Predictions Anyone?

What a different feel for this game in a year, in seven days even.

Last year Texas visited Oxford, and an Ole Miss team that was really learning how to win had the chance to see how it would match up against upper echelon talent. The results weren’t good, but the video was closely studied, particularly on the defensive side, and the Rebels got better through the year.

At the beginning of this season, and even before the Texas loss at BYU, few folks had Ole Miss winning this game, though the feeling was that the gap had closed.

Just watching how the 2012 seasons played out for Ole Miss and Texas after the met in Oxford you could see the gap had closed.

But now with the chaos surrounding the Longhorns, the Vegas odds, for entertainment purposes only, have the game at 3-4 points.

If you look at how BYU’s run game dismantled Texas last week with 550 rushing yards you really like Ole Miss chances.

Rebels coach Hugh Freeze doesn’t really like the fact that Texas has changed defensive coordinators. Freeze was pretty far down the road with a game plan for a Manny Diaz defense, and now that’s out the window.

Unless Greg Robinson has a plan for tackling not much will change. A lot of tackling is “want to” on the part of the players. I’m not sure that gets fixed in seven days.

Ole Miss has gotten off to a strong start with its offensive starters. That wasn’t so much the case when Barry Brunetti replaced Bo Wallace against Southeast Missouri State, but as long as Wallace has been in the game the Rebels, against Vanderbilt the week before, have been pretty good on the ground and in the air.

Wallace has gotten away with a couple of passes that could have been intercepted, but so far he’s been pick free, a big improvement for a guy who threw 17 last year.

Ole Miss should have a chance to move the ball and score on the Texas defense. There’s precedent for that. The Rebels did it against these players last year.

Several things make me lean to Texas, however.

I don’t believe the Ole Miss corners are ready for this challenge. Senquez Golson may be, but Mike Hilton is still feeling his way around. I would be surprised if Charles Sawyer, arrested early last Sunday, plays in the game. That’s not been announced, but typically those arrested for DUI are not playing the following week.

That being said, Ole Miss corners, whoever they’ve been, have struggled in two games. They could not cover Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews. Many cannot, but Matthews was dominant.

The following week and FCS quarterback who runs the option and rarely passes threw two touchdown passes against Ole Miss.

If SEMO can throw on the Rebels and score it stands to reason that Texas back-up Case McCoy can if it’s McCoy making the start. If it’s David Ash, well, he threw for 326 yards, four TDs and no picks last year.

Ole Miss really needs pressure on the quarterback and hasn’t had much of that in the first two games for various reasons, one of those the continued improving health of CJ Johnson. He is getting better, and more blitzes may be called this week. If so, that takes a little attention away from Johnson and Robert Nkemdiche.

What makes me swing Texas, though, is the emotion factor. We’re starting to see reports that this is a pivotal game for Mack Brown’s future at Texas. We know this is a team with talent that’s been embarrassed by its performance at BYU. There’s a backs-to-the-wall mentality forming, and I’m thinking Texas will ride that to victory.

Ole Miss will move the ball on the ground, but not to the tune of 550 yards. Texas won’t be that bad again, and the Longhorns will make some plays in the air.

Prediction: Texas 31, Ole Miss 28

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.

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  • papatoLC

    Here’s hoping that Texas has a game 1 defense against a game 3 offense. With my Rebel heart I am going to say Ole Miss 42 Texas 38. Ole Miss cannot have that bad quarter that they had so many times last year and in both games this year. Vandy 2 quarter and SEMO 3 quarter. If Ole Miss plays four quarters, they win.

  • firefighter5

    I think I have to agree with your pick and your score. Texas has the talent but their players just didn’t show up against BYU. Texas will be playing on emotion, which can be a game changer in either direction. If the Rebels can come out and strike fast with a few scores, I think the Texas sails lose their wind and the crowd turns against Mack. If Texas looks promising going into the second quarter, the Rebels better tighten their chin straps.

  • JB

    Texas 38 Ole MI$$ 31. Rebel defense in bad shape
    SHAPE

    • JB

      Since Missouri Rebel and I have the same Prediction of Texas 38 Ole Miss 31 – I wish to amend my prediction to read:

      Ole Miss 38 Texas 31 – I cannot go against and be disloyal to a Team that I have so faithful follow over the many years. Lose or win I am still loyal to the Ole Miss Rebels!

