole Miss is 26-9 (.743 winning percentage) over its last 35 games vs. SEC opponents dating back to 2012, which is the best mark in school history. It is also tied with Florida for the best mark in the SEC over the last 35 games. - At 6-2, the Rebels are tied with last year's team and the 1937-38 Ole Miss squad for the best start to SEC play after eight games in school history. Ole Miss travels to Kentucky on Tuesday before returning home to host Missouri on Saturday.
Women's Tennis - Ole Miss dominated Jacksonville State 7-0 Saturday to improve to 3-1 on the season. The Rebels only gave up 10 games total to the Gamecocks in doubles and singles, and they outscored JSU 18-0 in doubles. - Zalina Khairudinova and Julia Jones won their sixth doubles match in a row, and improved to 4-0 in dual matches this season. Mai El Kamash picked up her team-leading 14th win in singles, while Jones earned her 13th win of the year. - The Rebels have now posted three shutouts this year in their first four matches. - Senior Caroline Rohde-Moe was one of nine Ole Miss student-athletes inducted into the Who's Who Among Colleges and Universities last Friday at the Gertrude Ford Center. The two-time All-SEC honoree is an outstanding student in the Honors College. - The Rebels are off until Feb. 21 when they host a doubleheader against Lipscomb and Tennessee State.
Women's Basketball - Ole Miss went 0-2 on the week after a 99-70 road loss at No. 7/8 South Carolina on Thursday, and an 81-60 defeat to Florida on Sunday at home. The Rebels will face four ranked opponents in their next six games. - Valencia McFarland extended her scoring streak to 110 consecutive games by scoring in each of Ole Miss' last two games. She also extended her consecutive games started streak to 100 games with starts against South Carolina and Florida. McFarland has started each game of the last two seasons. - Tia Faleru's 21 points and 14 rebounds against Florida marked her 11th double-double of the season, a number which leads the SEC. It's also the most double-doubles for an Ole Miss player since former Rebel Nikki Byrd had 12 during the 2011-12 season. Faleru also leads the league in rebounding with 9.7 rebounds per game. - After her 30 points over the week. Valencia McFarland is now 18 points away from her 1,500th-career point. She will become one of seven players in program history to reach the mark.
Men's Tennis - The Rebels were off last week, but junior Nik Scholtz traveled back to his home country of South Africa to represent it in the Davis Cup. With his country down 0-1 to Monaco, Scholtz won an exciting five-setter against world No. 276 ranked Benjamin Balleret to tie the match. South Africa ended up winning the match 3-2. - The Rebels are back in action Friday with a doubleheader against Southern Miss.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Jan. 20-26) Jan. 20-26, 2014
Men's Basketball - Men's hoops ran its record to 5-1 in SEC play with a pair of wins over Vanderbilt and Mississippi State last week. - The Rebels have won four in a row in conference play and are now 25-8 in their last 33 games against SEC foes dating back to 2012. - Ole Miss' 19-point, blowout win over MSU was the largest margin of victory over the Bulldogs since downing MSU 84-61 in Oxford in 1997. - The win at Vanderbilt marked the first time in school history the Rebels have won games at Memorial Gym in back-to-back seasons. - Jarvis Summers scored 19 points against MSU and became the 35th player in school history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark in his Ole Miss career.
Women's Basketball - The Rebels went 1-1 on the week, highlighted by a thrilling 87-85 overtime win over in-state rival Mississippi State. Kenyotta Jenkins scored on a putback with just one second left on the clock to give the Rebels (10-11, 1-6 SEC) their first SEC win. The win was also the first SEC victory for first-year head coach Matt Insell. - Tia Faleru picked up her 10th double-double of the season with 29 points and 15 rebounds against Mississippi State. Faleru's 10 double-doubles lead the SEC and are the most for an Ole Miss player since Nikki Byrd had 12 during the 2011-12 season. - Valencia McFarland posted her third consecutive game of 20+ points with 27 against Mississippi State. She also tied her career high with 12 assists. She played her third consecutive game of 40 or more points against the Bulldogs. She averaged 26.6 points during that span. - McFarland is now 48 points away from her 1,500th career point. She will become the seventh 1,500-point scorer in program history. Faleru is also nearing her 1,000th point, as she is just 204 points away from the milestone. She will become the 17th 1,000-point scorer in program history. - Shequila Joseph nailed five triples against the Bulldogs, a career-best and season-best for the Rebels against Mississippi State.
