Ole Miss Causes for Concern

At first glance the Ole Miss Rebels shouldn't pose that much of a threat to the Florida Gators on Saturday. The Rebels have been turnover prone, committing five in their loss to Vanderbilt and their big win so far this season came over a miserable Memphis program. The loss to Vandy was Ole Miss' ninth straight SEC setback and 13th in their last 14 conference games.

Still there is plenty for the Gators to be concerned about as they ready for their second conference game of the season.

Jevan Snead ----- The Ole Miss QB first committed to the Gators out of high school before switching to Texas after the Gators won the recruiting battle for Tim Tebow. A short stint in Austin apparently convinced Snead he couldn't beat out Colt McCoy so he transferred to Ole Miss. He was superb in their heartbreaking loss to Wake Forest (20-31, 253, 4 TD), but in the two games since he's thrown six interceptions. Still Snead is excellent as escaping pressure and has the arm to challenge the Gator secondary.

Sputtering Offense ----- Florida managed just 243 yards against Tennessee and 345 in the Miami game. That's a far cry from the 400-plus yard, 40-plus point offensive juggernaut we were expecting. Injuries to Cornelius Ingram, Percy Harvin, Louis Murphy and Jim Tartt have kept the Gators from developing their timing in the preseason. All but Ingram are healthy now and it's time for the offense to do more than just avoid turnovers.

Absent Pass Rush ----- Even though Tennessee's Jonathan Crompton was in a lot of must-pass situations and threw 28 passes the Gators never got to him. While the secondary has performed admirably this season they could use some help. The best place to get that help is from the front four.

Ole Miss History ----- Florida had to hold on for dear life to beat the Rebels last season after leading 27-9. The two previous meeting with Ole Miss in 2002-03 ended up with the Gators losing by a field goal under bizarre circumstances. In Oxford, Florida blew an early lead and in Gainesville the Gators refused to throw the ball against the worst pass defense in the country because, "they knew they had trouble there and we knew they would spend all week working on it". Huh?

Letdown/Wake up Call Factor ----- It's natural to have a bit of an emotional downer after beating a big rival, especially on the road. Normally you can count on the home crowd helping to get the juices flowing, but that's far less likely when you get the early kickoff courtesy of the SEC television package. The Gators got off to a great start in the Knoxville, and they just might need a similar quick beginning in The Swamp.


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