The Ole Miss Rebels are a team that is evolving. They are improving on team weaknesses from week to week. More players are playing bigger roles in the total team development. Other players are covering up certain weak areas of the team by their strong play. In college football confidence is a very good asset to have. The Rebels are slowing developing a nice swagger that comes not only with winning games, but winning games convincingly. The Rebels have matched their total wins from last season in the first two games of the season. Head coach Hugh Freeze has brought a winning attitude to Oxford and it is rubbing off on his players. The Rebels defeated the UTEP Mines 28-10 last week.
1) Quarterback play. The quarterback play of the Rebels continues to be strength of the team. Bo Wallace looked very comfortable operating from the pocket. Bo Wallace continues to impress as the starting quarterback for the Rebels. Wallace selected when it was best for him to run or pass against the Miners. Wallace was 15-22 for 174 yard and two passing touchdowns. Wallace also had a running touchdown on the night. Wallace did not take as many big hits, because he did not run out of the pocket often and throw the ball away when receivers were not open.
2) Stopping UTEP passing. The Miners had had 48 passing yards last week against Oklahoma. This week the Miners had 274 yards passing with one touchdown and one interception. The Miners were force to pass more than they wanted to because the Rebels contained the running game. The bend but did not break against the Miners passing attack.
3) Control the line of scrimmage. The Rebels did a great job of controlling the offensive and defensive lines of scrimmage. The offense generated over 500 total yards for the second consecutive week. The Rebels had 206 rushing yards against the Miners. The defensive for the Rebels kept Miners in check for most of the game by forcing them to go to the passing game because they could not generate a running game.
4) Diversifying the offense. The Rebels used both conventional and non-conventional plays against the Miners. The Rebels played three different players at the quarterback position. Randall Mackey and Barry Brunetti took snaps from the quarterback position. Mackey went 1-1 for 32 yards. Mackey play quarterback last season. Jeff Scott played for the first time this season after sitting out the season opener. Scott had to serve a one game suspension for violating a team rule. Scott finished the game with a team high 113 yards rushing.
5) Facing adversity. The Rebels turnovers could have easily changed the course of the game. The defense of the Rebels made up for the lost fumbles. The Rebels defense also stopped the Miners on a fourth and goal to start the second quarter to prevent the Miners from tying the game at seven. The Rebels defense came up big throughout the game to keep the Rebels perfect on the season.
Terry Davis covers Ole Miss football for MemphiSport. Follow him @Terryd515.
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