Bobby's Belief

Bobby Massie understands the Rebel offensive line has underperformed thus far this season, but he believes all of that is about to change.

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Nobody - inside or outside of the Ole Miss football program - has tried to deny the notion the Rebel offensive line has not played up to the expectations "everyone" had for them this year.

They were supposed to be, based on evaluations from inside the program, the "bell cow" of the team.

Coach Houston Nutt even addressed the issue in his Monday press conference.

"We have to get better up front. We depend on our offensive line and those guys have to do better," he said. "We've been given some looks by opposing defenses that have gotten us. We've missed some assignments. Defenses are not just going to sit there stationary. They are going to rock and move and now that we've had some misses in those areas, we're going to see more of the same until we prove we've corrected those issues."

Junior Right Tackle Bobby Massie said better days are coming.

"We are still trying to come together as a unit, but you'll see a different product Saturday against Vanderbilt," he said emphatically. "It will be a different story. We're starting to gel.

"Everyone has to remember that Patrick Junen didn't play a whole lot last year and Matt Hall has only started two games as a college football player, period. Bradley (Sowell) and A.J. are getting Patrick up to speed and A.J. and I are getting Matt on the same page with us. We will gel."

Bobby Massie
Chuck Rounsaville

Massie said everyone has to be together for the OL to work.

"If one person messes up, we all mess up. It's that important to play as one. We are working hard with Coach (Mike) Markuson to get better," he noted. "We'll probably see some of the same stuff we have seen the first two games this week. We'll be tested to see if we have corrected what we messed up last week. We'll have to play smarter and get it right."

Bobby believes the OL can gain some continuity as they get more and more used to QB Zack Stoudt or Randall Mackey.

"We play to the quarterback. We are starting to get used to both of them now," he continued. "We are real close to getting it right. We're getting there and doing everything we can to get it right."

Bobby understands very well the challenge that faces the Rebels. It's the SEC and it's Vanderbilt, who has been a thorn in the Rebs' side since he has been at Ole Miss.

"We're stepping up this week. It's a whole different ballgame. The players are bigger, faster and stronger, but we'll be ready for the challenge," he noted. "This is a big game for us. We'll have to play really well. Vandy has a mindset they are going to win because they have us at home, they have a new coaching staff and they are 2-0. We'll have to be ready to play.

"Their DEs are the same and their LBs are the same. I gave up a sack last year to #42 (Tim Fugger). I don't want to give up another one."

Massie bristled a bit when the term "soft" was brought up to describe the Rebel OL.

"We are a power team, but when we lost Brandon Bolden and Enrique Davis, we went to more zone blocking with Jeff Scott and Korvic Neat," he added. "We are not soft. We have not gelled in some areas and haven't played as fast as we need to, but we are not soft. When you aren't playing as one and you miss some assignments, it may look that way, but we are not.

"We have a hard-nosed coach and he's going to get us right. We are going to put on a show this week. I believe that. We are going to get it right. The fans will enjoy what they see this week."

Massie also understands the importance of the SEC opener.

"We want to get that winning taste in the SEC back in our mouths. 2009 was a fun year for all of us. 2010 wasn't," he closed. "We don't want a repeat of last year.

"Our intention is to do everything we can to prevent that from happening."

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