Content provided by The Ole Miss Blog – It’s not the official Ole Miss blog, but it should be.
It’s easy to get down on Ole Miss following two straight SEC losses and a 3-4 record, but there is a light shining ever-so-dimly from the general vicinity of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Can you see it? No? It’s the light of hope. The light of optimism. The light of that promising big win that could catapult the Rebels back into bowl eligibility. Still can’t see it? As the Rebels brace themselves for the larger than life Cameron Newton and his BCS No. 1 Auburn Tigers, I can understand many of you may not be able to see it. As the unofficial Ole Miss Blogger, I consider it my duty to show you. Come. Step into the light.
First, take a look at Auburn’s schedule in 2010. Yes, they are undefeated. But look closer. The Tigers beat Mississippi State by a field goal. Needed overtime to take down an average Clemson, beat a self-destructive South Carolina by a touchdown, beat Kentucky by a field goal, and beat LSU and it’s anemic offense by a mere seven points. Yes, there is the 65 points, the Tigers posted on Arkansas, but in light of the entire schedule, you really should view that wild score as an anomaly. Setting that game aside, yes, Newton has incredible stats and is a marvelous talent, but this schedule is a series of narrow escapes and close calls. Eventually somebody is going to catch this Tiger’s tail. It might as well be Ole Miss.
Second, Jeremiah Masoli ignited against Arkansas last week. Playing behind an offensive line that was getting whipped, Masoli was still incredible. He is obviously in sync with his receivers now and has mastered the offense. Markeith Summers came back from I don’t know where. Melvin Harris and Logan are legitimate ball catchers. If the offensive front can hold a block for the rushing game, which was nonexistent against the Hogs, then there’s a chance Ole Miss could outscore an opponent again this year. It might as well be Auburn.
Third, the Ole Miss defense and special teams might have a game where they don’t give up the big play. Look, the defense has been a disappointment this year. I know. But in each of the losses, the game has come down to a big play or two from either a missed assignment or a flat out missed tackle. If the Rebels finally put a game together where they don’t give up “the big play” you’re actually looking at a pretty stout defense. At some point this season, the defense will put a complete game together.
It might as well be this weekend.
EXALTATION: Brett Holloway won last week’s Pick ‘Em Contest. Holloway is one of the foremost sports bloggers of his time, meaning he has something intelligent to say at least once a week. Despite blogging about Mississippi State, Holloway still manages to have a positive outlook on life and knows how to match his clothes. You can now add college football picking phenom to that list of talents. Way to go, Brett.