Scouting Ole Miss

With Texas traveling to Ole Miss this weekend, asked's Chuck Rounsaville five questions about the Rebels.

1) With how much Ole Miss struggled last year, and how well they've performed early on this year, what has been the primary change?

Chuck Rounsaville: "Coach Hugh Freeze had to start at ground zero with an 'attitude adjustment.' Behavioral, academic and work ethic issues were addressed and corrected. The buy-in of the team started turning for the team started showing up in spring training and has built since to where it is now. The Rebels are now a united front."

2) Ole Miss is running a spread attack with quarterback run game. Of course, Rebel head coach Hugh Freeze has been known as somewhat of a spread guru himself. How much input does he have on the offensive side of the ball?

Rounsaville: "Ole Miss runs Freeze's offense and Freeze calls the plays in games. Certainly, Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner has more than a title, but having worked with Hugh before, he knew Ole Miss would be running Freeze's system and that Hugh would call the plays with input from Dan, who is in the box during games."

3) When Freeze was at Ole Miss previously under Ed Orgeron, the rebuilding effort never totally got off the ground in part because Orgeron never had success at the quarterback position (Texas transfer Jevan Snead was sitting out his transfer year in Orgeron's final year). How much better is Freeze positioned because of the play of Bo Wallace? What does Wallace bring to the offense?

Rounsaville: "Through two games, it appears Bo is a real good fit for Freeze's offense. The problem Orgeron had his last two years was that he had a real talented player in Brent Schaffer on the team, but he insisted on running an offense that didn't match Brent's skill set. When Hugh was recruiting Bo, who he had worked with one year at Arkansas State, he knew Wallace would be a good match for the offense. So far, it's been a productive marriage.

4) The Rebels run a 4-2-5 defensively, and appear to be somewhat undersized, at least as SEC teams go. Is that kind of defense — often used against the spread — miscast in such a line-of-scrimmage league? What are the expectations for that side of the ball? How will it match up with Texas's running attack?

Rounsaville: "The Rebels have based out of the 4-2-5 in the first two games because they knew they would face spread teams, but they can go to a 4-3 pretty quickly against 'power' teams. Defensive Coordinator Dave Wommack has taught a multiple defensive system which allows the Rebels to go bigger if necessary."

5) What's your prediction for the game on Saturday? And how do you see the rest of the season playing out for the Rebels?

Rounsaville: "My prediction is for the Rebels to play hard and together for 60 minutes. This will be the first major test Ole Miss has had this season, so I really have no idea what to expect as a score. As for the rest of the season, I look for this team to get better each week, but the road is brutal and keeping the team 'up' if adversity hits will be one of the tests for Freeze and worthy of keeping an eye on."

Horns Digest Top Stories