Blog Swap: We Take On The Rebels

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On the eve of our game with the Rebels, we’ve teamed up with the fellows over at The Red Solo Cup to analyze the game. We answered their questions about the game, and asked them a few of our own. Here are their answers:

Houston Nutt already has an upset win over Florida this season. What changes have been the most welcome since last season?
We think the biggest welcome change has been the ability to actually coach players. I know that sounds funny, but our players didn’t learn any techniques from the last staff. We didn’t do anything well except have some freakish busted plays. We finally see players in the secondary who aren’t out of position, linebackers who can anticipate gaps that will open, safeties who have been taught to tackle, and running backs who have been taught to find the holes before aimlessly running forward. It’s something we had only read about up until now. Coaches who actually teach instead of just recruiting freakish athletes to underperform.

Also, Houston Nutt is exactly what we need in terms of motivation. Sure, it’s kind of difficult to deal with his rah rah style sometimes when we’ve just lost a big game, but it has been quite good to have someone pumping the players up instead of tearing them down every day like our old coaching staff.

Which of your remaining games do you see are winnable? What would you
consider a satisfactory season?
Looking ahead, it’s really difficult to tell which games are winnable since it all depends on which Ole Miss team shows up. If the team from the second half of the Florida game comes to play, there isn’t a team on our schedule that we wouldn’t have a chance against, including Bama.

That being said, I would say that there are four remaining games that are definitely winnable. Of Arkansas, Louisiana-Monroe, Auburn, and MSU, we need to win three. I really hope that the teams we beat are State, Arkansas, and ULM. It would be great to beat Auburn, but the others are vital. We have to beat ULM because we don’t want the negative press of losing to a team like
that. We have to beat MSU because they are our in state rival, and a win means big things in recruiting. We have to beat Arkansas because… well… they’re Arkansas. We don’t want them rubbing a victory in our faces with things like, “OMG WE tOlD YOu gUYs hDN wAS a bad COACH!!!1 ROFLCOPTER!”

What are the Rebels’ keys to stopping the Tide? What does Alabama have to
do to shut down Ole Miss?
The most important thing for us to do against y’all is to keep doing what we do best. Stop the run, make you beat us throwing the ball (which you probably can do), throw the ball to our freakish receivers, and run the wild rebel even against your 3-4.

Who’s the Ole Miss MVP of the season thus far?
While many would point to Peria Jerry or Dexter McCluster, I have to side with Jevan Snead. While he hasn’t been incredible, he is certainly in the top half of SEC QBs, something we haven’t had in four years. While Jevan still has a lot of growing up to do, he led can definitely sling the ball, and he generally puts us in a good situation to win the ball game.

What’s your prediction for this weekend’s game? Can Ole Miss spoil the Tide’s title run, or will they be another stepping stone?
Our prediction… well, MY prediction, is Alabama by 10. I just don’t think we have the talent we need to stay with y’all. Julio Jones is going to give us fits, as we don’t have a good secondary anyway, but we certainly don’t have a TALL secondary. On offense, I imagine we’ll move the ball pretty well but be unable to put the ball in the end zone too much.