FOOTBALL: Predictions Anyone?

Can the Rebels’ handle prosperity?

That’s the big question this weekend as South Carolina visits. They worked so hard to get over the hump, now you get over the hump of winning a big game, and it’s like “Now what.”

Well, the what is consistency. The what is the realization that while you believe you have a good football team, so too will others. Their intensity changes.

Back in August I thought the Rebels needed to be 3-2 at this point in order to stay on pace to reach goals of a winning season and bowl game. They’re 3-2 but in a much different fashion than I envisioned.

I hear players talk about the fact that “The Rebels should be 5-0.” That’s true, but they aren’t, and the focus needs to be not on how close they are to unbeaten but how they can keep from committing the big penalty at the wrong time or from committing turnovers at any time.

They were much better in this regard at Florida, although they still went through spells of lacking focus.

The hardest thing for any team to achieve is consistency. The best teams find it. Ole Miss has been struggling to learn to close out a game and win and got a taste of that last week Consistency in performance is the next step.

South Carolina arrives with a very good defense, although perhaps not quite as quick as the one the Rebels faced at Florida. This isn’t a defense that will force turnovers in bunches, but it’s one that will be assignment sound and will make it hard to sustain drives, something the Rebels struggled to do against the Gators.

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier says he’ll likely sit his best cover cornerback, Captain Munnerlyn, at the beginning of the game. Munnerlyn apparently has philosophical differences with the class attendance policy. Look for Ole Miss to take some deep shots early when if in fact Munnerlyn is not in the game. Otherwise, they’ll pick their spots with the deep balls.

On offense Spurrier will go with two quarterbacks, he says. He seemed very interested early on in starting redshirt freshman Stephen Garcia, a highly recruited kid who also considered Ole Miss before choosing the Head Ball Coach.

The Gamecocks have struggled under center and have needed a spark of some type. Garcia, more mobile than Smelley, threw for about 140 yards with one touchdown and one interception in last week’s 26-13 win over UAB.

South Carolina may have All-SEC wide receiver Kenny McKinley available this week. He’s been out since the Vanderbilt game with a hamstring. McKinley is a playmaker, and it will serve the Rebels well if he doesn’t play. He will dress and could play a little bit. If he’s on the field he’s a threat.

Both Spurrier and Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt have downplayed the fact that the defensive coordinators are quite familiar with the team’s they’re facing, but I think that’s coachspeak.

Tyrone Nix was defensive coordinator at South Carolina for the last three seasons, and his knowledge of their personnel will come in handy at some point. It’s not a game-changing advantage unless he can line up his players in the right places, and they can execute. He knows Garcia well, having seen Garcia as the scout team quarterback make plays against his defense. “Sometimes we had to slow him down and tell him to throw it to our guys just so we could gain some confidence,” Nix said.

There’s familiarity on the South Carolina sideline as well, although somewhat less. The Gamecocks’ coordinator is Ellis Johnson, who’s spent the last several seasons on the Mississippi State sideline. He’s been in the Western Division and in the same state, so he’ll know the Rebels better than others on the staff.

Ole Miss hasn’t faced Spurrier at South Carolina and hasn’t faced a Spurrier team since 1995 when Tommy Tuberville’s Rebels lost 28-10 at Florida. The previous season, interim coach Joe Lee Dunn and his Rebels lost 38-14 in Oxford. Those are Ole Miss’ only two games against Spurrier.

I think the Rebels get a win this time.

Ole Miss 19, South Carolina 17.

— PA

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44 Responses to “FOOTBALL: Predictions Anyone?”

  1. jr85reb Says:

    Ole Miss 35
    South Carolina 14

  2. UPTexan Says:

    The thing to watch in this game is the Ole Miss defense. If it continues to come on strong like against Florida, I think SC will have trouble on offense. I say we hold them to 14 or less points and score 31 again.

  3. m4rebs Says:

    Test??

  4. m4rebs Says:

    Succop the difference-maker late – South Carolina 30 Ole Miss 28

  5. JG Says:

    I am not sure if we can score 30 against this Defense. Turnovers will be the key. Can Ole Miss protect the football?
    Turnovers
    Ole Miss 2
    SC 3
    Score
    Ole Miss 20
    SC 13

  6. VA Reb Says:

    Ole Miss 28, SC 20

    Ole Miss will go up in the first half (hopefully avoid a meltdown in the second quarter) and tough it out in the second half. Knowing Spurrier, he’ll sit out Munnerlyn (maybe) for the first series and then he’ll be in the game. Yep, 5-0 is over and done with. I’m sure lots of teams look back and see where they could have and should have won more games. Fact is, we are 3-2. Let’s keep it going this week. Go Rebs!

