Keys to victory for Ole Miss against UTEP

The Ole Miss Rebels try to match their total wins from last year in the second game of the season.  The UTEP Miners will visit the Rebels in Oxford on Saturday September 8 at 6:00 PM CT.  The Miners come into this game with a 0-1 record after losing their home opener to the #4 ranked Oklahoma Sooners 24-7.  The Miners have not played a non-conference opponent on the road since 2009. The Miners only trailed the Sooners 10-7 heading into the fourth quarter before being shutout in the quarter.

Photo by Chris Evans

1) Quarterback play.  Bo Wallace has to continue to make improvements from the season opener.  Wallace has to improve each week heading into conference play.  His improvement will open up the running game for other running backs.  Wallace can’t continue to be the team’s leading rusher.  His body can’t continue to the pounding of the SEC week in and week out.

2) Take care of the football.  The Rebels only had one turnover last week in the win over Central Arkansas.  The Miners quarterbacks threw three interceptions against the Sooners.  The Rebels should also try to force the Miners to turn the ball over to give the Rebels a short field in which to operate.

3) Stopping UTEP passing
.  Last week the Miners only had 48 yards passing.  If the Rebels can make the Miners a one dimensional team it will allow the Rebels to take against of their strength and have eight men in the box.operate.

4) Control the line of scrimmage.  For the Rebels in the first half of the UCA game they did not do a good job of controlling the line of scrimmage and fell behind at halftime.  The Rebels must not allow the Miners to get any type of confidence.  The Miners are winless against BCS schools 0-16.  C. J. Johnson fresh off of his Defensive Lineman of the Week for the Rebels will try to maintain his high  level of play.

5) Accountability.  Hugh Freeze has begun to instill accountability on the field and off the field.  The players must continue to play within their ability and to assist teammates to give 100 percent every day and not just on game days.  Winning footballs game do not only occur on Saturdays it is a product of how you practice and prepare on a daily basis.

Terry Davis covers Ole Miss football for MemphiSport. Follow him @Terryd515.

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