Hugh Freeze Press Conference: 09.10

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Hugh Freeze (photo by Joshua McCoy)
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Hugh Freeze (photo by Joshua McCoy)
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze met with the media Monday and discussed the Rebels' upcoming game against Texas.

Video

Opening Comments:

“We’re very excited about this week. We have one of the nation’s best teams coming into Oxford. Our kids, fans and coaches are excited about the opportunity that it presents. Great respect for Coach Brown and the job he’s done. I’ve always heard of the type of program he runs. I know Manny Diaz does a great job defensively. Offensively, they have as many formations as you can imagine. They try to out-flank you through motions and shifts. They do a very good job with that. Super talented team speed wise. Every position runs extremely well. That’s the most glaring thing when you watch the film. You see the closing speed they have defensively and breakaway speed they have offensively. You’re facing one of the nation’s best, but at the same time it’s a great opportunity. It’s going to be a great environment. Our young kids will hopefully be very excited. The young kids will hopefully show up not too anxious or emotional and play sound football and give us a chance to compete in it.”

On the state of the program:

“The state of our program right now, it’d be hard to say that they’re where we want them to be. We wish we had some more depth and we were more talented at certain spots. For the kids that we have, I wish we would have played four great quarters the other night. Had we done that, I would say we’re as good as we could be going into this game, but we didn’t. It would be hard for me to sit here and say we’re exactly where we want to be. We’re heading into this game knowing that we’ve played two football games and have not really played a complete game. Our kids have put their heart and soul into it. They’re giving us great effort. We’re still playing a lot of young kids and Texas is too. They look a little different, but they’re playing a lot of young kids also.”

On this week’s game approach:

“We’re not going to change a single thing. We’ll approach it the same exact way that I approached games when I was at Lambuth, in other conferences or even in high school. We’ll treat it the same way. Hopefully you won’t notice a difference. Saturday night there will be a little more excitement around. Our young kids will have to handle that emotionally and mentally. We won’t treat our preparation any differently.”

On Bo Wallace and his fame:

“The last thing we want is him thinking he’s a rock star. He’s actually a very humble kid. He’s all boy and can certainly find himself in some situations that all young men can find themselves in. I hope he’s getting it. To be the quarterback at Ole Miss, you’re just not a normal kid from Giles County, Tennessee anymore. He’s played well. Everybody who didn’t recognize him probably does now. That’s something (QB coach) Dan (Werner) and I talk to him quite often about. All joking aside, he’s a very humble kid. Him playing well is not going to his head. It really drives him and he wants to do better. I don’t have to worry about his ego. You do worry about him recognizing the actual magnitude that this position has at a place like Ole Miss.”

On Donte Moncrief:

“He’s done really well. We really felt like going into the game he would probably have more catches than (11) through two games. It’s not his fault, we just didn’t call many passes last week. We had success running the ball and when you rush for the numbers we rushed for, it’s hard to make yourself drop back and throw it around. He’s been very solid and we couldn’t ask for any more. He’s a guy that when the opposing teams watch us they have to account for.”

On offensive line:

“We got better. Aaron Morris improved tremendously. Physically, he’s a guy that we have to have playing well. He definitely improved from week one to week two. Pierce Burton was very solid, as was A.J. Hawkins. Emmanuel McCray played hard. Evan Swindall improved some. We’re still who we are and we’re still thin. They definitely got better, but we still have a ways to go.”

On Bo Wallace as the starting quarterback:

“Bo Wallace is going to start again. He’s the guy we’re going to go with right now. We’ll always have a package ready for Barry Brunetti. He adds something of value to this football team. We’re going to try our best to have him ready because you know in the stuff we do we’re one play away from him being the guy. Maikhail Miller is the same way. It’s not so much that Barry has not performed, Bo has just been solid. He seems like he’s moved us almost every possession he’s been in there. I’m sure you’re not through seeing Barry.”