  7. bornarebel Says:

    We are averaging 30 points per game. If we can put up 31 against Florida’s defense, I think we can do the same against SC. Our DL is only going to get better. I predict we will have 5 sacks, 3 from Hardy.

    Ole Miss – 34
    SC – 16

  8. Tyler-for-Heisman Says:

    27-21 Ole Miss

  9. RoastBeef1 Says:

    Ole Miss 17-10

  10. bigdraws Says:

    17-14 OM

  11. Jay Stokes Says:

    i’ll be there saturday…looking forward to seeing the rebs for the first time this season. i think we see more of the same from the florida game. efficient wild rebel. good defensive play…….and i’ve said this for the last three weeks, but i think/hope wallace will finally get some balls. i think he is the best receiver on the roster, and he has been alarmingly inactive this season.

    i agree with bornarebel above….we are averaging 30 a game. we’ll hit that against USC.

    Ole Miss……..35
    USC……………21

  12. ckentrebel Says:

    Let’s keep it real- n 2days up and down world of college football it’s difficult 2 know how these young athletes will perform from 1 week 2 the next (see UCLA, Michigan, Notre Dame etc.) Considering this I see a back and forth game Saturday. 2 strong defenses, but the Rebels have a better offense and r ( home 4 HC. My instinct tells me:
    Ole Miss. 28. S. Carolina 24.
    Here’s hoping!!!!!!

  13. djrebel Says:

    Hey Draws, what are your thoughts on State’s offense with Tyson Lee?

    — PA

  14. oxfordrebel Says:

    UM-21
    USCe-17

    This is gonna be a stout D we face

  15. farley662 Says:

    20-14 OM.

    I’ll be there. First game for me of the Nutt era. Anxious to see the new video board.

  16. m4rebs Says:

    Again, I’m the butthole. Seriously, am I the only one here that thinks this is going to be a MAJOR challenge for us? Remember, we are Ole Miss, we can’t stand prosperity, at least over the last few years. I’m the first one to hope we’ve shaken that thought, internally. This weekend will speak volume on the progress Coach Nutt has made with our program. If we can win this game, it will prove last week wasn’t just a flash in the pan, and it will also show that we believe that we can win ANY SEC contest, not just the MAJOR ones on TV. Remember, Oregron’s teams played well on TV, but laid eggs when “no one was watching.” I hate to tell him, I was watching. What a difference a year makes! I’ll be there rooting them on, right behind the Defense this week!!! Hotty Toddy…..hoping to believe.

  17. rebelfan38652 Says:

    m4 cant wait to hear what you think about next week! OM-42 sc-17

  18. SSA Says:

    UM 14
    USC 10

  19. bigdraws Says:

    PA, I think they looked better, but it’s just one game. Most of his passes were short, and I still don’t think we’re much of a deep threat. Time will tell. I’m afraid it’s getting a little late to make anything of this season.

  20. Jimmy Barbee Says:

    Rebels 21 SC 14

  21. paul kelly Says:

    va i agree with you could have should have doesn’t mean a thing. however, i think the kids are improving every time out and i see a win against the gamecocks. but win or loose, i’am still behind them and the staff. GO REBELS

  22. djrebel Says:

    Draws, I think some of it may depend on how much they’re willing to change the offense to cater to Tyson. May not have to change it much, but they’ve got to make sure he has sight lines. Also, if you’re going to do a little more “spread” then the loss of a back like Elliott is even bigger. Dixon and Ducre are good straight-ahead backs.

    — PA

  23. TrueReb Says:

    Ole Miss 21
    USC 17
    This is still the SEC, n were still Ole Miss. Nuthing comes easy. Every saturday will be a battle. I just think this is the year that a lil luck goes our way

  24. Jaxrebsteve Says:

    If we have two turnovers or less, I say Ole Miss 24 USC 17, we cannot overcome more turnovers than that.

    Has anyone heard how many tickets have been sold yet?

  25. stangreb Says:

    31-23 REBS

  26. mobilereb Says:

    Rebels 21
    Gamecocks 20

    Go Rebels!