      • Missouri Rebel

        JB, I’m as loyal as they come, win, lose, or draw, and I really like our chances given the situation in Austin…that being said, I am also really unlucky in games like this when I predict us to win…and I hate to be a jinx…that being said, I’m sticking with my prediction…like I stated earlier, I sure hope I’m wrong!

        • JB

          I was not doubting your loyalty – I notice we both had the same prediction and i decided to change mine.Have a good day and enjoy the game tomorrow evening. IT should be a good one.

          • Missouri Rebel

            Should be a couple of good games in Texas tomorrow…I wonder if the Tide will take Manziel’s head back to Tuscaloosa after tomorrows early game…lol…Have a good weekend.

  • Killer_Beeze

    Ole Miss has the talent this year to compete with Texas. I’m going the optimistic route and say the Rebels will win in Austin and Mack Brown will resign on Sunday. :))

    CBSSports.com College Football writers pick the winners of every Top 25 game each week.
    Four out of the six prognosticators pick the Rebels.

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/features/writers/expert/picks/against-the-spread/3

    • Matt Lambert

      And that’s when we have traditionally ate it……Yikes!!!!

  • REB

    Ole Miss 37 Texas 34
    MI$$ $TATE 28 Auburn 34

  • Matt Lambert

    I just don’t see the D hanging with an offense that shredded us last year in Oxford. I’m concerned about the pass as you mentioned PA. Pressure on the QB will be the key. We have seen NO pressure all season. Maybe a conservative scheme in the first two…..but I don’t see it.
    Guess who’s back??? Back again??? Debbie’s back….with no friends….
    Horns 34 Rebs 28

    • Parrish Alford

      I’m hearing a lot of different reasons for limited pass rush, some of it scheme, which was obvious against Vanderbilt, some of it the fact that SEMO wasn’t going to drop five or seven stops and try to block Ole Miss. It will be interesting to see how the rush plays out at Texas. Dropping back and helping the corners hasn’t really been effective. More help will come by getting to the QB. Ole Miss thought rush from the DL would improve with Johnson and Nkemdiche together. Nkemdiche has done good things along the line of scrimmage. He may swallow a QB when if a LB blitzes and suddenly the OL has to make a decision. Need to see Johnson get healthier too.

      • Matt Lambert

        Totally agree PA. To help the corners, we will HAVE to bring extras. That’s how we were successful at LSU last year. The killer play in that game that went against us was actually a perfect defensive play call…..Nkemdiche just got caught with his hand in the cookie jar and hit Met at the moment he released the ball.

      • Missouri Rebel

        Several of us have the same thought on it being critical to get pressure on the QB to keep the secondary from being exposed…if we can see it, so can the coaches…I bet we see more pressure and blitzes this week…
        Texas will have that “back against the wall” mentality and that is dangerous. Many times when you play a team in that mindset you’re best bet is to hit them hard and fast and watch them crumble…unless I miss my guess (and I hope I do) this Texas team has too much talent to let that happen…
        We can score with ‘em but can we stop ‘em? That is the question going back to last year…Texas 38 Rebels 31…and I sure hope I’m wrong…

  • Lee814

    Texas 42, OM 35
    Auburn 28, MSU 17

  • Cid Riley

    Sharkfins 52 Texas 16
    Auburn 20 MSU. 42
    BAMA. 41. A&M. 17
    #olemissprobation2014
    #southeasterncheaters

  • Mommatotwo

    I hope you are wrong, Parish Alford. It seems that you always pick against Ole Miss. Prehaps, it’s time for a change in who covers Ole Miss sports. Ole MIss 41, Texas 30.

    • JB

      I have been on Parrish Alford’s Ole Miss blog from the start many years back, I don’t know Parish personally but I feel like i do and I take him as an honest and truthful man, so I think he see this game about the same as i do, with Mssissippi getting beat by the Longhorns. Further more I have followed the Rebels most of my life and I am 79 years old, born and raised near Oxford. Some of us living out of the State .have no other means in keeping up with Ole Miss Sports.

      • Noggin

        I don’t post much, but am a long time follower of PA.
        I’m going to have to agree with JB on this one.

