GAMEDAY PREVIEW: Rebels Look To Slow Down Arkansas

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Nickolas Brassell
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Nickolas Brassell
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Oct. 22, 2011

OXFORD, Miss. - Another difficult task awaits the Ole Miss Rebels, as they take on their second consecutive top-10 opponent in an SEC showdown against No. 10 Arkansas and head coach Bobby Petrino's high-powered aerial attack.  

Kickoff is slated for 11:21 a.m. from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.  The game will be televised on the SEC Network.

After spending 10 years in Fayetteville as the Razorbacks' head coach, Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt faces his former team for the fourth time since taking over at Ole Miss, holding a 2-1 record.  

Arkansas holds a 30-26-1 advantage in a series that dates back to 1908 and has seen games played in six different cities.  Ole Miss is 6-3 in games played between the two in Oxford.  The Razorbacks are 11-8 against the Rebels since joining the SEC in 1992.

Junior quarterback Tyler Wilson leads one of the nation's most potent offenses into Oxford.  The Razorbacks rank eighth nationally in passing offense, averaging 336.8 yards per-game through the air.  Wilson is completing 64.9 percent of his passes and has thrown for 1,779 yards and 12 touchdowns in his first year as the starting signal-caller.  

"I think we are facing the best quarterback in the SEC in Tyler Wilson," said Nutt.  "He is an excellent quarterback and is very accurate.  He can throw every ball and has excellent receivers."

That group of receivers is led by the dynamic senior trio of Jarius Wright, Joe Adams, and Greg Childs.  Wright, the SEC's leading receiver, has accounted for 554 yards and six touchdowns on 33 receptions.  

A banged-up Ole Miss defense will be called upon to slow down Wilson and the Razorback attack.  The Rebels lost two senior starters for the season against Alabama last week, in defensive end Wayne Dorsey and cornerback Marcus Temple.  Dorsey was among the SEC's leaders in sacks, while Temple was the top cover man for the Rebels and had picked off two passes this season.

"We will miss those guys because they were great leaders for us. Wayne and Marcus were playing their best football.  Marcus was playing the secondary better than he had his whole career. That hurts."

Gerald Rivers, Kentrell Lockett, and C.J. Johnson will all be expected to step up in Dorsey's absence.  Defensive tackle Uriah Grant may also see action at end.

True freshman Senquez Golson is expected to get the start at cornerback in Temple's place.  Two-way player Nickolas Brassell saw increased action at cornerback last week in addition to his usual duties at wide receiver.  The freshman posted a career-high five tackles in limited time on defense.  Safety Charles Sawyer, who ranks sixth in the nation in interceptions, may periodically move to his old position on the corner, as well.  

"It helps that they will play this weekend, especially Brandon Bolden," said Nutt.  "That gives us a lift."

Bolden, along with starting running back Jeff Scott, have accounted for eight of the Rebels' 12 offensive touchdowns this season.  Scott is averaging 4.8 yards per-carry and has rushed for six touchdowns and returned a punt for a score, as well.  The Rebels are 0-4 when they fail to rush for 100 yards in a game.

Last week, the Rebels saw the emergence of a potential star in speedy freshman receiver Nickolas Brassell.  Brassell became the first Ole Miss receiver to post a 100-yard game this season, amassing 101 yards on four catches.   

Special teams could play a major factor, as two of the nation's best punt returners will be featured in Ole Miss' Scott and Arkansas' Adams.  Scott ranks third in the nation in punt returns with a 20.1-yard average, while Adams ranks seventh at 18.1 yards.

For Nutt, getting his young team to execute and keep mistakes to a minimum will be the key. 

"The way we played the first half of the Alabama game is a positive," said Nutt.  "There have been a few bright spots when we execute and play hard on offense, defense and special teams.  When we do that we look like a football team. A lot of young people are playing hard and making a lot of plays for us. To me that is what gives you hope."

New for fans in 2011 is the "Rebel Fanfare," sponsored by Baptist Hospital of North Mississippi. It opens three hours prior to kickoff and is located off All-American Drive, across the street from the Starnes Center. Admission is free for all ages. "Rebel Fanfare" includes inflatables, interactive games for kids, food vendors and the pre-game radio show which begins two hours prior to kickoff. It will also feature appearances by former players, cheerleaders, Rebelettes and Rebel.

