Published November 10, 2010 - 6:00am
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Ole Miss (4-5, 1-4 SEC) finally got back on the winning side of football after they defeated the Ragin’ Cajuns from Louisiana Lafayette. The Rebels pulled off a good defensive effort after giving up an early touchdown to the Cajuns. The offense also looked fluent before the injury to Jeremiah Masoli.
After the mild concussion to Masoli, Nathan Stanley entered the game and played well enough to pull off the victory for the Rebels. The running game, however, was the key to victory in the Rebels win, as all three Rebel running backs ran for many yards including two rushers going over 100 yards.
Ole Miss now travels to Knoxville, Tennessee, to take on the Tennessee Volunteers. The Volunteers (3-6, 0-5 SEC) have had their share of ups and downs this season. The quarterback position has been a problem of late, but with their dominating win over Memphis they may have found a stud in freshman quarterback Tyler Bray. With Bray’s performance against Memphis, look for him to get his second start of the season over Matt Simms.
This battle of the SEC’s to worst teams may be a high scoring game with a lot of action taking place. The defensive work of both teams needs to improve or the offenses will take over. Masoli should be back and fine to play for the Rebels. With the rushing attack and the high scoring offense the Rebels bring, look for this game to be a shoot out to the end. The struggle of the Rebels and Volunteers in the SEC has put these two teams on the back burner for weeks. However, look for a lot of points scored.
The Rebels have a chance to become bowl eligible in their last three games with their recent win over the Ragin Cajuns. Don’t look for the Rebels to lie down for any of these teams, but rather, expect a fight and a growl from the Rebel Black Bears.
Five Keys to Victory for the Rebels:
1. Run, Run, and Run Some More: The Rebels have really run the ball down some teams’ throats this season. With running backs Brandon Bolden, Enrique Davis, Rodney Scott and Jeff Scott there shouldn’t be any reason that the game plan should change. Run the ball to victory, Rebels.
2. DEFENSE: The young defense for the Rebels finished off the Ragin Cajuns last week in great fashion only giving up 14 points in three quarters. However, the defense has given up yards in the passing game to SEC teams this season. Greg McElroy, Cam Newton and Ryan Mallet passed for many yards against the struggling defense. Now, with the possibility of freshman Tyler Bray starting for Tennessee, the defense needs to stop the pass.
3. Stop The Opening Drive: The Rebels have had problems stopping teams on their opening drive this season. Louisiana Lafayette, Auburn, Kentucky to name a few have all scored points on their opening possessions this season. The defense needs to come up with a stop early and get points on the board.
4. Special Teams: Special teams for the Rebels have been shaky at best this season. The Rebels did get a punt return in the Fresno State game but haven’t really created a spark in the return game since. Hopefully, the Rebels can make some blocks and spring free the return man for some big yards.
5. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: With the Rebels first win in four games, hopefully it started a spark for this team. With wins in the final three SEC games, we will improve to 7-5 and be bowl eligible. Keep your heads up and take it to the Volunteers!