Ole Miss Optimist: The Memphis Game Played Out Perfectly

Oct 1, 2016; Oxford, MS, USA; Memphis Tigers wide receiver Anthony Miller (3) is tackled by multiple members of the Mississippi Rebels defense during the first quarter of the game at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 1, 2016; Oxford, MS, USA; Memphis Tigers wide receiver Anthony Miller (3) is tackled by multiple members of the Mississippi Rebels defense during the first quarter of the game at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports /

There were so many positive things that happen Saturday for the Ole Miss Rebels. It makes the Ole Miss Optimist absolutely giddy with joy.

Hello, good people in OleHottyToddy land. We are beginning a new weekly series of articles that focuses on the positive things that came out of the Ole Miss game from the previous weekend.

As the eternal Ole Miss Optimist, I feel that it is my duty to point out the good vibes from the game. It is good to win. However, there is even good in the losses. You just have to dig for them. That is why I’m here.

Before I begin with this past week’s victory over Memphis, let me post my disclaimer and address some concerns. First, yes as The Optimist I will be a homer. As the Ole Miss Optimist, it is my job to spin every situation to the positive side. Therefore, I will give you a list of expressions you may use in describing me and it will not offend me in the least. Write these down so you may refer to them at a later time. “I’ve drunk the Kool-Aid.” “I’m wearing rose colored glasses.” “I’m a typical TSUN

So when you tweet at me, you may use any of these in your insults. Or be creative and come up with something new. Either way, it won’t bother me.

Secondly, what I write as the Ole Miss Optimist may not be what K.L. believes. Look at “The Optimist” as one of my multiple personalities. He’s just the personality that will try to convince you that the 2-10 season was good for the program.

Then after a few adult beverages, you begin to see his point. The Ole Miss Optimist is “that” guy. You’ll know when The Optimist is writing because it will be in the title. Plus, every now and then The Optimist will speak in the first person. Again he’s “that” guy.

Now that we know the rules, are there any questions? No? Then let’s begin with this past Saturday’s Memphis game.

Ole Miss vs Memphis

The Optimist was very pleased with Saturday’s game against the lowly Tigers from Memphis. Who wouldn’t be happy with a 48-28 win? Take a look at the facts. Memphis came into Vaught-Hemingway Stadium with a 3-0 record. They had an impressive 77-3 victory over a team out of Ohio.

From what I hear, there is a really good team up there in the state of Ohio. I’m not saying it was that team that lost to Memphis but who knows, I only focus on my school. However, I do know that we just beat a team who had just won a game by 74 points.

A smile also came to The Optimist’s face when I saw the manner in which we won. Once again the offense puts up over 40 points in a game. They are putting together a phenomenal year. Even during the time you believe they are lost on offense, don’t fret because it’s all going to plan. But let The Optimist get specific if I may.

Optimistic Observation #1-The Running Game

Did you see what The Optimist saw Saturday? That’s right, we saw the birth of the running game. I’m not talking about a running game where Chad Kelly has 80 yards, but a real running game. With running backs and everything. Not only that, but we had two running backs with over 100 yards during the game. Eugene Brazley with 124 yards and Akeem Judd with 108 yards.

But it wasn’t just the yards that were important. The stat that stands out to The Ole Miss Optimist is the average yard per carry. Brazley averaged 9.5 yards per carry. While Judd averaged an equally impressive 7.2 yards. This means that they were meaningful runs, not just garbage runs. These were chain-moving runs.

The Optimist knows a few are bothered about seeing back-up quarterback Jason Pellerin in the game so often. But Coach Hugh Freeze seems to be using him in running situations to save Kelly from getting unnecessarily hit. Plus this leaves Coach Freeze with the ability to still aggressively run the ball from the QB position. Pellerin was able to get two TDs Saturday, so The Optimist was very pleased.

Optimistic Observation #2-Zedrick Woods

Now, The Ole Miss Optimist does not want any NCAA troubles. But do we have to self-report that we somehow found a way to give Mike Hilton a few more years of eligibility by changing his name to Zedrick Woods. The Optimist jests of course, but what was up with Woods?

Number 36 was everywhere on Saturday. Woods had two picks including one that was ran back for a touchdown. He also had a near pick right before the half. The man was all over the field in Mike Hilton-esque style. I don’t have to tell you that another Hilton would be a great thing.

During fall practice, the coaching staff said that Woods was developing well. He showed it against Memphis Saturday. If he continues to play like this, the Rebels will be in good shape not only this year but for years to come.

Optimistic Observation #3-Finished Another Game

It is well known that The Optimist searches the social media sites for all Ole Miss chatter. During the game I heard the groans of the Rebel faithful as the team began to give up a 20 point cushion. The Georgia game proved that Ole Miss could finish a game with the lead when there was no sign of a comeback. But what would happen if a team began to get close again? Would we cave again?

Related Story: Ole Miss vs Memphis: Images From the 48-28 Victory

Well, we needed this type of game with Memphis. The football team and the fans need to see us win when it appeared as if we were going to give it away. In back to back games we have held on to a halftime lead. So now we know we can do it. Plus as critical as everyone has been about this game, Ole Miss actually outscored Memphis 24-21 in the second half.

Final Thoughts

The Ole Miss Optimist is pleased with the football team. The offense is great and the defense is getting better. We are still one of the best 10 teams in the Nation no matter where we are ranked. So I bid you farewell. May you have happy thoughts and may you fair catch all your punts.