The news on Monday that Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace was lax in his preparation for Tulane should raise a warning flag.
Not the flag that says clear the beach, but maybe the flag that says be aware of conditions around you.
To be honest, Wallace almost certainly wasn’t the only player to yawn during practice for Tulane. But Wallace is the quarterback, and quarterbacks are held to higher standards. Great quarterbacks begin with great preparation.
Wallace has captured the adoration of the Ole Miss fan base by his early season performance. Through two games he had thrown five touchdown passes and only one interception. Against Texas he threw three picks but did throw another touchdown and helped the Ole Miss offense put up 24 points — A fourth touchdown came from Jaylen Walton on special teams — in a 66-31 loss.
Against Tulane Wallace was average, and not all of that was a result of the hit he took on his shoulder. The Rebels were running at will, so there wasn’t the need to pass much. When they did, Wallace was just 7-for-16, the first time this season he’s been under 50 percent. He didn’t throw a pick but fumbled twice.
Freeze has more than once described Wallace as “all boy.” This is Wallace’s third campus, but things are much different in the SEC than at Jonesboro and Scooba. A year ago he could afford, perhaps, to let his guard down against certain East Mississippi Community College opponents.
Times have changed.
Tulane comes but once on the schedule, and the likelihood is that Wallace will learn from this mistake. He wants to be not only the quarterback but the leader.
And that’s what Ole Miss needs him to be.