Track & Field - Ole Miss athletes collected three event wins, two facility records, one school record and more than 30 indoor personal-best marks over the two-day Vanderbilt Indoor Invitational. - Competing against a couple of nationally ranked teams and several SEC squads, the No. 16 Ole Miss men were led by Sam Kendricks' facility record 18-2.75 in the pole vault, Daniel Bulmer's school-record 4:02.80 mile (in his first-ever race as a Rebel), and Robert Domanic's 3,000-meter title in 8:12.04. - Freshman sprinter Jalen Miller also shined for the Rebel men, posting the best 60-meter time among collegians in Nashville with his 6.69, and placing second in the 200 meters with a personal-best 21.41. - Ole Miss athletes who rank among the top 25 nationally in their events include Kendricks (No. 1 pole vault - 18-4.75), Phillip Young (No. 6 triple jump - 52-2.5), Bulmer (No. 13 mile - 4:02.80), Miller (No. 14 60m - 6.67), Mike Granger (No. 17 60m - 6.69), Robert Semien (No. 23 60m hurdles - 7.91), Fabia McDonald (No. 5 pentathlon - 3,989; No. 11 long jump - 20-3.5) and Kierra White (No. 21 long jump - 20-0.25).
Women's Tennis - The Rebels went 1-1 at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Tuscaloosa, Ala., to finish 2-1 for the week, after a season-opening 7-0 win over Jackson State. In the loss to No. 34 Oklahoma in the first round of the ITA Kick-Off, the match was much closer than the final score. The doubles point came down to a tiebreaker at No. 2. When the Sooners clinched, the Rebels were winning in two of the three remaining singles matches. - The Rebels rebounded from the disappointing loss to Oklahoma to dominate No. 40 William & Mary 4-0 in the consolation match of the ITA Kick-Off. In the win, the Rebels did not drop a set in avenging a 4-3 loss to the Tribe last year. In fact, the Rebels only lost 10 games total in the two doubles and three singles matches they won to clinch the victory. - Freshman Zalina Khairudinova made her dual match debut last week and finished 5-1 in singles and doubles in three matches. Her only loss in singles came down to a third-set supertiebreaker against Oklahoma. In the other two matches, she only lost five games total in singles and doubles. Khairudinova and junior Julia Jones are off to a 5-0 start this spring, including 3-0 in dual matches at No. 3 doubles. They have lost only five games total in the five matches they've played together this spring. - The Rebels begin a four-match homestand this Saturday, Feb. 1 with Jacksonville State at 10 a.m. Fans can enjoy free pizza between doubles and singles.
Men's Tennis - The Rebels went 0-2 in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, losing two tight matches to No. 26 Michigan and No. 25 Clemson. It marked the first time the Rebels did not advance to the National Team Indoor Final 16 when hosting the first and second rounds. - Nik Scholtz, ranked No. 15 nationally, won both his singles matches in straight sets to improve to 11-5 on the year. Scholtz will be competing for his home country, South Africa, this weekend in Davis Cup play in Pretoria, SA. It marks the third time for him to represent his country in the Davis Cup. - Senior Johan Backstrom also won both his singles matches in straight sets to improve to 34-27 in dual matches for his career. - The Rebels have annually ranked among the nation's attendance leaders. Saturday they had 575 fans for their opening round match of the ITA Kick-Off.
Rifle - The Rebels competed in the Withrow Invitational this past weekend in Murray, Ky. The team shot a 4623 aggregate, including 2284 in smallbore and 2239 in air rifle. - Freshman Ali Weisz continues to pace the Rebels, as she led the team with an aggregate of 1162, including a 588 in air rifle and 574 in smallbore. - The Rebels are back in action Feb. 5 at Memphis, before hosting Navy on Feb. 8.
Wednesday Men's basketball at Tennessee - 7:00 p.m.
Thursday Women's basketball at South Carolina - 6:00 p.m.
Saturday Women's tennis vs. Jacksonville State - 10:00 a.m. Men's basketball vs. South Carolina - 12:30 p.m.
