The #3 ranked Ole Miss Rebels entered week 7 of the 2014 season with its highest ranking and best record (5-0) since 1962, a year the Rebels went undefeated.

Coming off a 23-17 win over #1 Alabama, this team is in rare company and looking to write some of their own history.

Coach Hugh Freeze addressed the media on Monday and had a lot to say about handling success:  “Our kids have been pretty good about handling the process. The last couple of years we’ve had some difficult losses, two in particular to the team we are playing this Saturday. Our kids typically have bounced back. Hopefully that’s because they follow the leadership of this team. I think our young men have developed some leadership within the locker room that helps us. I think they’ll continue to be hungry and want to compete.”

Trea Elston was suspended for the first half of the Texas A&M game due to a perceived kick of injured Alabama WR Kenyon Drake.  Elston’s did not kick Drake’s broken leg but it appeared he was shaking loose from Drake’s hold of Elston’s leg.  No matter the situation, Freeze elected to suspend Elston, in my opinion to make an example and hold his team to a higher standard.

Freeze on the voluntary suspension, “We want our players to uphold our values at all times. We’ll move forward from it. Trae is a good kid. He made a bad decision. He understands that that’s not the way we want to go about things. I don’t think there was any intent to injure or hurt. It’s very unfortunate that it happened on a play where a young man suffered an injury. Our thoughts are with him because that was a difficult injury.”

With the team facing a pass happy offense in Texas A&M replacing Elston will be critical with all the off season losses, “We’re thin in the secondary, particularly at safety with the injuries of Tee (Shepard), Carlos (Davis) and Chief (Brown). I met with the defensive guys this morning. We’ll look into that. We’ve got David Kamara and maybe C.J. Moore or C.J. Hampton. Mike Hilton is a guy we’ve moved everywhere back there that’s another possibility. I’m not exactly sure how that will shake out. It will certainly be a challenge because of the offense that they run.”

Regarding injuries, OL Aaron Morris tweaked an ankle but according to Freeze will not miss any time next week.  At this point there were no injuries reported for Ole Miss.

Looking forward to playing Texas A&M, they have been a thorn in the Rebels side beating them the last two years in last minute dramatic fashion with late field goals.

Freeze’s comments: “They haven’t changed much in the pass game or the tailback run game. They had very few designed runs for (Johnny) Manziel, but he created a lot with his legs. It’s a little different. Their quarterbacks are still athletic, but it’s not like defending him in the run, where you always worry about if you have a spy for him. I don’t know that that will be as big a part of the game plan. The system itself has really not changed.”

“It’s one of the more difficult places to play in this nation. I know that they’ll be hungry to get back out. Their offense does a really good job, and they have great players everywhere. Their defense is very athletic and has been pretty solid throughout the course of the year. It’s going to be a great challenge. They’re arguably one of the top-15 or top-10 programs in the nation right now. It’s going to be a tremendous challenge playing in that environment against a talented team.”

“Last week, they (A&M) struggled some. They’re more athletic for sure. They’re younger at some spots, but they’re very athletic. During the South Carolina game, they looked really, really talented. They gave up some big plays but no consistent drives, really. That’s kind of been the theme until last week. They have a difficult stretch of games, too. I kind of experienced that last year. They had three games away from home in a row. That can take a toll on you. A lot of people don’t take that into factor. It matters. It does affect you.”

A few quick questions of Bo Wallace:

Bo says it’s not hard to forget the Alabama win and get ready for the next game. “It’s not (difficult). Like I said, we’re right in the thick of things. At this point, we control our own destiny. We can be one of the top teams in the country. We now know what we thought we already knew. We know that we can compete with any team in the country. Now it’s just getting to work and making sure take everyday as an opportunity to get better.”

Wallace ran the ball 11 times and each time was critical to playing ball control and keeping the chains moving. “I haven’t really been keeping the zone read in the early games. I knew with it being a 2:30, CBS game against ‘Bama I was going to have to put my body on the line. I thought about it all week. I knew I was going to run the ball as much as I could. I was able to get a couple of five, six, seven yard runs.”

“I’ve definitely tried to protect myself more this year. I don’t think that’s kept me from keeping a zone read or anything like that. I’ve definitely tried to protect myself. We’re about to get in the meat of things. We have a chance to do something special. I’m going to have to be smart but also put my body on the line.”

Freeze took some time to enjoy the Alabama win.  “It’s something that we’ll remember for many, many years to come. It’s very important that I say it did not happen because of individuality. It was a collective, Ole Miss family. Obviously, our players deserve tremendous credit for executing the game plan and for fighting, battling and continuing to believe, even when adversity hit. I’m extremely proud of everything that occurred last Saturday on our campus. I wanted to make sure that everyone hears that it was a collective effort. There are so many to thank on this campus, and I don’t get a chance to always do that. It was an exciting day.”