Freeze Frame

Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze joined the SEC spring teleconference Wednesday afternoon to discuss the expansion of the north end zone, scheduling, Bo Wallace and more.

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On the spring:

"I was real pleased with the 15 practices we had. We finally established a little depth to where we can go out and have competitive practices and have somebody behind you on the depth chart that's pushing you to be your best each and every day. That changed us more in this spring as opposed to the two previous springs, just the fact that we had some guys that pushed each other. Got some of our injured guys back from the season. I was very excited about the progress we made in the spring."

On fundraising progress for expansion of the north end zone:

"We've made a lot of progress. I'm confident that they know that they have a great plan in place and they certainly are working hard at that. Hopefully all of those things will fall right in line. You know your strengths sometimes and your weaknesses. Very rarely do I get into those discussions. I just feel like if we're progressing as a football team, we'll do our part in helping with that.

"When I first got here, they had a lot of discussions going on about that and I was very vocal that the first thing to do is what we've done in the $15 million dollar renovation of our new locker room, new nutrition center, weight room, team room – all the things we've done there in the Manning Center. That was a priority for me over the expansion of the stadium.

Hugh Freeze
Petre Thomas

"Now I do think it's at a point where that is the next thing on the agenda. I think it just adds to the fact that we're moving forward as a program and as an athletics department. All those things are great signs that point to everyone that it's really occurring."

On SEC, as a whole, rebuilding at the quarterback position:

"That would be the initial consensus if you ask anybody. All of us would prefer to have a returning quarterback that has experience. Having said that, there's been several examples of quarterbacks who didn't have experience that came in and immediately had a huge impact on college football, even in our conference. You look at what (Johnny) Manziel did when he arrived on the scene with no experience. Auburn's guy last year (Nick Marshall) was a huge difference-maker on their team. The consensus would be you feel more comfortable with a returner, but that doesn't always prove to be exactly the best scenario for everyone. The kids we lost out of this league, that's an enormous group of guys. You would think it's going to take some time to build to that level, but there's always an exception out there somewhere, as we've seen."

On if he expects an All-SEC caliber year out of QB Bo Wallace:

"I certainly hope so. He's thrown for a lot of yards and a lot of touchdowns. Obviously, we've got to continue to work on taking care of the ball. But either one of his seasons, he hasn't had a complete year, and we hope that's the case in his senior campaign. I think he's definitely worthy of the (All-SEC) discussions. But the season will decide that. He won't get caught up in what pre-season things are said about him, but I do think he's deserving of those discussions."

On his ideal schedule:

"Well, obviously we're going to play one from the other BCS conferences, as everyone has seen. And then a 1-AA, I would always like to have one of those, and then two of the mid-major types. I think with the league schedule that we play, and then the other school you would choose to play from a power conference like that, I think that's the best makeup for us at Ole Miss. We've gone through a year of injuries and we see how that affects us. It's just the wear and tear that you take. The league games that we play takes its toll on you."

On where Ole Miss stood on the schedule vote:

"I can tell you my feelings on the scheduling vote that we had. I was very clear with our chancellor and our A.D. that I thought the fairest way to do it was to 6-0-2, rotate the other opponents. However, having said that, I also said to them the priority is we want to stay at eight games. Whichever momentum is in the room, to stay at eight, I would be OK with either. That was my exact conversation with them. I wanted to stay at eight, for sure. I haven't even seen which way everybody voted, I just saw what the result was. I can't speak a lot on what other people said because I haven't seen it.

"I was in favor of eight because, again, I think we beat each other up enough. We've been very successful with having eight, including our teams in the national championship hunt. Being successful at that, I'm not sure why we would want to change until it's proven that that doesn't work anymore. What we've done with eight games have put our teams – more than one usually – in the hunt for a national championship berth. I would like for us to just stay with that, and I think it's best for us at Ole Miss, for sure, to stay at eight. That's what our preference was."

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