Ole Miss Athletics Week In Review Jan. 13-19, 2014
This is a new feature we're going to do each week on the blog. Each Monday we will recap everything that has happened in the past week in Ole Miss athletics, and we will also list a schedule of upcoming games, matches and meets.
- Senior guard Marshall Henderson was named SEC Player of the Week after posting 22.0 points and 3.5 assists in a pair of wins last week. - Sophomore forward Anthony Perez scored a career-high 22 points in a road win at South Carolina. It was the Rebels' first win in Columbia since 2001. - Freshman forward Sebastian Saiz scored a career-high 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the overtime win over LSU on Wednesday. Ole Miss outscored the Tigers 19-5 in the overtime period to blow past LSU.
Track & Field
- The No. 16 Ole Miss men and the Rebel women performed well against high-level indoor track & field competition at last weekend's Auburn Invitational in Birmingham, Ala., led by another meet record by pole vaulter Sam Kendricks. - Kendricks set a meet record and bested the next closest vaulter by a foot and a half with his winning clearance of 18-0.5. It was the second straight weekend that he set a meet record, as he established the nation's best vault of the indoor season a week earlier with his school-record 18-4.75 at the UAB Blazer Invitational en route to SEC Men's Field Athlete of the Week honors. - Other highlights included senior Phillip Young in the triple jump (52-2.5), freshman Jalen Miller in the 60 meters (6.67) and 200 meters (21.45), sophomore Onyi Afoaku in the weight throw (62-10.75), and freshman Robert Domanic in the mile (4:07.20), all of which rank highly in the NCAA this year. - For the women, senior Fabia McDonald had a strong pentathlon score of 3,989 (just off her school record of 4,005) that ranks her second nationally this year.
- The No. 11 ranked Rebels participated in the MLK Invitational hosted by Georgia Tech Jan. 18-20. - The round robin format included doubles and singles against Georgia Tech, No. 3 Georgia and No. 21 Memphis. No team scoring was in effect. - Nik Scholtz, ranked No. 15 nationally, went 2-1 in singles to lead the Rebels. Scholtz also teamed up with Johan Backstrom in doubles for the first time − after two years with former All-American Jonas Lutjen − and the pair defeated 12th-ranked Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland from Georgia. - Ole Miss hosts the ITA Kickoff Weekend Jan. 25-26. The Rebels face No. 26 Michigan Saturday at 10 a.m. The regional also includes No. 22 Illinois and No. 23 Clemson.
- The Rebels participated in the Michigan Invitational Jan. 18-20 in Ann Arbor, Mich. The team played singles and doubles against No. 11 Michigan, No. 21 Georgia Tech and South Florida. - Junior Julia Jones and sophomore Marija Milutinovic went 2-1 in singles. Jones improved to 11-4 on the year and Milutinovic improved to 8-4. - Freshman Zalina Khairudinova made her debut for the Rebels, going 1-1 in singles and 2-0 in doubles with Julia Jones. - The Rebels host Jackson State Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 2 p.m. at the Gillom Sports Center in their home and dual match opener. Admission is free and fans will receive an Ole Miss tennis t-shirt and enjoy popcorn between doubles and singles.
- Ole Miss went 0-2 on the week with an 80-74 loss to No. 24/25 Vanderbilt, and a heartbreaking 68-65 road loss to Arkansas. Ole Miss is now 9-10 on the year and 0-5 in SEC play. - Valencia McFarland set a new career-high against Vanderbilt with 28 points, besting her previous mark of 25 set against Alabama in 2010-11 - Tia Faleru picked up her fifth game or 20 or more points with 20 points against Vanderbilt, she has reached the 20+ mark six times in her career. - Faleru is nearing the 1,000-point mark, as she is just 245 points from the milestone. She would become Ole Miss' 17th 1,000-point scorer. - Monique Jackson posted her first game in double-figures this season with a career-high 11 points and six rebounds, going 5-of-5 from the field against Arkansas.
- After an almost two-month break, the Rebels began the spring season hosting No. 4 Jacksonville State and No. 5 Nebraska. - The Rebels posted a season-high aggregate of 4637, falling to Nebraska (4643) by just six shots. Jacksonville State finished with a 4655. - Senior Alivia Yeager shot a season-high 577 in smallbore to lead the Rebels. She finished with a season-high aggregate of 1157. - Freshman Alison Weisz tied her season-best with a 591 in air rifle. Weisz, with a 567 in smallbore, eclipsed her season average in aggregate with a season-high total of 1158. - Senior Abbey Stanec scored above her average in total aggregate with an 1165.
