Ole Miss Football: Grading Out The Rebels Against California

3 of 5

BERKELEY, CA – SEPTEMBER 16: Brandon Singleton

Crimedawg D Makes Appearance

More from Ole Miss Football

Anytime you get to see a few fins you can always count on some big defensive plays. It was nice seeing the Landshark show up and in the first half they did. Of course, watching this game the main narrative was the entire difference after the half.

Defense is a different kind of horse when it compares to the offensive side of the ball. Ole Miss has a have a relatively young defense and new staff, for the most part. From game one to Cal they have played better each week. As one friend mentioned, “If you had told me would have held Cal to 27 points, I’d figured we would have won the game!” My sentiments exactly.

This defense showed up and fought. They were excited and driven on enemy territory and playing hard on every play. They never quit. Sure they gave up 27 points to Cal, however the offensive side of Ole Miss should have hung at least 38 on Cal. Still they did give up 20 points in the 2nd half to a team missing it’s two star players.

Trust me the last thing we want to see is a rerun of last season’s A Tale of Two Halves. With coach McGriff I really don’t believe we will. We will see a much better defense against Bama than we saw against Cal. With a bye week and adjustments I have faith in Crimedawg. Once this defense has had enough they’ll step up.

First Half, A-

Is the grade too good? No I don’t think so when you consider they helped steer the Rebels to a not so comfortable 9 point lead. They held a PAC-12 team to one TD in the first half. I’ll take that in any first half effort, especially in a road game all the way across the country.

As I stated earlier, the Crimedawg D showed up early and played exceptionally well. Of eight Cal possessions in the first half the Rebels only allowed them to score once. They forced four punts and of course two possessions ended in the hands of CJ Moore. There was also a drive which ended in a missed FG. Not bad at all.

Second Half, D

The Tale of Two Halves is never pretty. We saw that last year. This year we definitely don’t want to watch the making of sequel. Hopefully we aren’t and this defense will get past the learning curve which comes with their new defensive coordinator.

However, they need to do it quickly. Bama could force us to write A Tale of No Halves if we can’t get the offense straightened out. Based on what I saw the other night there are slight issues with making the right adjustments during the game. The biggest problem I saw which reminded so much of last season were problems tackling. It was very poor in the second half.

Luckily we saw several Rebels besides CJ Moore, who had 9 tackles, have incredibly good nights. DeMarquis Gates led the team in tackles with 14 and Zedrick Woods and Detric Bing-Dukes each had 7.

Overall Grade C-