Waiting Game

After Monday's practice, Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze was asked about Georgia Tech's offense. After Tuesday's practice, the logical progression would be to discuss the Yellow Jacket defense.

"They remind me a lot of some teams we have played, a lot like Missouri," said Freeze. "They are very sound and are like Missouri a little in what they try to do schematically. They are very fundamental and make you dive the length of the field. They make you earn every point you get. They are solid.

"They have a phenomenal defensive end in #45 (Jeremiah Attachou). He is as good as we have faced as far as being an explosive playmaker and creating negative plays. So we have to have a plan for him, especially if we get into downs where they have a good idea we are passing the ball. He's a handful."

In the last two games of the regular season, the Ole Miss offense was stagnant, scoring just one TD in eight quarters.

What has to happen to change that?

"We have to run the ball successfully. The games where we have been able to run the ball, we have moved the chains and scored a lot of points," Freeze stated. "The games we haven't, we have not been successful.

"We have tried everything in the world schematically give us a chance to run it effectively, but sometimes we have not succeeded. We have some issues up front, but we are who we are there."

After the Egg Bowl, Freeze and QB Bo Wallace had a documented heart-to-heart talk.

Bo Wallace
File Photo

"Bo has a desire to be better. He had some really good games this year, Anytime we lose, he probably takes more blame than he deserves and probably gets more credit than he deserves when we win. That's kind of the nature of being the head coach and the quarterback. That's what you get.

"He is definitely working harder and studying harder, but he's having some arm issues right now. Him not having a lifting season this summer has really hurt him. His arm strength isn't what it was right now."

As for Tuesday's workout, it was a mirror image of Monday's - physical and productive.

"I like the way the guys are attacking things," said Freeze. "As we said yesterday, we are going more physical than we wanted to because of playing a triple option offense, but the players are accepting that and giving us good work."

Random Notes:

* Safety Cody Prewitt made AP First-Team All-American it was announced today. Freeze's thoughts on Cody's year. "He was very solid," noted Hugh. "He had six interceptions and easily could have had 12. He's coming along nicely in what we are doing defensively and he's a big part in getting everyone on the same page in the secondary. I'm proud of him."

* Both Prewitt and WR Donte Moncrief were asked after practice about their plans in terms of the option to leave Ole Miss early and enter the NFL draft. Both were non-committal. Both indicated they would sit down after the bowl and weigh all their options and make a decision from there. Both, basically, were not ready to make any kind of substantial comment, which is what was expected when the questions were asked. They had to be asked though. "With Donte, we have already had one talk and we have already filed the paperwork to get a pre-draft evaluation and see how that comes back," noted Freeze. "When that is done, we will sit down with his family and see what they are thinking. This is a decision they need to make that is best for them and everyone's situation is different. I'm for him doing what is best for him, but at the same time I want to give him sound advice as to what the evaluation means for his future. I will gather all that information, share that with them and let them make a final decision."

Cody Prewitt
File Photo

* There were three "worries" academically for bowl eligibility. Two have been cleared up and one is still working on it. "Jeff Scott and Korvic Neat are good to go," said Freeze. "Ja-Mes Logan is not yet. Ja-Mes has a chance to get eligible, but I am not as confident with him as I was with Jeff and Korvic."

* D.T. Shackelford was not much of a factor early in the year, but as the season has progressed, and injuries have mounted, he seems to have found a home, at least temporarily, at defensive end. If the game were tomorrow, D.T. would start at the rush end position, Robert Nkemdiche and Issac Gross would start at the DT slots and Cameron Whigham would get the nod at the other DE slot.

* Two redshirts who are standing out in bowl practices are DE Fadol Brown and Athlete Anthony Alford. We talked to S&C Coach Paul Jackson about them briefly. "Fadol is strong in my room and he moves real well for a 280-pounder. I think he's going to make an impact on this team next year. I am anxious to have him all summer in the weight room and in our movement drills," said Jackson. "Anthony is at an elite level in the weight room. Pound for pound, he is probably the strongest player on our team. He is different, and I mean different in a good way. He's an incredible athlete."

* With Prewitt out for now, Mike Hilton continues to work in his place at safety. Sure tackler, smart, instinctive and versatile enough to play any position in the secondary.

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