Monday Men's tennis - Georgia Tech Invitational - All Day Women's tennis - Michigan Invitational - All Day
Wednesday Women's tennis vs. Jackson State - 2:00 p.m. Men's basketball at Vanderbilt - 8:00 p.m.
Thursday Women's basketball vs. Mississippi State - 6:00 p.m.
Friday Track & Field - Vanderbilt Indoor Invitational - All Day
Saturday Men's tennis vs. Michigan - 10:00 a.m. Women's tennis vs. Oklahoma - 2:00 p.m. (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) Men's basketball vs. Mississippi State - 3:00 p.m. Track & Field - Vanderbilt Indoor Invitational - All Day
Sunday Rifle - Withrow Invitational - 8:00 a.m. (Murray, Ky.) Women's basketball vs. LSU - 1:00 p.m. Men's tennis vs. Clemson/Illinois - TBA (Oxford, Miss.) Women's tennis vs. Alabama/William & Mary - TBA (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
Assistant AD for Internal Relations, Dr. Jamil Northcutt served as the keynote speaker at the 11th
Annual Martin Methodist Champions of Character Convocation at the campus in
The annual event honors student-athletes, team, and staff for their campus and community
engagements, their reflected level of character traits, their high aspirations
for academic success, and their servant leadership.
Northcutt shared with the RedHawk Athletic Department his
five "I's of a Champion" - stressing the value of having high character,
regardless of the situation.
The mission of the
NAIA Champions of Character Program is to provide training to ensure character
is demonstrated through conduct as well as competition, so students know, do
and value the right thing in all areas of life. Through the Champions of Character
program, the NAIA is promoting five core character values that are crucial to
the development of our youth: integrity, respect, responsibility,
sportsmanship, and servant leadership.
In case you missed it yesterday, above is a message from Director of Athletcs Ross Bjork on the state of Ole Miss athletics. Below are some key points:
- Record-high $26 million in cash donations to Ole Miss Athletics Foundation
- Student-athletes recorded a 2.87 cumulative GPA and participated in more than 20 service projects
- Ole Miss Athletics will partner with the William Winter Institute for a Racial Reconciliation week this fall
- 810,000 fans attended home events last season
- Forward Together capital campaign received $22 million in new gifts
- Ole Miss Athletics budget will increase from $62 million (2012-13) to $70 million (2013-14)
- Next month, Ole Miss Athletics will relaunch the Forward Together campaign, with an updated basketball arena design and location, preliminary look at the new North End Zone design and project timeline for the master plan
- This year, Ole Miss Athletics will host a live, weekly show that will be streamed on OleMissSports.com
One of our primary objectives in the Athletics Marketing Department is to personalize our student-athletes. Every summer we get the opportunity to reset and prepare for the upcoming seasons. Our graphic designer Dan Pellegrino does a great job of creating a style that highlights the details of the athlete and the sport. Below are our first set of player posters for 2013. Big thanks to our photographer Josh McCoy (@olemisspix) as well. Stay tuned as more will come out each season.
The Ole Miss Athletics Foundation surpassed its all-time record for Foundation members with 7,188 members, as of today. Among the 7,188 members, 4,200 have joined or renewed since the rebranding March 1. A member is anyone who donates toward priority seating for baseball, basketball or football, or someone who donates philanthropically toward membership or the Vaught Society.
"It is truly an exciting time to be an Ole Miss Rebel," said Keith Carter, Athletics Foundation Executive Director. "Surpassing the all-time record for Foundation members is a testament to the passion, energy and excitement of the Ole Miss faithful. While we are very happy with this announcement, we will not slow down. Our goal is to eventually reach the 10,000 donor mark. With everyone working together, we will get there.
"Overall, the future is extremely bright. We have experienced some great success over the past 12 months but I firmly believe that we are just getting started."
In addition, there have been 1,000 new football season ticket holders, bringing the total number to 8,720. Football season ticket allocations begin June 10 and will be used for both seats and parking selections.