On David Ash, Texas quarterback:

“It would be very hard for me to comment on that right now. I don’t get to that until tonight. I’ve been studying with the offense this morning. I’ll get in with Dave Wommack and the other coaches tonight. I’ll know more then. In talking over lunch with them, they’re very impressed with how he runs their offense. He’s a great leader. He’s been very efficient in what they’ve asked him to do this year. I expect that he’ll be a very adequate quarterback and he’ll come in here and lead his football team.”

On tempo against UTEP:

“We were really considered with UTEP’s offensive line size, their tailback and their run game. We certainly didn’t want our defense to get run down or play too many snaps. That was the philosophy behind us not going our fastest tempo for consecutive periods of time.”

On Texas special teams:

“We did see their special teams last night. Anytime you play a team that has the team speed they have, their special teams are going to be good. The better the team speed, the better the special teams. They have great team speed. Ours have been solid except for the field goal unit and the muffed punts. Our coverage units and kickoffs have been good. Our punter has been good. We struggle to make field goals when we need them. I’m confident that Bryson Rose will get that worked out. He’s a confident young man and will get that worked out hopefully. The muffed punts, unfortunately that happened to Korvic Neat, but he’ll bounce back and be fine.”

On Vince Sanders contributing in the passing game:

“It will just take time. Show up any Saturday and he’ll be the guy. We just didn’t throw it as much the other night. Who would have thought we would rush for 330? That was the only thing that knocked some of those guys out the other night. It’s just a matter of time before he’s the guy that gets all of the balls on a given night.”

On Gilbert Pena:

“He’s a plugger. He’s going to stay in the A-gap and do his job there. He’s done it very well. I like the leadership that he’s developed in his role. He’s been a really good leader for us.”

On Issac Gross:

“Explosive. He was really explosive. He loves to compete and plays very, very hard every snap. He makes some mistakes and does some things that get him out of position sometimes. He’s a true freshman and you’re going to have that some. You’ll never question his effort, heart and desire to play. I’m really pleased with how he’s coming along.”

On the Manny Diaz defense:

“Probably plays more man now that he’s at Texas than he did when he was at Middle Tennessee. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that he has some of the best corners and skill guys in the nation on his football team. He certainly doesn’t mind bringing pressure and bringing it from a lot of different places.”

On playing 29 different guys on defense:

“We’re trying to figure out where they stack up with each other. I do believe you have to keep them fresh. We are playing an awful lot of kids. That will probably tone down some. The inside guys, we’re playing six of those, and they’re all about the same. Defensive end wise we’re trying to keep them fresh and bring Channing Ward along. He got really close the other night to making some explosive plays. We’re going to need that. C.J. Johnson we’re going to keep fresh and not play him a huge number of snaps a game. That front is rotating a lot of guys, as we are at linebacker, secondary is the same. You’ll see that probably a couple of more weeks.”

On having four fumbles against UTEP:

“It’s a great concern. The number one rule of our offense is taking care of the football. The team that wins that turnover ratio usually does well. Every single Sunday we have Ball Security Sunday. We’ll just keep addressing it. I don’t like talking about it. We’ll just keep the positives of it as taking care of the football. Obviously Randall Mackey is new at carrying the football and getting hit a lot. That’s a little new for him. No one feels worse than he does. Barry Brunetti is the same way. We just have to take care of the football and we’ll continue to put an emphasis on it.”

On the status of Collins Moore’s injury:

“Right now we’re exploring what’s best for him. He could play right now. Is it wise to play him? In the doctors’ view, is that shoulder going to go out again? We’re trying to take all of that into consideration before we make this final decision.”

On the importance of having Charles Sawyer in the secondary:

“It’s important to have him on our team. He’s kind of a stabilizing factor. I do believe when things start to get difficult in the course of a game, he’s one that understands how we settle down, calm down and fight through adversity. I think his role in the secondary and on the team is very critical.”

