FINAL: Texas 66, Ole Miss 31

A few thoughts and observations here after what was indeed a measuring stick for Ole Miss. …

Dave Wommack

Charles Sawyer

Donte Moncrief

Bo Wallace

 

The Rebels’ offense is pretty good. Texas has a very good defense, and Ole Miss was able to put up 399 yards and 31 points.
There were warning signs with what we saw on defense. Ole Miss had allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete passes at a 72 percent success rate over the first two games against Central Arkansas and UTEP.

Texas had little success in the vertical passing game over the first two weeks, but the Rebels were unable to keep up with Texas receivers downfield and David Ash made them pay.

When the dust cleared Texas had 676 yards of offense, and Ole Miss had given up its most points since Sewanee scored 69 in 1917.

“Defensively we were bad. We’ve got to go find out exactly why. Offensively we did some good things and put up some yards on a really good defense,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said.

The Ole Miss pass rush, effective in the first two weeks, was unable to get to Ash. No sacks for Ole Miss against Texas after registering nine over the first two weeks.

It looked like the magnitude of the game got to the Rebels at times, not just the Texas talent. The least penalized team in the SEC going into the game, the Rebels had two false starts in the first quarter and ultimately had a rare personal foul. They finished with five penalties for 55 yards.

The turnover bug that plagued Bo Wallace through most of camp showed up in a game for the first time, as Wallace threw three picks, one returned 22 yards for a score by a Texas linebacker, the game’s first points.

One of Freeze’s big talking points in the off-season has been to compete for 60 minutes. I thought the Rebels did that. I thought they competed, gave effort, but they were clearly out-talented on defense.

That can’t be the theme they fall back on after bad games. They’re going to have to find ways to do more with less. Every team won’t have Texas speed, but the SEC schedule begins Sept. 29 against Alabama. There will be speed on that team too.
Freeze and his defensive staff are going to have to find a way to close the gap.

Bright spots for Ole Miss included another solid night for Jeff Scott, who had 95 yards on eight carries and a 48-yard touchdown run in which he bounced off contact near the line of scrimmage.

Donte Moncrief had seven catches for 144 yards and a touchdown, the touchdown covering 75 yards. It was the third time in three games that Wallace and Moncrief have teamed up for a touchdown play that covered more than 50 yards.
Freshman Jaylen Walton scored a touchdown for the third-straight week, this time on special teams as he returned a kick 100 yards for a score.

It was interesting to see Cliff Coleman start ahead of Senquez Golson at cornerback. Obviously neither made a difference in the secondary. I asked defensive coordinator Dave Wommack last Saturday if he was giving Coleman a closer look as a starter, but he kind of shrugged that off. Coleman finished with eight tackles and broke up two passes. Ole Miss had only three pass break-ups, the other going to end Jason Jones.

There was more playing time for Channing Ward, and he was in and around several plays including giving a long, hard but ultimately unsuccessful chase after Texas wide receiver Marquise Goodwin – a member of the US Olympic team as a long jumper – on Goodwin’s 69-yard touchdown run. Ward was credited with three tackles and a half tackle for loss.

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

Posted in Football
  • REBELCUZ

    ONE THING I GOT OUT OF THIS GAME WAS THAT OLE MISS NEVER QUIET.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matt.lambert.31 Matt Lambert

    Oh Lord, where were’t thou manna last night???
    Too much beef up front. They didn’t have to pass the football one time to win that game. The Texas coaching staff did that for preparation for a deeper team than us. Long way to go on D, but offense showing SOME promise. Protect the football, will be key from here on out. Hotty Toddy, not sure if the team quit or not last night. Texas would have scored 85+ on last years team, so like the other guy said, maybe no quit.

  • Parrish Alford

    I didn’t think they quit. They just weren’t good enough on defense. There were red flags when Central Arkansas and UTEP quarterbacks were completing 72 percent through the first two games, but the Rebels weren’t getting torched downfield like they did last night. Big challenge ahead for Hugh Freeze and his staff. The best way to fix the secondary is recruiting. In the meantime, the staff is going to have to find a way to compete better with what they have.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffery.jolly Jeffery Jolly

    Pleased with the offense….not many teams will put that many points on the board against Texas. The defense….that’s another story. DB’s looked lost and can’t tackle. I know several are freshman…but that leads to this…did Nutt recruit any defensive players while he was there?? Looking for the offense to get better and better….they’ll have to score a lot of points for us to win more than 1 or 2 more of the games left on the schedule. Hoping we put an emphasis on recruiting defensive players….

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004292621183 Bill Brown

    PA, appreciate the coverage as always. Hoping against hope but had a funny feeling that the bubble might burst. Pleased with the way the Rebels competed but have some concerns. I’m assuming that for all of Freeze’s offensive genius he has to know that defense wins consistently in the SEC. My concern is the up tempo style of offense that we play, it seems as though our defense never gets a chance to rest vs an Alabama that pounds and eats up clock all the while allowing its defense to catch its wind. Not that it mattered last night but I believe that we must think defense and more defense or we will start looking like a member of the Big 12…………..Scary.
    All in all I’m pleased with the culture and energy provided by Bjork and Freeze. Its nice to know that we are moving in the right direction.
    Flareb.

  • Parrish Alford

    Flareb, good to see you on here. I think Freeze understands the need for defense. He got a lot of attention for Arkansas State’s success last year, and rightfully so, but what was overlooked on that team was the number of senior playmakers on defense. They’re gone now, and it’s showing.

    Aside from Wallace’s picks the offense did good things last night, but it does have a tendency to score quickly, and that puts a defense that has trouble getting off the field back on the field.

    Overall, I think this is where people thought/hoped Ole Miss would be after three games. They arrived here in disappointing fashion with Texas gaining almost 700 yards and scoring more points than anyone since Sewanee in 1917. Last night was a “wilderness” reminder. How good Texas is remains to be seen, but it’s clear the Rebels have to get better quickly on defense. Not sure that’s going to happen this year, which means they have to get better on offense too, because they’re going to have to outscore people if they want to win a few more games.

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