Hugh Freeze acknowledged what everyone thought Saturday night, and that’s that the momentum of a 3-0 start is gone.
Back in the summer when you get out the schedule and start pondering wins and losses, I thought if Ole Miss reached the string of home games at 3-2 that would be a good thing.
Instead, 3-2 arrives with two-straight losses. They get a pass for losing at Alabama, although the struggles on offense were a concern even then.
Add to that the defense’s inability to slow down Auburn’s version of Randall Mackey plus the fact that Johnny Manziel is in town this weekend, and while that may be a boon to The Square the concerns just increase on the field.
Texas A&M, and LSU which follows, both have explosive offenses, but both have shown vulnerability on defense. If the Rebels are to win either or both it’s going to take regaining the explosiveness of their own offense or the three straight wins could be followed by four straight losses leading into the Idaho game on Oct. 26.
Within the two losses the Rebels have created opportunities for themselves on offense but have failed to execute at critical times. Against Auburn they had drives of seven, nine, nine and 10 plays that resulted in no points.
The fact that the Rebels played poorly and still had a chance to drive for a go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter says that this offense isn’t completely broken but is in need of repair.
Defenses have adjusted to the Ole Miss offense, and it’s up to Freeze to readjust. He takes pride in his offense, and I will be surprised if we don’t see some level of change, some effort to return serve.
The mid-way point of the season will arrive after the A&M game, but with the make-up of the home and away games on the schedule it feels like it’s here right now.
This is a very important week for Ole Miss.