        • JB

          Noggin I haven’t see you around since the Farley (Van on the River)days you still fishing that lake? Some of the MIss State gang on my Facebook, Farley was but he disappeared.

          • Noggin

            Still fishing, not biting well this year.
            Hope all is well with you and yours.
            Gonna try to carry granddaughter to either Idaho or Troy game this year.

          • JB

            The Idaho trip would be a good one, Beautiful country out there, very good hunting and fishing and outdoor life. Take care and enjoy your grand kids..They are precious. The Rebels are starting to look very promising once again – A new beginning.

      • Parrish Alford

        Good to see the long-time followers on here. Even Matt has come out of hiding.

    • Parrish Alford

      I just tell you what I’m thinking.

  • Larry Box

    Rebs: 36
    Longhorns: 24
    PA, I hope you’re wrong, but regardless I think it will be a great game!

  • keith

    This game has went 100 different ways in my head PA……. without giving details and preaching to the choir, I think the x factor is hughe freeze. I hate to be so simplistic but I think he ” feels what we feel”, if that makes sense. He will have our boys the angry ones thinking the world is against them and the only hope they have is to courageously enter the battle with desperation and fury. Rebswill be the Moody ones and win. Score…… Rebs-34. Texas -30

  • Roger Davis

    I would like to see a Rebel win, but I’ll agree with PA – Texas wins. Really, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Longhorns won by double digits. After all they are Texas – the talent is definitely there. As ugly as the BYU game was, we can all go into the game with high hopes, but what we must remember is that was just one game. There’s no rule that says things can’t change. Emotions can be a powerful thing, especially if you have something to prove.

  • The Ghost of Col. Reb

    Rebs win 42-21. Wishful prognosticating.

  • Flareb

    Well, well, well, if Matt can post so can I. I do believe that we are not addressing one key issue. Mack Brown and the Texas program are in a tailspin and he knows it and his team knows it. Firing a def. coord. in season is desperation at its very last breath. The coaching staff is fractured, there’s been questionable hires, the fan base is uneasy and big dollar alumni are selling stock to pony up. Mack is a horrible x’s and o’s coach. Nice guy but reminds me of Bobby Bowden, might have held on just a bit to long. The last three seasons have been mediocre at best and recruiting is not buying in like they should if you had a young and energetic coach. If the Rebs strike early and often, hang around they have a better than average chance. If you have not bought in pressure usually exposes the cracks and truthfully Mack Brown is feeling heat like he’s never known. They have talent but that never makes up for heart. You can analyze the BYU loss till h@ll freezes over but they quit on the entire staff and that is never a good sign. This is a big game for the Rebs, win it and the circle starts to take shape. Freeze is playing it very quiet. Throw the kitchen sink at them, take a week to recoup and then go see you know who. We shall see.
    Enough of that. PA, have been a big supporter of you and your column down here in South/Central Fla and appreciate your efforts. Haven’t always agreed but respect your body of work. Everybody has an opinion. I asked for David Kellums radio call of the Jeff Scott run and you provided. Thanks so much…….JB, at age 79 I like your fight. My father(grew up in Hardy, MS, outside Grenada) who is no longer on this earth would be right around your age and he’d be glad you came back home to the Rebs. Home is always home no matter how many times she breaks your heart.

    • JB

      Flareb, sorry about your dad – I had a close call two(2) years ago i suffered a stroke, and thanks to God and the medical personnel at Sacred Heart Hospital, Pensacola I made it with some damage but it could have been a lot worse. You are correct Home is always home, I spent nine (9) years with the USAF In ETO and one in SEA, but I NEVER forgot about Tula., Mississippi and Lafayette County. i Remember the days when we would make the trip from Florida to Oxford and seeing the Lafayette co line marker was like taking a giant pep pill or a iced tea glass of moonshine refreshment

      I believe Ole Miss is on the road back to be winners once again.. Have a good day.

  • UMBBFan

    There are two problems with your post PA. One, “want to” is about all you can change in one week. That defense was embarrassed last week in an away game that started late after a thunderstorm. This week they will be at home knowing that their effort was called into question. If we can get off to a fast start,then maybe they might quit. Otherwise I think they will have lots of want to.
    Second, if Texas only scores 31 points they will lose.
    Ole Miss 45 Texas 38.

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