Maybe it’s not the spread offense that should strike fear into Ole Miss. Maybe it’s just offense.
I continue to read the stat book from yesterday’s 45-17 loss at Georgia to make sure I’ve not misread something, but everytime I do I see 345 under the heading of net yards rushing.
It started out as a pretty good effort on defense. That theory of good defensive line play by Ole Miss was bearing some fruit. Peria Jerry had a tackle for loss on a fourth-and-1 attempt, and momentum was clearly with the Rebels, who were already up 7-0 in the first quarter.
It was later in the first half that Georgia changed tactics a bit and started running less at the tackles and more out wide and with more misdirection. As the day went on the Bulldogs could run however they wanted.
Thomas Davis and Knowshon Moreno are indeed good backs, but show me the average ones in the SEC.
You have to tackle good backs or get embarrassed. Ole Miss’ MO appears to be the latter.
— It’s not encouraging to tell your fan base in September that your team’s problems can’t be cured until February.
That was the essence of Ed Orgeron’s statement when he said the Rebels “have some deficiencies that can only be solved by recruiting” and that the Rebels “do not have SEC players at some positions.”
Orgeron has never been slow to move players around to try and fix problems. Maybe it’s time to do that now.
The coaching staff has praised freshmen Jamariey Atterberry, Jamison Hughes and Fon Ingram. Maybe it’s time to see if some of them can tackle in a game. Free safety Kendrick Lewis, a converted wide receiver, is struggling to get opposing backs to the ground.
Try these young guys, the most recent recruits, who were signed as defensive players.
— Up front, Peria Jerry had a monster first half and showed what kind of player he can be when healthy and in a game that fits his style. He’s not a runner and chaser who’s going to make a lot of plays against a spread offense that’s throwing quick outs all day. But Jerry was a frequent visitor to the Georgia backfield and really disrupted the Bulldogs’ offense early.
Ole Miss’ best tacklers are indeed its defensive linemen.
— Offensively, it was good to see a strong game from the offensive line. BenJarvus Green-Ellis had 108 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, and Bruce Hall averaged 6.3 per carry with 44 yards on seven attempts.
That was not a slouch defense they were running against, as Georgia ranked third in the SEC against the run, allowing 109.2 yards per game.
The OL also did not allow a sack for the first time this year.
— Ole Miss quarterback Seth Adams continues to be a player the Rebels can win with. He is accurate and has a stronger arm that was believed at first. He’s done a lot of really good things.
But Adams is also prone for one bad pass a game that results in an interception.
Saturday he also fumbled at the 1, something that has not become so routine as the interception, which was his fourth of the year.
Adams fumbled on a quarterback sneak going into the end zone. He’s not a great runner, and the sneak has never been a productive play in his brief time as a the starter or last year as the reliever when he tried to sneak for a first down against State to run out the clock.
Still, Adams engineered an 18-play, 86-yard drive to open the third quarter. It consumed more than 9 minutes and finally ended with a touchdown.
He completed 17 of his first 21 passes and two of the incompletions were catchable balls. He finally finished with a 68.5 completion rate when the game got sloppy.
Adams and his teammates are an offense the Rebels can win with, but they have to do more.
Ole Miss is a one-dimensional football team right now, and the Ole Miss offense has to score in the 30s for the Rebels to have a fighting chance against good teams.