Faith In Each Other

Ole Miss Offensive Guard Justin Bell knows the offensive line effort against Auburn was not up to the standard they set for each other, but he's adamant the Rebels will turn things around in the right direction.

It had to be asked.

Ole Miss RG Justin Bell, who splits time with true freshman Austin Golson, was plopped down in the team meeting room ready to answer rapid fire questions from the media.

Obviously, the first one - especially after Coach Hugh Freeze had explained their shortcomings in his weekly presser - was about the six quarterback sacks allowed against Auburn Saturday night.

Bell chuckled, not because it was funny. . . .

. . . he knew it was coming.

"Six sacks. The quarterback should never be on the ground at all. We made mistakes. We had a lot of dropback passing situations, so some are going to happen, but we have to keep fighting," he said. "I have faith in my teammates and faith in myself that we will improve and keep our QB off the ground from now on."

Bell was not looking for excuses, but he said facing so many third-and-longs was not an easy thing to deal with.

"They know what's coming," Bell continued. "It's very difficult because they can do so many different things. You may get an inside blitz or anything. Auburn had some good third-down rush packages that gave us trouble.

Justin Bell
Chuck Rounsaville

"They also had a bye week and were able to sharpen some things up and put in some things we had not seen on film. It can be very tough when you roll in all the factors."

Bell talked about doing better on first and second downs to keep from having third-and-long as often.

"We have to keep hitting our landmarks and play inside out. If we will do that over and over and over, it will hit," he said. "We have faith in each other and faith in our coaches that they know what they are doing. When the guard and center doubles the NT or 3-technique and then we are able to get to the second level, we are fine. We just have to go to work and get that done.

"We played hard to the end and had chances to win. We didn't finish the game the way we wanted, but staying the course is what it's all about. We'll get it rolling again."

The run game has not clicked as well in the past two games as it did in the first three, but Bell has not lost his confidence in that phase of the offense.

"We want to run the ball. It's a statement play. We just have to do the right things at the right times and not break down and things will come around in the run game," he stated.

Bell does not think there is a chemistry problem on the OL just because more players are rotating in and out this year than last year.

"We have good chemistry, no matter who plays. Our coaches put the best players we have out there and we believe in each other," he explained. "Even our freshmen - Laremy Tunsil and Austin Golson - are fine. They are gaining experience, which is important. We can deal with a few mistakes here and there because when you look in their eyes, you know they are giving their all and we are playing for each other.

"It helps us with our tempo to be able to rotate players in during the game. In the fourth quarter, we are still ready to go."

The consensus is that Texas A&M will score quite a few points Saturday. Does that put pressure on the offense to keep up in a scoring battle?

Laremy Tunsil
Josh McCoy

First of all, Bell does not buy the consensus party line.

"I have faith in our defense to get some stops, so I don't feel any pressure about that. The pressure comes in that every SEC game is a tough game. You know it going in," he noted. "We just have to stick together, play as a unit, play for 60 minutes and play Rebel ball, things will turn out for us.

"If we keep playing with the passion we have so far and eliminate some mistakes, you will see some amazing things out of us this season."

Bell is excited to finally be back home.

"To play in front of Rebel Nation, our crowd, will be great. We had a tough road schedule. That's not an excuse, but I can tell you we will be looking forward to locking the Vaught," he said. "That's what it is all about.

"We are going to put the Auburn game away and go to work to get back on the winning track. We watched the film Sunday, talked about it and moved on. We are a family. We give it all for each other and will continue to do that."

In the end, Bell believes the Rebels will regain their momentum and get the job done.

"We are going to do what we always do - play 60 minutes of passionate football and then look at the scoreboard to see what it says," he closed.

OM Spirit Top Stories