Welcome to Day After Observations, the 2:15 a.m. edition. I’m going to go ahead and turn this loose, take a nap and get up for the 6 a.m. trip to the airport.
So, a few thoughts on the Rebels’ 44-23 win over Texas. …
Ranked teams that win by three touchdowns against a BCS conference opponent on the road don’t typically fall out of the polls. It will be interesting to see what voters think of the Rebels’ win over Texas later today.
I picked Texas to beat Ole Miss, because I think Texas still has Texas talent and would respond with emotion at home to a road loss in which it had given up 550 rushing yards and had seen its defensive coordinator fired.
Didn’t really see much emotion from Texas, though. Ole Miss was the team that came out fast and focused. That’s a three-game trend now. In two of those games the Rebels have let it get away from them in the second quarter but have been the stronger second half team.
In the second quarter against Vanderbilt and Texas Ole Miss has been outscored 37-3, but in the third and fourth quarters Ole Miss outscored those teams 56-14 including 27-0 against Texas.
Right now the staff is making adjustments and the players are responding after halftime. That’s good coaching.
Obviously there’s room for improvement in the second quarter. …
Seems to me that Jeff Scott is playing the best ball of his career. He’s not running away from contact, and he’s still fast. Hugh Freeze has said before and mentioned against Saturday night that he didn’t really think he and Scott would get along well but that Scott’s life decisions are factoring into his on-field success. Translation: He’s going to class, staying out of trouble and working hard in practice.
I talked all off-season about the need for Bo Wallace to cut down on his interceptions. He’s gone three games without a pick now and has a streak of 87 attempts without an interception.
The fumble was a fluke thing when the ball slipped out of his hands. Still a fumble and still a turnover, but Wallace is protecting the ball a lot better than he did last year. Against Texas I don’t even recall any “almost picks” which he survived a couple of times over the first two games.
I was a little surprised to see Texas’ rushing success in the first half, not surprised to see Ole Miss regroup and play better up front. The Rebels have been pretty good against the run this season, and they held a talented Texas team to 3.4 yards a carry.
It was good to see the return of the pass rush. Even though Case McCoy was sacked only once he was bothered throughout the game. That affected McCoy’s passing and was a welcome help to the Rebels’ cornerbacks.