'The Holes Were There'

After rushing for 228 yards against Fresno State, junior Ole Miss Tailback Brandon Bolden gave the credit to the Rebel offensive line. Read about it inside.

Brandon Bolden started off the 2010 season with 104 yards rushing against Jacksonville State in the season opener, but then - with upheaval on the offensive line - tallied only 32 and 46 yards, respectively, versus Tulane and Vanderbilt.

Lat Saturday, against Fresno State, however, he exploded for 228 rushing yards on just 19 carries, including a 71-yarder for a touchdown.

"I was feeling it," said Bolden. "I told the offensive line if they just gave me a little daylight I was going to have a big night.

"They gave me some great holes and I just hit them hard."

Bolden was the beneficiary of a pregame talk that got the Rebs going.

"We were tired of losing at home. We vowed it would not happen again. We had a lot more urgency and it paid off," he stated. "We executed and I tried to break every carry for a score.

Brandon Bolden

"I knew it was coming. I was in a rhythm and my mindset was to be greedy, break tackles and make some big things happen."

Fresno State presented a challenge, but the Rebs trumped their intensity. The end result was 55 points and nearly 600 yards in offense, including 425 on the ground.

"They were a physical bunch. They were relentless and they were fighters, but we just had a different attitude that night," Bolden noted. "We were running downhill.

"With Enrique (Davis) hurt, I put the pressure on myself to make some things happen. It worked out well."

The combo of Bolden as the lead back, QB Jeremiah Masoli and freshman Jeff Scott as the pitch back made the read option potent on that night, particularly up the middle behind two new offensive guards, Patrick Junen and Logan Clair.

"We had the speed back-power back thing going last year with Dexter (McCluster) and me. I think Jeff and I can get that type of chemistry going as well," said Bolden. "We liked how things clicked Saturday.

"I didn't know how many yards or carries I had during the game, but I knew things were going well for the offense."

Brandon got the benefit of the defense respecting Masoli and Scott on the read option on the 71-yarder.

"On film, you can see the linebacker going to Masoli and the safety running to take the pitch (Scott). That left the middle wide open. They didn't think I was going to get the ball, but when I did the lane was wide open," he explained.

There were a lot of open lanes on the night.

"Junen and Clair did real good. They knew all their calls and they followed up and executed. I think the OL situation is more settled right now," he added.

The Rebels have another big game coming up in five days - SEC foe Kentucky.

"It's a huge game for us. We have to be motivated and focused and play our best," he noted.

Brandon Bolden

"We have some confidence now, but we need to keep adding to that. We won last week, and it was nice, but a conference win is even better."

In order to get that win, Bolden knows the Rebels are going to have to play with the same fire and urgency they played with against Fresno.

"From the time we got on the bus in Tupelo to come to Oxford for the game, everyone was in a zone. We were ready and we'll have to be just as ready as we were against Fresno State when Kentucky rolls in here," he assessed.

The urgency, frankly, was not as prevalent in the first three games. Now that it's surfaced, it has to remain.

"I think we got humiliated and woke up. We got our butts kicked a couple of times and learned a valuable lesson," he noted. "We can't let our guard down again.

"We have to be focused and all on the same page. It's up to us to keep building on what we started against Fresno State."

Bolden, who now has 410 yards through four games and is on a 1200 yard pace for the season, hopes to get "the feeling" against the Wildcats.

"Why stop now?" he asked. "We finally felt like we were hitting on all cylinders. I want to see us take off from here."


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