Scouting Report: Ole Miss Offense

Five years ago the Florida Gators took a three game winning streak and a top ten national ranking into Oxford, Mississippi and were highly favored to post an SEC road victory. Instead, the Gators blew numerous scoring opportunities, quarterback Rex Grossman threw four interceptions and Ole Miss posted a 17-14 win.

Now once again, it's time for the Gators to visit The Grove for an 11:30 a.m. kickoff (local time) with even more on the line. The Gators have to shrug off their early-season success and focus in on a team that is clearly less talented, but capable of causing Florida some problems.

Ole Miss is 1-2, winning their season opener with Memphis (23-21), before losing to Missouri (25-38) and Vanderbilt (17-31).

Rebels Offense ----- Ole Miss (1-2) has a pretty ordinary offense that would like to be a running team, but instead gains twice as much yardage in the air (238) than on the ground (119). That's mostly because they have spent much of the season playing catchup.

The main reason they want to be a running team because of their stud tailback, BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Green-Ellis ran for 1,000 yards and seven touchdowns last year and is averaging 124 yards a game this year. He gained 305 yards over the first two games before Vandy held him to 66 yards on 21 carries last Saturday.

Quarterback Seth Adams is a pretty decent passer with a good arm. His numbers are reasonably solid (59 percent, 660/5/2). He has the arm strength to get deep, but he's also a pretty easy target for the pass rush. He won the job from Brent Schaeffer who you may remember sharing the Tennessee quarterback job with EriK Ainge three years ago.

The receivers are led by Mike Wallace who is putting together an excellent year (15/21.5/3). Marshay Green (12/11.7) and Shay Hodge (12/9.0/1) are other outside receivers. They will throw to their tight end Robert Lane (7/9.0), and in an interesting twist, use their best pass rusher Greg Hardy, as an extra tight end on the goal line, and he's been very effective (2/9.5/2).

Up front Ole Miss is solid in run blocking but pretty weak in pass protection. The best player, by far, is the left tackle Michael Oher who is an All-SEC caliber player. I'd look for the Gators to line Derrick Harvey up on the other side most of the time in obvious passing situations. They've allowed nine sacks in three games, so this might be a good week for the Gators to find a little bit of a pass rush.

Overall, Ole Miss is about as good as Western Kentucky in the passing game with a much better running back. Their passing game is not as good as Troy. The biggest concern for the Gator defense has to be Hamilton getting deep for an early score. However, Florida's first priority will be to contain BenJarvus Green-Ellis and force Seth Adams into obvious passing situations, so they can exploit Ole Miss' pass protection.


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