SEC Football

FAYETTEVILLE -- Ole Miss running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis didn't care about the correction. He didn't mind if he ran for 999 yards or 1,000 last season. He would've settled for one yard short of the four-digit mark.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Ole Miss running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis didn't care about the correction. He didn't mind if he ran for 999 yards or 1,000 last season. He would've settled for one yard short of the four-digit mark.

"Seriously, it didn't matter to me," said Green-Ellis, a senior who transferred to Ole Miss after two seasons at Indiana.

Ole Miss' media relations staff obviously has a different opinion. A few weeks after Green-Ellis' season ended with his rushing total on 999, the staff in Oxford found a discrepancy. After days and days of pouring over game tape, a missing yard was found.

Apparently, in an Oct. 8 loss against Auburn, Green-Ellis was credited with a yard too few. So, a correction was made. In the record books, Green-Ellis is down for 1,000 in 2006.

Green-Ellis laughed at the whole situation in July at the Southeastern Conference's football media days.

"All I care about is this season," Green-Ellis said. "And I think we have a chance to have a great running game."

So great, in fact, that Green-Ellis said he hoped he wouldn't need a controversy to surpass the 1,000-yard mark.

The SEC's other first all-SEC running back last season -- along with Arkansas' Darren McFadden -- has all five of his starting offensive linemen back for 2007.

Throughout last season, Green-Ellis supplied his big boys on the line with some fuel any time he could.

"We go out to eat every Monday at Ajax, Chili's or Applebees," he said. "Sometimes I pay.

"But I can't afford it all the time. Those guys are 350 pounds."

The way Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron talks, Green-Ellis could gain 1,000 yards with the wide receivers blocking up front.

"You know, last year was his first year (after the transfer), so I think people are starting to notice Ben," Oregeron said. "I think he's one of the best players in the SEC. He is by far one of the best players on our team.

"I think if we have a great season, and he has the type of year that he's supposed to have, he'll receive all the (awards) that he (should)."

Green-Ellis, a stocky 5-foot-11, 225-pounder, became just the third Ole Miss player in school history to rush for at least 1,000 yards in a season. And defensive lineman Marcus Tillman said that Green-Ellis should have no problems in exceeding that mark this season.

At the media days in Hoover, Ala., Tillman talked about the talents possessed by Green-Ellis, a New Orleans native.

"There's no doubt in my mind that he'll go for over 1,000 this year," Tillman said. "He's big and he's tough, but he's also sneaky fast. You kind of have to watch out for him.

"I've seen guys on defense think they have him, and then he's gone."



OLE MISS REBELS

COACH: Ed Orgeron, 3rd year.

2006 RECORD: 4-8, 2-6 SEC.

RETURNING OFFENSIVE STARTERS: 9.

RETURNING DEFENSIVE STARTERS: 6.

OFFENSIVE FORMATION: Pro-Set.

DEFENSIVE FORMATION: Multiple 4-3.

IMPACT PLAYERS: Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, offensive tackle Michael Oher, nose guard Brandon Jenkins and quarterback Brent Schaeffer.

SATURDAY'S PREVIEW: Tennessee's Erik Ainge.

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