Hugh Freeze tells Ole Miss fans to temper expectations

The surging Rebels are coming off a 7-6 season, from a sexy 2-10 turnaround, and have a massive amount of momentum residing in Oxford, only heightened after a top-five recruiting class that included the country’s No. 1 player.

Fan optimism continues to mount and will be ready to explode come August, when the 2013 season kicks off.

But Hugh Freeze warned Ole Miss fans about unrealistic expectations on his fifth stop on the Rebel Road Trip, citing that his program ‘isn’t where they need to be yet depth-wise’, via Clarion Ledger.

“I think anytime you have unrealistic expectations, frustration comes with that,” Freeze said, shortly after stepping off the bus at the downtown Jackson Marriott. “As spring revealed, we’re not where we need to be depth-wise. We were fortunate last year to not get many injuries.”

This spring came as a warning for Freeze and the rest of the coaching staff because of the numerous injuries suffered in practice. Likewise, the Rebels had the same starting five offensive linemen the entire season in 2012, and the team stayed relatively healthy all year.

Freeze then talked about the next step as a program.

“Our next step is to compete in every single game,” Freeze said. “It’s time to win a few of those (marquee) games — not all of them — but just to have a chance to win at the end.”

In fact, Ole Miss had a chance to win two marquee games last season, up 27-17 in the fourth quarter against Texas A&M and up 35-28 with 11 minutes left in the fourth against LSU, only to lose both in the closing minutes.

The next step is to beat a ranked team, something that didn’t happen last year, and it looks like they will have four opportunities to do so against Texas, Alabama, Texas A&M and LSU.

Is Ole Miss a dark horse contender in the SEC West this year?

Photo Credit: Chuck Cook – USA TODAY Sports