FOOTBALL: Thoughts Part II

I was standing in one end zone corner in Columbia, S.C., in 2004 when Ethan Flatt threw the pass and Bill Flowers made the catch in the other end zone corner, the one near the Ole Miss bench.

The most significant part of that play was that it provided the winning points.

Now four years later it’s significant in other ways. The 31-28 win over South Carolina — the day in which Robert Lane played quarterback for the first time and the day that David Cutcliffe used three quarterbacks —  is the last time that Ole Miss has beaten a ranked opponent.

The Rebels have since lost 14 straight against ranked opposition, some close, some not so close. Twelve of those were under the guidance of Ed Orgeron, who was 0-for-the-top-25.

That game was also the last time Ole Miss has scored 30 or more points against a Division I opponent.

Half of the SEC averaged more than 30 points last year.

The Rebels had their best offensive season of the Orgeron Era with 241 points scored and still finished last in the SEC and 104th in the nation in scoring offense at 20.1 points a game.

Orgeron constantly pointed to this season, with transfer quarterback Jevan Snead, as the one in which his team would turn the corner offensively. Half of that equation is true. I believe the Rebels will turn the corner offensivey, not only because of Snead but because of the players around him.

“Coach Nutt knows how to score points, and we have players who can put it in the end zone,” offensive tackle Michael Oher said.

It sure looks that way on paper.

The only warning flag is experience. Snead looks really good on paper. He looked really good in spring practice. Former Auburn coordinator Al Borges attended one practice and told Nutt afterward, “The quarterback gives you a chance.”

The only unknowns are Snead’s decision-making under duress and how he handles game-day speed. Those are important factors, but there’s a lot of reason to be excited about the possibilities for Ole Miss at quarterback. That hasn’t been the case since Eli Manning was in town.

On paper the running game looks really good, but Cordera Eason hasn’t done it in a game, and Enrique Davis is brand new to the program.

There is experience on the offensive line but also a new center and some shuffling going on.

I like the experience of receivers Shay Hodge and Mike Wallace and the possibilities of Lionel Breaux and Markeith Summers. I like the versatility of Dexter McCluster.

I can see this offense being one that surpasses 30 points more than once.

But I’m also eager to see it in a game situation, and that’s still a month away.

— PA


7 Responses to “FOOTBALL: Thoughts Part II”

  1. Jimmy Barbee Says:

    We have been only hearing Snead, Snead, Snead. I try not to ask too many questions about this football team, because they don’t make a lot of common sense and are stupid. Gona try this one tho. Who takes over at QB should Snead go down to injury? Injuries do occur, Archie got a broken arm and some others had game missing injuries. I think the late Norris Weese filled in until Archie healed. The only one that I recognize is Billly Trapp.

    My predictions are that Ole Miss team will be severly test, especiallly the first few game of the season. Just to see what they are really made of. Or are they for real? We will see soon.

  2. Jeff Jolly Says:

    It was Brent Chumbler who filled in for Archie. In his first game, he threw a school record 5 TD passes (I think) against “highly” regarded Chattanooga.

    Norris Weese and Kenny Lyons were both freshmen that year and could not play. Freshmen weren’t eligible until the 72 season.

  3. Jeff Jolly Says:

    Weese and Lyons split time the following year and were leading the nation in TD responsibility (running and passing) when Lyons broke his collar bone. He came back for the Peach Bowl against Ga. Tech. However, he never was the same as he was before the injury and Norris Weese took over full time the following season.

  4. Jimmy Barbee Says:

    Thanks, Jeff. Vaguely remember Lyons. Do have great memory of Norris. Saw Weese play for the Broncos against the Cowboys in Superbowl.

    As I have said in previous posting regarding the NO Saints, Archie, Derland Moore, and Tommy Meyer, was the saints team for years. The Saints would draft good players, hold onto them for a season. Trade them off and where some became all-pro with other teams.

  5. va reb Says:

    Always wondered how Archie would have done with a good team. He might have set some records for his sons to shoot for.

  6. djrebel Says:

    Billy Tapp played well at times in the spring, but I think Nathan Stanley, the true freshman, gets a real strong look if Snead goes down. There is also a walk-on transfer, Omar Love.

    The reason you’re hearing so much about Snead right now, at least on my end, is because he gives Ole Miss its best chance in a long time for stability at the position.

    — PA

  7. Jimmy Barbee Says:

    OJ, I know OJ name not to be mentioned, but I once heard him say (when he was with the 49ers), that if Archie was playing with the 49er he would be all-pro and probably one of the greatest QBs in history.

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