Rebel fans will have a chance to meet the Ole Miss men's basketball team today prior to the game.  The team will be signing autographs and handing out posters and schedule cards from 9:45-10:45 a.m. at the Rebel Fanfare.

Visit OleMissFB.com for all the information you need about Ole Miss gamedays this fall, and follow @RebelGameday on Twitter for the most up-to-date news and info each Saturday.




Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    • Loading Tweets...
      1 second ago
    Blog
    • Grove Bowl to be Featured on SEC Network Platofrms

      Thursday, March 26, 2015 - Football

      The SEC Network will air every SEC spring football game with multiple viewing opportunities on both television and the network's digital platforms. All 12 spring football games will be carried live and in full on SEC Network + with additional... read more

    • Freeze, Players Talk Quarterback Competition

      Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - Football

      Through the first seven spring practices, or three weeks since the start of spring practice on March 3, there does not appear to be any separation between sophomores Ryan Buchanan and DeVante Kincade and junior college transfer Chad Kelly.  Whether... read more

    • VIDEO: 2015 Rebel Choice Awards

      Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - Athletics

      read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (March 17-23, 2015)

      Monday, March 23, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review March 17-23, 2015 Men's Basketball - Ole Miss scored 62 second-half points to overcome a 17-point halftime deficit, rallying past 11th-seeded BYU 94-90 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday. -... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- March 22

      Sunday, March 22, 2015 - Athletics

      The men's basketball team saw its run in the NCAA Tournament come to an end in the Round of 64 after a thrilling win in the First Four. The women's basketball team won two postseason WNIT games to continue its... read more

    • Trent, Bramlett Pitch Rebels Past No. 1 Florida

      Sunday, March 22, 2015 - Baseball

      Junior left-hander Christian Trent and sophomore right-hander Brady Bramlett picked up quality starts on the mound, and the offensive provided some timely hits, which proved to be a winning formula as Ole Miss claimed the weekend series over No. 1... read more

    • VIDEO: Insell Previews WNIT Matchup with GT

      Saturday, March 21, 2015 - Women's Basketball

      read more

    • Journey Ends for Five Seniors

      Thursday, March 19, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A four-year starter at point guard, one of the most accomplished players in program history, senior Jarvis Summers saw his Ole Miss career come to an end, as did four of his fellow seniors in LaDarius White,... read more

    • Kennedy, Mack Talk Familiarity, Preparations

      Thursday, March 19, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      From his five years at Cincinnati, three as an assistant coach and one each as associate head coach and interim head coach, head coach Andy Kennedy knows and has experienced the Xavier program first hand, having coached against the Musketeers... read more

    • Whirlwind Week Continues for the Rebels

      Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      Ole Miss has gone through a two-day turn twice, as well as a one-day turn when the Rebels played No. 23 Creighton and Cincinnati in back-to-back days at the Emerald Coast Classic, but they haven't gone through a turn quite... read more

    • PHOTOS: Ole Miss Basketball Defeats BYU

      Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      Photo Gallery "YOU BELONG!" - AK @OleMissMBB pic.twitter.com/N0E09nTXHy-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) March 18, 2015 REBS WIN!! REBS WIN!!! HELL YEAH DAMN RIGHT!!! @OleMissMBB #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/ak0Vwpq2He-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) March 18, 2015... read more

    • Ole Miss a Giant Killer against Xavier?

      Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      Giant Killers come in many different shapes and forms in the NCAA Tournament. They are not just your teams from smaller and mid-major conferences, but also your lower-seeded power-conference teams. As defined by ESPN's Peter Keating and Jordan Brenner, Giants Killers... read more

    • What They're Saying: Rebels Take Down BYU

      Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      March Madness reigned in Dayton, as 11th-seeded Ole Miss scored 62 second-half points to overcome a 17-point halftime deficit, rallying past 11th-seeded BYU 94-90 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday. The nation watched, and they reacted to... read more

    • PHOTOS: Ole Miss Basketball in Dayton

      Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      Photo Gallery Your NCAA Tournament Rebels! .@OleMissMBB pic.twitter.com/KkR8n8aF4Y-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) March 17, 2015... read more

    • Rebels Apply Lessons Learned in BYU Prep

      Monday, March 16, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      Talking to members of the local media Sunday before leaving for Dayton on Monday, head coach Andy Kennedy and senior guard Jarvis Summers spoke of a familiarity with BYU, their First Four opponent, from watching the Cougars' 73-60 win at... read more