Keys to Victory: Florida Game

Ole Miss faces a stiff test Saturday with the No. 3 Gators invading Oxford. Go inside to see the keys to a Rebel upset.

Win time of possession

The Gator offense is definitely potent, but the Rebels can counteract it by keeping Florida on the sidelines. Running the football and limiting the Gators number of possessions will be paramount. Florida is a bit banged up, so keeping the visiting defense on the field will cause the Gators problems and allow Ole Miss to dictate tempo. Florida's defensive line isn't the team's strongest unit, which opens up the chance for running the ball to be successful.

Bend but don't break

When the Florida offense does take the field, Ole Miss has to negate the big play and force long drives and field goals. Allowing teams to nitpick has been frustrating for the Rebels this season, but it may be the best method Saturday. Keeping the ball in front of the defenders will hopefully create Florida mistakes and provide more opportunities for turnovers. Also, overcoming field goals is possible, thus playing strong in the Rebels' own territory can the keep the game within striking distance during the second half.

Get a lead

Take the Mizzou game and accomplish the exact opposite. Ole Miss is playing Florida at home, but the fans will need to something to cheer about to stay involved in the contest. An early lead of any kind will make the stadium electric and cause some discomfort to a Gator program that is mortal away from the swamp. Florida has only won one of its past nine road games by more than a touchdown. If the Rebels can get ahead and stay energized, the fourth quarter may be intriguing.

Protect the football

Some version of this seems to be in the article every week, but missed chances and turnovers continue to plague Ole Miss. Whether it is fumbles or special teams blunders, mental and physical mistakes have erased the chance for victory. The Rebels have to be efficient and have zero mistakes Saturday. Florida will score, and Ole Miss has to capitalize on every opportunity.

Open up the playbook

The Rebels have nothing to lose against the No. 3 team in the nation, so being imaginative on offense would create a little luck and show Florida something it hasn't planned for. Ole Miss can be a ball control team and still use a variety of screens and counters that work against the Gators' quick pursuit. This type of playcalling decreases Florida's chances to bring linebackers to help out the front four that has been a disappointment thus far. In saying, the Ole Miss line can't let Derrick Harvey pick Saturday as the day to jumpstart his season.

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