Mike Wallace isn't one to mince words.
With an Ole Miss offense ranked fourth in the SEC in scoring at 30.8 points per game, the senior is tired of hearing all the talk about Graham Harrell and the high powered Texas Tech offense.
He's ready for the Rebels to receive a little love.
"They have a pretty good team," said Wallace. "We know they're going to come in and compete with a lot of intensity. But people aren't really giving us a chance. They think we're just happy to be in this game.
"We're out to prove people wrong."
That task won't be easy, however. While Harrell and company receive the majority of praise, Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt believes the Tech defense presents challenges as well.
"I think their defense is a little underrated," Nutt said. "They keep everyone in front of them and don't give up big plays. They are quick and physical. They remind me a lot of South Carolina's defense."
But Wallace and his counterparts aren't intimidated.
The senior has played against some of the best defensive backs in college football and has ranked seventh in the conference for receiving yards per game and third in kick returns. In addition, he sits third in all-purpose yardage, with an average of 130.7 yards.
With that type of production, Wallace feels the Rebels should have a multitude of scoring opportunities against Texas Tech.
"They play a lot of zone coverage," he said. "For the most part they're alright. I think their secondary is pretty average. We've played against good corners every week, so we'll be ready for them."
However, those scoring chances will be dictated by the play of sophomore quarterback Jevan Snead.
Despite a struggle with inconsistency in the season's opening stages, the signal caller finished the year with 2,470 yards and 23 touchdowns, while surrendering 12 interceptions.
"Jevan's harder on himself than anyone," said Wallace. "Early on, I think he felt like he had some bad games and wanted to get better. After the South Carolina game, he was hard on himself. But his attitude has been great and he's continued to get better. He's a good leader and has a real presence."
Sure, Jevan deserves a bulk of credit, but the wideouts aided in the sophomore's improvement over that memorable November.
The unit challenged each other daily, becoming (arguably) the most reliable of any as the season drew to a close.
"If the ball is anywhere in our vicinity, we feel like we should catch it," he said. "There are times when a ball might come out wrong or something happens. But if you put it in our area, we feel like we should catch it.
"We go out every game and strive not to drop balls. It's a big competition to see who's going to be the best. I believe that makes everyone strive for excellence."
With such a will to win, Wallace and the Rebels will surely gain some respect January 2nd.
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