Membership starts at $50, and payment plans are available. For anyone who wants to join the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation, they can visit RebelGiving.com. For anyone who wants to join or renew, they can call 662-915-7159.
A little more than a year into his first term as Ole Miss Athletics Director, Ross Bjork made his first trip to Starkville this week but did so for a good cause. Bjork and Bulldog AD Scott Stricklin joined forces Tuesday to headline the Golden
Triangle Friends of Scouting Leadership Dinner held at MSU's Hunter Henry
Center. The annual event is a fundraising effort for the Pushmataha Area
Council of the Boy Scouts of America, which serves some 1,300 young people in
10 counties in east Mississippi. Bjork and Stricklin spoke jointly to the group
on attributes of leadership and the worth of programs like Scouting in
preparing future NCAA student athletes. Shown with the pair are Pushmataha
Council president and MSU Vice President for Student Affairs Bill Kibler,
second from left, and Starkville Boy Scout Troop 14 Eagle Scout Austin Kibler,
second from right. (Photo
by Beth Newman-Wynn, MSU University Relations)
It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating a bowl win in Birmingham. Now that that and an historic signing day are in the rear view mirror, it's time to gear up for spring drills. The Rebels take to the practice field on Sunday, March 17, and a tentative practice schedule can be viewed here. Practices will be open to the public, but you'll need to skip work to make them. Weekday practices are planned for an 8 a.m. start, and outside of the first and last practices (BancorpSouth Grove Bowl on April 13, 1 p.m.). there is is only one other weekend practice planned (April 6, time TBA). This year's BancorpSouth Grove Bowl has free admission, so we hope to have our biggest crowd yet.
Fans have asked about our Pro Day, which is scheduled for March 7. The event is closed to the public, but we will have full coverage of the day on the official site. Among the events you will be able to attend this spring is the Rebels' Choice Awards, April 10 at 7 p.m. at the Ford Center. The show has moved to a Wednesday this year, and we will have more details in the coming weeks. Also changing days is the Chucky Mullins Courage Award banquet, which will now be a Saturday breakfast on the morning of the BancorpSouth Grove Bowl. Please make your plans to attend both events.
With Valentine's Day rolling in on February 14th, I Love Ole Miss week is the perfect way to show your affection for the Ole Miss Rebels. There are nine events in a five day span that are great opportunities for you to take part in cheering on the red and blue, including the home openers of Rebel Softball and Baseball. At five different events, you will be able to score a sweet I Love Ole Miss T-Shirt. Below is a schedule of events, so mark your calendars!
Softball vs. LSU 5PM Home Opener Dollar Dogs and Popcorn for Fans I Love Ole Miss T-Shirts for First 100 Fans Fans who donate gently-used sports equipment for the Geaux Play Program will receive two free general admission tickets to the baseball home opener on February 15th.
Women's Basketball vs. MSU 7PM Free I Love Ole Miss T-Shirts to All Fans Buy 1 Get 1 Free Facebook Voucher Russian Bar Trio at the Half 5 Rebel Rewards Points Date Night Package Giveaway *1 Dozen Roses *2 Tickets to Baseball, Men's Basketball, and Women's Basketball Games *Gift Certificates to Malco Cinema *Couples Massage *Dinner at Irie *and much more
Women's Tennis vs. Oklahoma State 2PM Iris Verboven Collectible Poster I Love Ole Miss T-Shirts to First 100 Fans 1 Rebel Rewards Point
Baseball vs. TCU 4PM Season Opener Tanner Mathis Collectible Poster 1 Rebel Rewards Point
Baseball vs. TCU 1:30PM I Love Ole Miss T-Shirts to first 500 fans 1 Rebel Rewards Point
Men's Basketball vs. Georgia 7PM Roll Out Banners for first 1000 fans Russian Bar Trio at the Half 1 Rebel Rewards Point Sunday
Women's Tennis vs. Washington 11AM Enter to win an iPod 1 Rebel Rewards Point
Baseball vs. TCU 12PM Free Ole Miss Koozies 1 Rebel Rewards Point
Women's Basketball vs. South Carolina 1PM 1 Rebel Rewards Point
GAC and Southern Living clearly now where to tailgate. The two have teamed up for an hour-long special called "Southern Living Tailgate Playbook" which visits our own Grove and Alabama's Quad for a look at tailgating done right. The show debuts tonight at 9 p.m. CT on GAC. Re-air times are listed below along with a preview.