  27. m4rebs Says:

    rebfan38652, not sure what you’re expecting me to say next week. PA, make sure you put up a Prediction’s Anyone? string next Thursday for the Bye-week, so I can pick against us. I’m assuming that’s what 38652 is referring to. Looking through everyone’s predictions, looks like I’m the odd man out. That doesn’t mean I don’t support this team, I promise you guys that. I’m going to be 2 days removed from surgery, limping out to the Vaught on Saturday afternoon to root our Rebs on through. I’ve heard around 52K for the USC game. That is ashamed, this team deserves more support. I know, EVERYBODY can’t afford tickets……let’s don’t go there again. Hotty Toddy.

  28. RebelGiant Says:

    This team is UP!
    No TOs this week.

    The Rebs get this one, the 1st of 4 more wins this season

    Rebs win 27-13

  29. Flareb Says:

    PA,
    Ole Miss on cover of Sports Illustrated…….yikes!!!! I’m taking extra time to excersise the demons…………Will be back with a prediction. Near midnight here, Sarah survived and now I have to find a chicken. My thoughts are focus on this game only. You’ve taken a big step, realize what you have accomplished and most of all remember this is the SEC, anything can happen.
    Here chicky, chicky…………..

  30. bigdraws Says:

    PA, it seemed to me that they did that in the LSU game.

  31. bigdraws Says:

    Don’t know if it was mentioned or not. But Spurrier announced that Smelley will be the starting qb for what it’s worth.

  32. djrebel Says:

    Draws, I didn’t get to see much of the LSU game. I figured they changed it up a bit. Good time for State to have a bye week.

    Matt, what’s your surgery?

    — PA

  33. Jeff Jolly Says:

    Just got my weekly email from Direct TV….Ole Miss-SC game is on ESPN gameplan. So for those of you like me, who live too far to drive to Oxford every weekend, if you have DirectTV and ESPN gameplan, you can watch the Rebs again this week.

  34. bigdraws Says:

    You don’t have to have gameplan. You can order it as a single game for about $22. Channel 780-something.

  35. m4rebs Says:

    Got “fixed” PA.

  36. bigdraws Says:

    Bob Barker talk you into that?

  37. UPTexan Says:

    to Big Draws and Jeff Jolly; be sure to check the blackout map (Ms. Tn. and SC) for this game on GamePlan. I think if you live in one of these states you have to buy the day pass (aka PPV) for $22 to see the game, even if you have GamePlan. Its on 792.

  38. djrebel Says:

    Well, Matt, I didn’t mean to make you get personal on the Internet. Sorry bout that. Congratulations doesn’t sound right, but neither does condolences. I’ll just say get well soon.

    — PA

  39. bigdraws Says:

    I rented the Ga Tech/Msu game a few weeks ago (yeah, I know) it was $22. That was the only game I got but it was available to order online.

  40. ckentrebel Says:

    Hey Parrish- it’s Kent. Just wanted 2 let u know that my daughter Amelia asked me yesterday 2.have u say hello 2 ur wife and that she thinks about her often. She says Mrsm Alford started her off n the right direction. I imagine hundreds of other Tupelo students would say the same thing:) Amelia is a freshman at Northeast now majoring n occupational therapy and marching n the ‘Showband from Tigerland.’ Hope 2 c u at the game 2morrow. A Rebel win would make a gr8 birthday present!

  41. Jeff Jolly Says:

    UPTexan,
    I live west of Mobile, AL. I’m about 9 miles from the MS. line. I’ll be able to see the game. This has happened before.

  42. Raleighrebel Says:

    Ole Miss 41
    SC 17

  43. pjmdreb Says:

    I was looking back for my prediction of the Florida game and saw this post. As fat as I can tell it was posted two days before the game.

    dstesports08 Says:
    September 25, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    My brain tells me blowout, but my heart says close game like all the times before. Personally, this sounds bad, but I’d rather get beat bad then go through what we went through with Vandy and Wake Forest.

    I’m going to go with my heart and say:

    Ole Miss 31
    Florida 30

    Ole Miss is tied with Florida 24-24 with less than 2 left and Jevan drives down the field and sets up a Mike Wallace TD. 31-24. With less than a minute to go, Tebow drives the explosive Gator offense down the field and answers with a last second run in the endzone as the clock expires. However, Florida misses the XP and Ole Miss prevails.

    If I was a betting man I would sign up for his tip service.

  44. bigdraws Says:

    Wow!! That’s amazing, LOL!!!

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