Another 'hot' offense

The fact that Ole Miss hung up 31 points last weekend against a South Carolina team that probably boasts the SEC's finest defense does not surprise Tennessee defensive coordinator John Chavis, who will try to shut down the Rebels this weekend in Oxford.

''They're starting to find themselves,'' he said. ''It seems it works out that way for us every time. When we get ready to play somebody, they get hot right before they get to us. It's not any different this week. They had their best game offensively last week.''

The coordinator has a point. The week before facing Tennessee, Florida hung 49 points on Eastern Michigan. The week before facing Tennessee, Auburn scored 33 on The Citadel. The week before facing Tennessee, Georgia piled up 45 points against defending national champ LSU.

Ole Miss' offense has been pretty good most of the year, despite the team's 3-3 record. Since opening the season with a 20-13 loss to Memphis and a 28-7 loss to Alabama, the Rebels have been pretty efficient offensively. They produced 365 yards in a 26-23 defeat of Vanderbilt, 567 yards in a 37-32 loss at Wyoming, 381 yards in a 28-21 defeat of Arkansas State and 414 yards in the 31-28 upset of South Carolina last weekend.

For the season Ole Miss is averaging 358 yards per game and 23 points per game. Defense has been the Rebels' downfall, not offense.

''They're putting up some really good numbers, particularly the last four games,'' Chavis said. ''They won three of those.''


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