Another game in the books, more great feedback and a few changes coming this week. The stadium atmosphere has been electric the first two weeks and when 8:15pm Saturday arrives, The Vaught will be the loudest place on earth.
We appreciate everyone's patience as we continue to take advantage of the SEC's new change in band amplification rules. Overall, the customer reviews on band amplification were extremely positive, but we will be improving the experience for those customers in lower rows seated directly in front of the speaker stacks.
Please continue to note the service of our Vaught-Hemingway Stadium staff. Each staff member is wearing a badge that looks similar to this:
If you experience great service (or service that needs to be improved), please make a note of the letter and number combination. Then visit rebs.ms/VHSFeedback and tell us about it.
South End Zone Sound
Our customers in the south end zone continue to experience issues with sound clarity, especially from videos and the announcer. We are bringing in one of the country's leading stadium audio experts to monitor the audio in the south end zone as well as other parts of the stadium. He will be able to assess and make changes during sound check at noon as well as in game when the stadium is full.
Kickoff video - Thanks to our amazing creative and production teams for making the type of videos that get Vaught-Hemingway on its feet. The fans have been asking for us to post some of the videos, so yesterday we posted the video played before kickoff. Click the link to watch: http://rebs.ms/rebkickoff
Ross Bjork's message to the fans - Today, this video from Ross will be emailed out to Rebel Nation: http://rebs.ms/rossvaught
Ole Miss script logo at midfield has received a fresh coat of red paint.
There is a lot going on this weekend as the Texas Longhorns come to Oxford. Miss America, Brittney Reese and the 1962 national title team are all among the notables returning to campus. Also on the docket is Generald Wilson, a retired Navy officer and national recording artist. If that name doesn't ring a bell, perhaps you remember this performance from last year's World Series.
Members of the Ole Miss Athletics Department, including administrators,
staff, coaches and student-athletes, participated in Groovin' At Move-In
2012 Friday. Athletics Director Ross Bjork (pictured above) was among
those who helped incoming students move into their dorm rooms
for the new school year, which starts Monday.
The Jackson Touchdown Club presented by C-Spire Wireless will host its first meeting of the season on Monday, August 20, 2012, at 6 p.m. at the River Hills Tennis Club located at the intersection of Ridgewood Road and Lakeland Drive. Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze will kick off the club's 67th season that night.
The admission fee for non-members and guests for this meeting is $30. Space is limited at Club meetings. The media is cordially invited to all meetings at no cost. For additional Club information, contact Glen Waddle, Secretary of the Jackson Touchdown Club, at 601-506-3186, or visit the Club's web site at www.jacksontouchdownclub.com.
Persons, corporations, or businesses interested in joining the Jackson Touchdown Club may download a membership form on the Club's web site at www.jacksontouchdownclub.com.
The Jackson Touchdown Club is a non-profit organization that has existed since 1946 when the late Dr. Lacey Hughes gathered 15 football fans together to celebrate the sport of football in the Jackson area. The Club is one of the oldest and most prestigious quarterback or touchdown clubs in the southeastern United States. The Club sponsors the Gene May Scholarship Fund and helped originate the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 1960.
When it comes to marketing our teams, nothing is more effective than creating strong connections between fans and student-athletes. However, in today's changing world of college athletics, this can be a challenge. The vast TV exposure and huge stadiums coupled with new practice facilities and student-athlete academic centers have added to the "celebrity" of our student-athlete, while unintentionally limiting the fan's access to them. So personalizing and humanizing our student-athletes is something we must be creative about.
If you are around Oxford soon, you'll notice all new posters for Football, Soccer and Volleyball. Each poster features just one student-athlete in an "up close and personal" way. Each team has multiple posters, so if you see a Mike Marry poster at one restaurant, next door may have a Donte Moncrief or Charles Sawyer poster. Same goes for Rebel Volleyball and Soccer, so enjoy the new designs!
even have the schedule included so you always know when the Rebels are playing! We hope you enjoy these new ways we are giving you a more inside look at what makes Ole Miss so special - our student-athletes.
