It’s fair to say the Ole Miss offensive line — along with quarterback Bo Wallace — nearly cost the Rebels a Week 1 victory over Boise State with sloppy play. The Rebels allowed two sacks and a whopping 11 tackles for loss against the Broncos, and committed seven false starts among 14 penalties on the night.

Head coach Hugh Freeze has repeatedly taken the blame for that performance, insisting he did not have his offensive line prepared for the schemes Boise brought to the field that night.

And while the O-line played better against Vanderbilt in Week 2, it’s still not where it needs to be for the meat of the SEC schedule.

“We’re trying to get better at what we do,” Freeze said in his weekly press conference Monday. “I’ll say this again, and we still have a ways to go with improvement as I’m sure most schools do, but Week 1 we didn’t prepare our kids properly for what they were going to see. I don’t put too much into the offensive line against Boise because they weren’t prepared. They were prepared this week and there was some good and some bad.”

Freeze is correct. Ole Miss’ offensive line looked powerful at times against the Commodores, but out-of-sync at other times. The good: the Rebels ran for 180 yards as a team, Wallace completed 76 percent of his passes and Ole Miss committed just five penalties for the game. The bad: Ole Miss still allowed eight tackles for loss, and actually allowed more sacks to the ‘Dores (three) than to Boise (two).

For the purpose of context, Vandy managed just seven tackles for loss and one sack against Temple one week before facing the Rebels.

That’s unsettling to consider; the offensive line of a top-15 team had a worse showing against a conference opponent than the Temple Owls. Heck, Temple even had fewer penalties (three for 23 yards) than Ole Miss has had in either of its first two games.

Through two weeks, Ole Miss has allowed the most sacks and tackles for loss of any team in the SEC, while also committing a league-worst 19 penalties. The Rebels offensive line is clearly still a work in progress, and it’s running out of time to reach its potential before opposing defenses feast on the Rebels’ offense.

It’s not as though the Rebels are a young bunch up front; Laremy Tunsil, an All-SEC selection at left tackle in 2013, is the youngest starter on the offensive line as a true sophomore. Ole Miss’ four other starters, (from l-r) Aaron Morris, Ben Still, Justin Bell and Fahn Cooper, are all juniors and seniors.

Cooper, a four-star prospect, is new to the bunch as a juco-transfer, but it is not as if Hugh Freeze is stuck with a patchwork line filled with unprepared freshmen. This bunch has talent and has plenty of experience at the collegiate level.

Which is why many Ole Miss fans are still scratching their heads trying to decipher the offensive line’s mediocre play two weeks into the season. Freeze knows his big men up front are trending positively, but he also knows they are nowhere near where they need to be.

“We have to continue to work on them understanding what we are facing and getting better at their technique,” Freeze said, “but there were a lot better things up front against a good defensive line.”