On Trae Elston:

“He’s getting better. We’re trying to bring him along and try not to ask him to do too many things or confuse him. We’re trying to let him play fast. He’s going to be a special player. No question. He’s just a short time removed from high school and playing against some really talented kids. I don’t want to put any crazy expectations on him at this point. There’s no doubt he’s coming along and getting better.”

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    • Loading Tweets...
      1 second ago
    Blog
    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House - Aug. 31

      Sunday, August 31, 2014 - Athletics

      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... read more

    • What They're Saying: Ole Miss-Boise State

      Friday, August 29, 2014 - Football

      The No. 18 Ole Miss football team won the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game defeating Boise State 35-13. The Rebels move into Southeastern Conference next week with a road test at Vanderbilt from Nashville's LP Field, home of the Tennessee Titans. The... read more

    • 'The New Normal' on Defense

      Friday, August 29, 2014 - Football

      ATLANTA -- Boise State had been the highest scoring team in the nation, averaging 40.2 points per game dating back to the 2000 season.  Highlighted by four interceptions, eight tackles for loss and big hits by several different players, the... read more

    • Second-Half Surge for Rebel Offense

      Friday, August 29, 2014 - Football

      ATLANTA -- After an up-and-down first half, which included a touchdown and three interceptions, senior quarterback Bo Wallace and the Ole Miss offense found their stride in the second half, particularly in the fourth quarter. Leading 7-6 early in the... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss-Boise State Motivational

      Thursday, August 28, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss vs Boise State Official Team Motivational '14 from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-Boise State

      Thursday, August 28, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as Ole Miss opens its 2014 season in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game against Boise State from Atlanta's Georgia Dome. Contrast in Experience Boise State has one of the youngest teams in the country with 67 freshmen... read more

    • Volleyball Opens Steven McRoberts Era

      Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - Volleyball

      Here are three pieces to keep in mind as we look ahead to the Ole Miss volleyball team's season-opening weekend in Buffalo, New York, starting with Canisius on Friday morning, the first of four matches over three days at the... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 1

      Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 1 (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Dome, Sweet Dome for Atlanta Area Rebels

      Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - Football

      For high school football players in Georgia, all roads lead to the Georgia Dome and the state championships.  For a handful of Rebels, those roads lead home, as Ole Miss opens the 2014 season against Boise State in the Chick-fil-A... read more

    • VIDEO: Forward Together Construction Update

      Monday, August 25, 2014 - Athletics

      read more

    • Relentless is the Word on Defense

      Sunday, August 24, 2014 - Football

      ESPN.com's Brett McMurphy asked each of the 65 coaches from the Power Five conferences to describe their team in one word.  Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's word? Relentless. The same can be said of the Ole Miss defense.  And... read more

    • McCormick, Defense Shine in Win

      Sunday, August 24, 2014 - Soccer

      After playing 110 minutes in a 1-1 draw with Georgia on Friday night, Ole Miss responded with a gutsy 1-0 win over Iowa State on Sunday afternoon. The defense, led by senior goalkeeper Kelly McCormick was the story of the... read more

    • Rebels Battle to Draw on Historic Night

      Friday, August 22, 2014 -

      Big time crowd for @SECNetwork live sports event debut. Record attendance of 1,823 for @OleMissSoccer Let's finish strong.-- Ross Bjork (@RossBjorkAD) August 23, 2014 Ole Miss kicked off the 2014 season in thrilling fashion, rallying to a 1-1 draw with... read more

    • Kiffin Pleased with Defensive Line Progress

      Friday, August 22, 2014 - Football

      Like defensive coordinator Dave Wommack, defensive line coach Chris Kiffin has been pleased with his players throughout fall camp, particularly the depth bolstered by the return of junior defensive end C.J. Johnson and the addition of sophomore Fadol Brown and... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Volleyball Day One

      Friday, August 22, 2014 - Volleyball

      THE SEASON: Volleyball - Day One from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more