Goals Accomplished

Prior to the game with Presbyterian College, Ole Miss Coach specified his goals for the game with the overmatched Blue Hose. Get the win, execute, let some injured players rest and get some younger players some experience. Check, check, check and check.

Despite a lot of necessary pregame posturing by the Ole Miss coaches, nobody really thought the Ole Miss-Presbyterian College contest would be anything but a glorified scrimmage.

As hard as he tried, even Coach Hugh Freeze had a hard time convincing anyone that this one would truly be a competitive game.

The Blue Hose were sacrificial lambs, serving a purpose - to give the Rebels a break after the five game SEC gauntlet they had just gone through and to give them some relief before capping the season off with Arkansas and Mississippi State.

The Rebels accomplished all their goals - to win (48-0), to execute, to let some injured players rest/heal and to get some younger players/backups some deserved and needed playing time.

It is the latter part of that statement that is most intriguing.

After all, a lot of these youngster are the future of Rebel football - the guys who will be facing the Alabamas, LSUs and Auburns in the coming years.

Most of this year, they have been either cheerleaders or twiddling their thumbs on the sidelines, patiently waiting their turns. Next year, or the year after, they will be in the trenches fighting tooth and nail.

So even though this game with Presbyterian had little drama, it was important from that regard.

What did we find out?

The guys who jumped off the page were running backs Mark Dodson and Jordan Wilkins. Of the Rebs 402 rushing yards, they combined for 299, Wilkins with 171 and a score on a 73-yard jaunt and Dodson with 128 yards on just three totes, two of them for scores from 65 and 62 yards out.

"They certainly their case," said Freeze postgame. "They ran downhill, they broke tackles and they were patient. They were impressive."

Another player who showed up on offense was recently converted Wide Receiver Derick Jones, who had five catches for 55 yards, including a 31-yard TD catch from DeVante Kincade.

"Derrick is s tremendous athlete," noted Freeze. "He will help us if he continues to learn the position. As he learns, he will become more and more effective."

Both the backups QBs - Kincade and Ryan Buchanan - showed they know how to operate the offense, even though Freeze put a bit in their mouths.

"I would have liked to have thrown the ball downfield more with them, but we were up so far, it just wouldn't have been right," he noted. "The good thing is that both of them were seeing what they needed to see and looked comfortable in the offense. These reps are invaluable for them."

Freeze also mentioned the backup offensive line.

"I know we weren't facing an SEC defense, but Dodson and Wilkins had holes to run through, so that is positive. I also thought Rod Taylor did a nice job in there for his first time as a starter," Hugh assessed.

Defensively, it's a little harder to evaluate, but freshman SS C.J. Moore blocked a punt, had a tackle for a loss and generally looked active. DT Herbert Moore had a tackle for a loss and came up landsharking, to the delight of his teammates, who mobbed him when he got back to the sidelines. OLB Tayler Polk recovered a fumble and seemed to be in the right places at the right times. MLB Demarquis Gates showed flashes of why the coaches are so high on him. Husky A.J. Moore had two or three big hits and CB Kendarius Webster, getting his second start, played a clean, effective game.

Overall, it was just what the doctor ordered.

Win, rest, rest some more, heal, take two aspirins and come back strong after the open week against Arkansas in Fayetteville.

Goals accomplished.

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