GAMEDAY: No. 21 Ole Miss vs. No. 11 Georgia
Sept. 24, 2016


Sept. 5, 2016

By Dylan Edwards, OleMissSports.com

OXFORD, Miss. - No. 21 Ole Miss’ difficult opening month of the season continues with another top-15 opponent, this time No. 11 Georgia at 11 a.m. The Rebels have faced three top-15 opponents in the first four weeks of the season, joining 2013 Georgia as the only other team in the last five seasons to do so.

“We knew September was going to be this way, and it is time for us to get back out and find a way to finish a game,” Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said. Georgia presents another challenge for Ole Miss’ defense with a talented group of players highlighted by freshman quarterback Jacob Eason and playmaking running Nick Chubb.

“Kirby (Smart) has done a great job early on, 3-0 start, beat a really quality North Carolina and a Missouri team, and had a tough battle in week two that they found a way to win,” Freeze said. “So they are believing that they can get that done so it is going to be another great challenge for us.” Turnovers have plagued Ole Miss in the two losses this season. The Rebels have a -5 turnover margin. They’ll have to play a cleaner game to earn a win against a highly-ranked Bulldog team.

While they haven’t been able to close the deal in the two games this year, Freeze and company know how to do it. Since 2012, only Alabama, Stanford and Florida State have more top-15 wins than Ole Miss.

The turnovers have been the story of the young season, but it’s easy to forget Ole Miss put up over 500 yards of offense on the stout Alabama defense last week.

“Putting up 500 yards plus on an Alabama defense is pretty special, so we are doing some good things there, but have to take care of the ball offensively,” Freeze said.

Georgia’s defense this season has had some trouble getting to the passer. The Bulldogs only have three sacks through three games, and rank 62nd of 65 Power 5 teams at pressuring the QB. That’s not the formula to beat Ole Miss’ quarterback Chad Kelly. When he’s not pressured, he ranks 5th of Power 5 quarterbacks in yards per attempt.

Ole Miss hasn’t lost back-to-back home games since Freeze’s first season and looks to keep that streak going.

“We need our crowd to show up and be extremely loud,” Freeze said. “We need our people to be packed in the stadium on Saturday early to give us an extra boost and be the 12th man that we need to show up for these young men. We can't wait to get back out, can't wait to play another difficult opponent.”

 

 

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