If you watched the Olympic trials tonight from Eugene, Ore., you saw a pair of Rebels earn spots on the U.S.A. Track & Field team in junior sprinter Isiah Young and former long jumper Brittney Reese. They will join India tennis star Mahesh Bhupathi and U.S.A. women's basketball assistant coach Jennifer Gillom among the Ole Miss representation in London. In our history, they will make it 11 Rebels to participate in the Olympics across all sports, and this will mark the seventh games to feature at least one Ole Miss athlete. Here is a breakdown of the all-time list.
Jennifer Gillom (USA) - gold medalist, player 1988; assistant coach 2012
Peggie Gillom (USA) - gold medalist, assistant coach 2000
Van Chancellor (USA) - gold medalist, head coach 2004
Track & Field
Allan Ince (Barbados) - men's 400 meter hurdles 1988
Gary Kinder (USA) - men's decathlon 1988
Tony Dees (USA) - silver medalist, men's 100 meter hurdles 1992
Alvin Haynes (Barbados) - men's triple jump 1992
Savante' Stringfellow (USA) - men's long jump 2000
Brittney Reese (USA) - women's long jump 2008, 2012 Isiah Young (USA) - men's 200 meters 2012
We expected the Rebel Road Trip to generate a
concentrated burst of media coverage, and it did not disappoint. We confirmed
at least 45 examples of earned media from 36 different outlets, including 18
newspapers and 14 TV stations. Here are some of the more notable clips from the
Crowds on the 16 events of the Rebel Road Trip
exceeded our expectations at practically at every stop. Attendance ranged from
110 for the morning meeting in McComb to 680 for the evening event in
Jackson.Not including the thousands on
hand at Double Decker, total fans for the 15 stops were 3,241 (216.0 per event).
Below are the average attendance numbers per time of day and those stops that
reached capacity at their venue.
Morning average: 151.2
Middday average: 154.0
Evening average: 343.0
Corinth-240 (turned away 100)
A lot of people had a hand in making Rebel Road Trip 2012 a reality. From the two advanced teams that prepped each venue to the folks back in Oxford, here are some of the individuals that deserve credit for making the inaugural RRT a success. We apologize for anyone not mentioned.
Speakers Group Dan Jones, Chancellor Ross Bjork, Athletics Hugh Freeze, Football Tim Walsh, Alumni Association Kyle Campbell, Athletics Keith Carter, UMAA Foundation Tom Eppes, University Richard Noble, Alumni Association Scott Noss, University Ben Burns, Volunteer (and more!)
Advanced Team 1 Port Kaigler, Alumni Association (leader) Paris Buchanan, Athletics Sheila Dossett, Alumni Association Daniel Morrow, Alumni Association Matt Mossberg, UMAA Foundation Steve Mullen, Alumni Association Jim Urbanek, Alumni Association
Advanced Team 2 Brandon Hudspeth, Athletics (leader) Clay Cavett, Alumni Association Ken Edwards, Athletics Julian Gilner, Alumni Association Eric Gross, UMAA Foundation Sarah Kathryn Hickman, Alumni Association Scott Thompson, Alumni Association
Others Joseph Baumbaugh, Alumni Association Jordan Dillon-Maginnis, Alumni Association Micah Ginn, Athletics Greg Gray, Athletics Dan Pellegrino, Athletics Michael Thompson, Athletics Lee Tyner, University Danny White, UMAA Foundation Rusty Woods, Alumni Association
If you saw today on the official site, another new face has joined Ole Miss'
athletics administration with the announcement of Derek Cowherd as the Senior Associate AD for Academic Support.
Derek continues a youth movement in
the senior leadership of Rebel Athletics. Of course, the most notable is
Athletics Director Ross Bjork, who, at 39, is the youngest AD among BCS
schools. Below are the rest of us 30-somethings that have joined the
administration in recent years -- a list that would have been even longer if
not for Buffalo plucking our 32-year-old Foundation director Danny White to be
their next AD on Tuesday. (congrats Danny!)
Title (Date In Position)
Associate AD/Academic Support (May 2012)
of Athletics (March 2012)
Assistant AD/Ticket Operations (August 2011)
AD/Media and Public Relations (May 2011)
Associate AD/Compliance (April 2011)
Associate AD/Marketing and Communications (August 2010)