FOOTBALL: Day after observations

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

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10 Responses to “FOOTBALL: Day after observations”

  1. Raleighrebel Says:

    I can’t wait to go see the Rebels play this Saturday at Wake Forest, and see if they can keep up the great performance. Anyone making it up for the game?

  2. flareb Says:

    Raleigh,
    My girlfriend is a WVU alum and we will be in Greenville, NC to watch them take on ECU……it kills me that I’m two hours away from the Ole Miss/ Wake game. I’d love to be there.
    Read some previous posts and agree with Matt on the difference in coaching staff. Houston Nutt could sell !@#$ to a blind man. Very positive and enthusiastic. I’ve said it before and will say it again, Orgeron couldn’t coach a lick but he could recruit. Most times coaching changes involve wins, losses and a lack of recruiting but that can’t be said here. Coach Nutt had to be licking his chops on the offensive side of the ball. Injuries on the defensive line could hurt OM this weekend. They need pressure or ouch. Wake is the real deal. What a job Grobe has done there.Need to find out where your program stands and they will get there chance………Go Rebs……..By the way, did ask sweetie pie if she minded rooting for WVU by herself, didn’t fly.

  3. flareb Says:

    One more thing………Anybody heard from Farley? Brother, I hope your family is doing well. I give you hell but you are in my thoughts. I wish you the best.
    As for MSU…….make sure the store has plenty of Miller Lites, your going to need them.

  4. Jimmy Barbee Says:

    “By the way, did ask sweetie pie if she minded rooting for WVU by herself, didn’t fly.”

    Sounds like one them “hen pecked” thing without legal and responsibility strings atttached.

    I say tho, GO REBELS!!!!!!

  5. m4rebs Says:

    I watched the Houston Nutt Show this evening, and again, my Ole Miss football experience from year to year is like night and day. I didn’t have to pull out my broken french-cajun dictonary to figure out that Coach Nutt just didn’t have the offensive or defensive coaching staff to come up with a legitmate game plan after, what, 8 months of opportunity to prepare. Coach Nutt gives thoughts about why the plays went the way they went and has some actual comments about each player, not just, “I proud of my staff, even doe we didn’t get da W dis week, cha. We gonna git em riddy fo nest wheat doe. I tink we can tun dis ting round, hear.”
    Now, on to next week…..the D is going to have to take away the underneath stuff or Riley will torch us. Memphis was very successful with misdirection and sending all but one guy to the outside and slipping a guy underneath and over the middle. We’ve got to get some quality pressure on the QB so the secondary & LB’s don’t have to be in every spot, at all times. It looks like Hanna will be set in up in the Winston-Salem area by around Saturday morning, and I’d think we’d have a little bit of an advantage playing in a wet game. Then again, the last Wake Forest experience was in a downpour and it didn’t turn out too hot for us, but hopefully this ain’t the same two teams that played a couple of years ago. PA, who do you think has an advantage with a wet ball situation. Wake has the astro-play surface, so I don’t think sloppy-field will come into play, but how well do you think the astro-play manages rain? Just curious…..you may not know….but may be some questions for the Nutt. Best qoute/Reb garb I saw in the Vaught last night….(by far), the Ole Miss Nutt Rag. Gotta love the marketing types!!!!

  6. djrebel Says:

    Matt, not sure who might have the edge in the wet conditions. I know Wake will have a well-coached offense that will execute. From what I saw Saturday night, looks like the Rebels will too.

    I really think the game will come down to how much pressure the Rebels can get on Riley Skinner. Can’t let the guy sit back and complete 72 percent, which he did on average last year.

    I think the defense will improve, but I’m not sure how much of that improvement will come in just one week.

    Greg Hardy and Peria Jerry will be sorely missed in this game. This is one where if you go in and execute on offense you have a chance. Then a sack and fumble in the fourth quarter can make the difference.

    — PA

  7. va reb Says:

    Maybe the offense can keep us in the hunt until our defense can heal. PA was the height a big difference for Memphis reeceivers or was it more the lack of a pass rush? I would like to see more dump-off passes to the backs and let Davis and companu use their speed and moves.

  8. Doug Ingram Says:

    I am taking the Amtrak train Friday afternoon @ Birmingham and heading for the game at Wake Forest. We (5 guys) will exit @ Greensboro Sat morning @ 4:am and proceed via rental car west 25 miles to Winston-Salem. The offense should click, but the Rebs really need to improve on Defense to have a solid chance of victory over the Demons Deacs. GO REBS!!! See yall @ the Game!!!!!!

  9. m4rebs Says:

    Do trains shutdown for Hurricanes????

  10. Doug Ingram Says:

    The Crescent will roll on schedule! Bring your raincoat and umbrella!!! GO REBS!!!!

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