“There was a coach somewhere, I can’t remember which one, that said very few things are worthwhile in life that occur individually,” said Freeze, now 20-11 at Ole Miss after his team’s 23-17 victory over the Crimson Tide. “I think that’s a very good statement for what occurred here last weekend. It was a collective effort.”
Everyone who had anything to do with the day, Freeze said, deserves praise.
“It was very, very special and obviously something we will remember for many, many years,” he said. “This was a collective Ole Miss family. It was a collective effort and an exciting day for our University and our football program.”
How true. But he also continued with the most important aspect of all.
“Our players deserve tremendous credit for executing the gameplan and battling and continuing to believe, even when adversity hit,” he said.
And that, of course, was what had to happen for the day to be complete.
Now the victory over Alabama is in the trash can, so to speak. It’s time for Texas A&M, and the Rebels’ first trip to College Station for a football game since 1975. Ole Miss lost that contest 7-0.
There will almost without question be more points scored Saturday night than that in this year’s edition of Rebels vs. Aggies.
“We gathered our team yesterday like we always do and talked to them about the truth, the good and the bad,” Freeze said. “I think the teams that move forward in this difficult conference are the teams that handle the instructions from coaches, taking the mistakes and making them better and not resting upon what they’d done.
“You don’t get to enjoy the great victories long in this profession. You have to move on to another very difficult challenge.”
Texas A&M lost at Mississippi State 48-31 Saturday.
“I’m sure they’re hungry to get back on the field and get ready to compete again,” Freeze said. “This is one of the most explosive offenses you’ll face with one of the better offensive lines in the country. Their defense, up until last week, had definitely improved. I know it will be a tall, tall task for us in a difficult place to play on Saturday night.”
* “After reviewing the film on Sunday, I decided to suspend Trae Elston for the first half of the A&M game as a result of his action on a play in the second quarter of the Alabama game. I informed the SEC office of my decision, and they indicated to me this morning there would be no further action taken. We’ll move forward from it. Trae’s a good kid. In an attempt of frustration to knock the ball out of his hand, a third down was converted and he made a bad decision. He understands that’s not the way we go about things. I don’t think there was any intent to injure or hurt.”
* On his players handling the success that has come their way: “We always talk to our kids about success or failure. They both can be your ally or your hindrance to the journey you’re own. I think our kids have been pretty good about handling things. There’ve been some difficult losses, two in particular to the team we play this Saturday (both in Oxford). But they typically bounce back because they follow the leadership of this team. I think our team has developed some leadership in the locker room that helps with that message. I believe they will continue to be hungry and want to compete. The bigger worry for me is the schedule we face in this conference. There are teams in this conference that can beat you at any given moment.”
* On fans storming the field moving forward: "The history of college football when there are huge wins, that's been something that has occurred in the history of the sport. There comes a time in your sport where there's a right way to celebrate. Hopefully we remain at a level we experienced Saturday and that win is the new normal. Hopefully that's not we have to do all the time, but it was pretty exciting Saturday."
* On health of team: "Aaron Morris' ankle we dealt with the last week. It is just tender. He's the only one really. Few bumps and bruises and groins. He'll push through it the best he can."
* On A&M: "One of the more difficult places to play in the nation. I know they'll be hungry to get back out there. It's going to be a great challenge. One of the top 10-15 programs in the nation now, playing in that environment at night."
* On OL: "Our offensive line has gotten better. We made plays when we had to. Pleased we were able to play well enough to get the victory."
* On recruits' immediate reaction: "It helped us with a lot of kids. We had some great players here and they left with a very positive feeling about what's going on here."
* On difference in A&M offense this year from Manziel years: "None in the pass game or tailback run game. They had very few really designed runs for Manziel but he created a lot. Their quarterbacks are still athletic. The system itself has not changed."
* On PK: "We'll have some competition this week. It's a bit early to tell on that. We'll kind of battle it out this week."
* On Ole Miss & MSU both ranked No. 3: "They're deserving. I think we're deserving. It was a great day for the state of Mississippi for sure."
* On A&M defensively: "Last week they struggled some but I think they're more athletic (than in the past). In the South Carolina game they looked really, really talented. That's kind of been them until last week. They've had a difficult stretch of games. We experienced that last year. That can take a toll on you."
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