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Starters Banged Up; Freeze Worried At Ole Miss

Having served as an aide to Ed Orgeron at Ole Miss, Hugh Freeze knew the UM football program.  Born in Oxford, he knew the big picture challenges faced by the Rebels, too.

Well here’s hoping Freeze knew what kind of a major mess he was walking into in Year One when he accepted the Ole Miss gig last winter.

The Rebels are near the bottom of the pack in the SEC when it comes to veteran talent.  Roster depth is an issue at almost every position.  (Grades were an issue, too, until Freeze got things straightened out on that front.)  But now that fall camp has begun, UM is seeing valuable starters go down with injuries and there just aren’t many bodies behind them that are ready to move up to take their places.

Yesterday, Ole Miss had four starters leave practice while another was considered to be in the “walking wounded” category.  If he didn’t know before taking the job, Freeze is certainly aware of how paper thin his roster is right now:


“It keeps me up at night.  I hate injuries.  But we’re at a state in our program where we better learn to compete.  I don’t know how to do it.  We don’t take them to the ground too much, but we do have a lot of physical play right now.  We got to get that.  We just got to pray we can get everybody healthy by gametime.”


If Freeze errs on the side of safety, it could burn the Rebels come gametime.  After all, two seasons ago Georgia’s Mark Richt decided to ease up in preseason camp in order to avoid injuries… only to come back at the end of a seven-loss season and say his team hadn’t been toughened up enough.

On the flipside, if Freeze continues to instill physicality in his squad, he may well be left with a depth chart resembling swiss cheese.

Freeze might be walking into the toughest SEC job since Derek Dooley took over a Tennessee program decimated by two coaching changes in two years.  Hopefully UM fans will be patient in 2012, but beyond that it’s doubtful.

Sure he’s making good money, but if you were going to change jobs with any SEC football coach, I’m pretty sure Freeze would not be your man.




The coach on The Blind Side was supposed to be Freeze, right? How could he have allowed himself to be made to look like such a doofus?  Clearly he isn't.


I fully support Freeze and know a lot of other Ole Miss fans do too. For once, I feel like we have the right coach to build this program. He will have plenty of time. All he needs to show us this year is that the team tries hard and actually competes on the field. Under Nutt, the team was not prepared for games and didn't play hard at all.


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