Archive for August, 2008

FOOTBALL: Jerrell Powe audio clip

August 31, 2008

Jerrell Powe spoke for the first time since being cleared to play by SEC commissioner Mike Slive following Ole Miss’ 41-24 victory over Memphis. Powe played about 10 plays and had one tackle.

Here’s what he had to say.

— PA

jerrell-powe-interview

FOOTBALL: Day after observations

August 31, 2008

A few notes from Ole Miss’ 41-24 season-opening win over Memphis:

The running backs: Freshman Brandon Bolden may have elevated himself into the starting position with a knockout debut. He showed his versatility in different formations — especially the Wild Rebels — and also with the pass to QB Jevan Snead for a 37-yard gain.

Bolden runs hard and doesn’t go down at first contact. Even if he isn’t the starter against Wake Forest, it’s clear there are big plans for Bolden.

Starter Cordera Eason wasn’t bad but was outshined on opening night. I like Eason’s power and like the idea of him with a head of steam on a screen pass.

That was something the offense didn’t show, as neither Bolden, Eason nor Enrique Davis caught a pass out of the backfield. Fullback Jason Cook did, however, and show the weapon he can be with gains of 10 and 16 yards on two receptions.

I would like to have seen a successful deep ball, but I think that’s coming. Snead and Mike Wallace were close. It will happen.

There was great commitment to getting Dexter McCluster involved, and he reminded everyone what he can do when he’s healthy and has the ball in his hands.

It’s hard to be too critical of an offense that had not scored 30 points on a D1 opponent in four years and put 41 on the board on opening night.

The defense was much more average. There need to be more plays from the defensive tackles. Memphis QB Arkelon Hall and running backs Curtis Steele and Charlie Jones were able to squirt through for gains when there really weren’t very big holes.

Ole Miss linebacker Lamar Brumfield, who took over the strong side linebacker spot in camp when Allen Walker injured his knee, had a nice game with nine tackles, leading the backers.

All in all, there are coverage issues in the secondary that need to be address, though safety Jamarca Sanford was physical with 13 stops, 11 solos. Kendrick Lewis had a nice break on the ball and an end zone pick. His tackling was better than last season.

The Rebels will face an experienced and very accurate QB this week in Wake Forest junior Riley Skinner, and the defense will have to create a presence in the backfield, something it didn’t do against Memphis — just 3 tackles for loss and no sacks on 84 plays by the Tigers.

— PA

FOOTBALL: A few morning thoughts

August 31, 2008

Hey guys, a few quick responses to comments on the fourth-quarter post. It wasn’t the second string defense at the end, probably some but not all. Matt, I couldn’t tell if it was Wallace’s burst lacking or Snead just being long the the throws, but the Rebels were definitely close on some long balls. Had they hit them they’d have scored 50.

There is lots to be excited for with the offense that showed up last night, but plenty of concerns with the defense. I think the defense will get better as the young guys play and the old guys heal, but there were issues last night. The big question may be if the offense can keep up this pace.

I’ll post some observations this afternoon.

Here are our print edition links.

Points on the board

Wild Rebel

Powe speaks

FOURTH QUARTER

August 30, 2008

I realize how risky this is with Ole Miss football, but I’m giving you guys a projected winner. It’s Ole Miss. Rebels lead 41-17 with 9:12 left in the game. After two 3-and-out possessions, the offense drives 66 yards in five plays. Bolden was huge on the drive, gaining 34 yards, and twice running through contact on a 10-yard touchdown run. Both came from the Wild Rebel formation, the ninth and 10th time the Rebels have been in the formation this evening.

I won’t be updating the blog until much later, as I turn my attention to the print edition.

— PA

THIRD QUARTER

August 30, 2008

Rebels score on a nine-play 54-yard drive when Snead passes 15 yards to Hodge. That made it 34-10, and Ole Miss cracked 30 against a D 1 opponent for the first time in four years.

But as the fourth quarter was interesting last year, so too could it be again if the offense doesn’t keep clicking.

Hall is out of the game but Memphis is moving better with Hudgens. He threw a 43-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Snead is 9-for-20 for 169 yards, 2 TDs, no picks through three quarters.

Ole Miss 34, Memphis 17

SECOND QUARTER

August 30, 2008

Houston’s digging the Wild Rebel tonight, running the formation eight times in the first half. Most of the time it’s McCluster but Bolden has also taken the snap. Biggest play from the formation so far has been when Snead split out wide left and caught a pass from Bolden — after Bolden took a handoff from McCluster — for a 37-yard gain. It led to a field goal and a 24-7 lead.

Earlier in the quarter Snead led a 10-play, 80-yard drive on which Enrique Davis had a 12-yard gain and a 1-yard touchdown. Seeing more of Bolden and Enrique Davis now at the backs.

Memphis had a nice drive going one time but Kendrick Lewis had an end zone interception, the first of two picks thrown by Arkelon Hall. Mouston had the second with 1:37 left in the quarter.

Mouzon’s pick led to a 47-yard field goal by Shene, his second of the quarter.

Memphis took advantage of a short kickoff and from the hurry-up offense worked into position for a 39-yard field goal on the last play of the half.

Looks like this staff has substituted on defense much more freely than the previous administration. Have seen a lot of the second team. Not a whole lot of pass rush, but Hall’s not dropping very deep.

Jerrell Powe has been in for three plays.

Ole Miss 27, Memphis 10

FIRST QUARTER

August 30, 2008

Rebels went 3-and-out on first possession and looked like they were still in the Orgeron Era. Snead’s first touchdown pass was a 64-yarder that Shay Hodge caught near mid-field. Play capped a 97-yard drive. Two nice catches by McCluster to convert third downs.

Memphis answered quickly with a nine-play, 77-yard drive. Key play was a 45-yard completion in which cornerback Dustin Mouzon fell. There was contact but no foul. Backup qb Will Hudgens threw a 3-yard pass for the points.

Rebels answer quickly, going 60 yards in five plays. McCluster scored on a 32-yard run from the wild rebel. Michael Oher pulled from left tackle and threw the key block to spring McCluster.

McCluster has been in wild rebel three times, two runs and a handoff to Bolden.

Ole Miss 14, Memphis 7

FOOTBALL: Hotty Toddy

August 30, 2008

The answer to the most-asked question this month is Houston Nutt. The new Ole Miss coach led the Hotty Toddy on the new video board.

— PA

FOOTBALL: 25 minutes to kick

August 30, 2008
The band playing at the stage.

The band playing at the stage.

View from the press box.

View from the press box.

A couple of pre-game shots. Several people compared the Grove atmosphere to that before the LSU game in 2003. (Photos by David Ferrell)

— PA

FOOTBALL: 41 minutes to kick

August 30, 2008

Greg Hardy sighting. Jersey and jeans on the sideline talking to FCA director Jonathan Rainey.

— PA