Memphis at #10 Ole Miss: Keys To The Game


Head coach Hugh Freeze and his #10 ranked Rebels are coming off an open week to prepare for a rough seven week stretch of games that begins with Justin Fuente’s Memphis Tigers.

The Tigers have looked scary good this year, losing to #11 UCLA by seven points.

This is a Memphis team that has rebounded well from the Larry Porter era and is moving the football well on the ground (242 ypg) and with the pass (255 ypg).

Defensively, Memphis gives up the majority of its yards through the air, giving up 396 at UCLA. It’s a young secondary that you would expect Bo Wallace to exploit.

Having an open date two weeks before Alabama may not be ideal. When you are on a roll as a team, which Ole Miss has been since halftime of the Boise game, you want to just keep playing and maybe take two weeks to prepare for Alabama. By the way, Alabama is off this week and has two weeks to watch Ole Miss film (shudder).

Ole Miss can’t control the schedule so let’s talk about things they can, in my “keys to the game.”


Bo Wallace has had a couple of good games. Since the first half of the first game, he has thrown 8 touchdowns with only 1 interception, playing in only half of the last two games. He is averaging 341 passing yards per game, so what’ the problem?

Bo Wallace sometimes tries too hard.

Prime example is the first half of the Boise State game where he stated he wanted to come out and “make a statement.” His statement was 3 interceptions and only one touchdown.

Wallace and the Ole Miss offense is the 8th best passing offense in the country which along with a stellar defense equals a top 10 ranking in the country.

Bo and his wide receivers are good, everyone can see that, so Hugh Freeze and the players especially, have to focus on one play at a time.

It would be easy to enter the home field in Oxford today and expect to throw all over Memphis. Just don’t forget that’s what Memphis is expecting too, and they have been working all week on slowing down this offense.

Keep the offense balanced and get some rushing yards to open up plays down the field.



Ole Miss has only given up 888 total yards but 435 of those have been on the ground. That doesn’t sound too bad except when you look at the level of competition.  I hope the Rebels are not looking ahead but we as fans can.

If I was Nick Saban I would think Ole Miss’ rush defense looks a little suspect and I would plan to control the clock with my elite running backs.  Ole Miss needs to show their defensive line is capable of clogging the line and make Alabama and the other SEC teams re-think their game plans.

With one of the best defensive backfields in the nation, if they can start to control the line of scrimmage too, this can be a really fun year.  And that brings up my last point.


The top 10 ranking, ESPN Game Day and all the national attention has to be overwhelming. This team is not very far removed from having only 55 players on the sidelines.

The same pressure Bo put on himself in the first half of the Boise game can creep back in if things don’t go our way this week or next, so the coaches and players just need to enjoy the moment.

Enjoy your moment in the sun, because the sun doesn’t always shine and storms are guaranteed to come.

This is a team with a lot of star power at different positions and different guys have been stepping up each week. Let’s encourage that because it makes it easier to win games and it keeps everyone dialed in to each play.

I expect Ole Miss is over-power Memphis but I don’t expect a blow out. Memphis is well coached and they should put up some points.

Ole Miss needs to use this game to work on getting a little bit better at executing their plays and preparing for a tough SEC stretch starting next week.