Keys to Victory: Georgia Game

Ole Miss travels 'tween the hedges Saturday to face Georgia. Go inside for this week's keys to a Rebel victory.

Start off fast

Last week getting off to a good start was important to keep the crowd involved. This time, it will be to keep everyone quiet. Georgia is coming off an emotional win over Alabama and could come out a little flat. Whether that is the case or not, Ole Miss needs positive momentum in the first quarter. That hasn't occurred since Memphis, but it will be necessary with a juiced pro-Georgia crowd. A lead on the road should give the Rebels confidence and keep last week's energy going.

Figure out kick coverage

Starting field position has been a nightmare for Ole Miss so far and playing with fire will most always get you burned. The Rebels are handing the ball to opponents near midfield and putting their defense behind the eight ball quickly. Squib kicks were relatively effective against Florida, but they can't be relied on as a primary method. Getting players healthy should help improve the unit, but failing to keep the Bulldogs from big returns will shift momentum quickly on the road.

Put together back-to-back solid games

The Rebels said that the week prior to Florida united the team and has them focused for the remainder of the season. Saturday is the chance to prove it. Close losses are just that unless something comes from it in future weeks. Ole Miss has played close to the SEC heavyweights but moral victories are over. A complete game will give the Rebels a chance to win and show that consistent performances are possible. Bowl hopes are on life support, but a victory ‘tween the hedges will give Ole Miss a chance for a .500 record when Alabama enters Vaught-Hemingway.

Continue to stop big play

Georgia is a team that doesn't mind grinding it out on offense, so Ole Miss needs to let them do just that. The Bulldogs can lull a defense to sleep before popping a long gain. The Rebels can't afford to allow chunks of yardage on one play and must prevent the wideouts from becoming the go-to option. Ole Miss gets a break from spread offenses for a week, so it needs to take advantage. Georgia features a quality rush attack, but that style of play is what the Rebels are built to defend.

Stop scoring with field goals

No matter how many times you add it up, seven is more than three. The Rebels have fizzled in the red zone and failed to optimize their scoring opportunities. Getting the running game moving will be important in that area of the field where passing becomes tough due to limited room. The situation may call for a field goal at some time Saturday, but too many of them will do nothing but lose the game, especially away from home. A balanced attack will be necessary against Georgia.

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