Friday, October 31, 2008

Weekly Theme Music

Hopefully the Rebels will get to enjoy another day in victory paradise with Phil Sunday.

The Auburn preview? They can run the ball well with Tate and Lester but they can't throw the ball so the offense stinks and they've fired their coordinator. The defense is solid. So don't let Kodi Burns look like a really qb and the Rebels will be okay.

Arkansas State to cover Alabama's 23
Florida by more than five over Georgia
Tulsa by more than 6.5 over Arkansas
Kentucky to cover MSU's 3
Ole Miss by more than five over Auburn
Tulane to cover LSU's 25
South Carolina by more than 6.5 over Tennessee

Arkansas Recap

Its been a really busy week here defending the intergalactic smugglers and such so I'm apologizing in advance for basically mailing this recap in. Send your complaints to some dude in Canada.

Lot of good when you can go to an SEC away game and bring home a win regardless of the competition. Throw in how bad Arkansas's hillbilly fans hate the Fox and you knew the Rebels were getting the Hog's best game of the year. So a lot of good to go around.

Cordera Eason had a strong day running for 81 yards. A lot of the credit has to go to the offensive line though. They were blowing the Hog defenders three and four yards back by the forth quarter. It made the gains look shorter at first because it through you off where the line of scrimmage was. I loved the move to Bradley Sowell in for an unbalanced line. He looked good and was credited with six or more take down blocks. Sounds like a good new wrinkle for the offense. Burnell Mike Wallace finally stepped up and had his first big receiving day going for more than a hundred yards and his first touchdown.

As good a day as Eason had the award has to go to Peria Jerry. The reigning SEC lineman of the week absolutely dominated Arkansas's line. They couldn't stop him and had to resort to holding. He blew up running plays and disrupted passing plays.

The Rebel passing game struggled at times with wide open guys failing to get thrown to. The defense struggled against the option and that is just basic blown assignments. That's not getting beat by a better team. Can't let that continue or Auburn and LSU will eat it up.


The secondary is getting torched again and almost lost a nine point lead in under a minute and nearly blew a 20-7 lead with four minutes to go. It was probably their worst game as they were actually in position but got a case of the Yips. They would jump two strides to early or not a all. The ball would go through their hands. Its got to get fixed or it will cost us a game after you see non passing teams like Auburn or State suddenly look like Texas Tech.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Rebels have been down on their luck again. The Rebels need to turn their offense on again. Play like they did against Memphis and throw up some points. Follow Phil into the endzone.

Ole Miss by more than 4 over Arkansas
Alabama by more than 5.5 over Tennessee
Middle Tennessee to cover State's 11.5
Kentucky to cover Florida's 23
Duke to cover Vandy's 10
Georgia to cover LSU's 2.5

Arkansas Preview

The Nutt bowl is upon us. (The Wookies Are Taking Out Hog Nation)

Arkansas has one great option. Nutt knew runningbacks and he left Patrino another good one with Micheal Smith. He's leading the conference with 791 yards rushing. He also got a concussion against Kentucky last week so his playing time is in question. The Rebels have been good all season at stopping the run. They need to continue to do it against the top runner in the conference.


I could give you statistics about Casey Dick and his 9 interceptions or how they are dead last in the conference in total defense. But the real issue is Houston Nutt. Everyone knows it. The fans hate him and want it bad. Does that make Arkansas play beyond their means or tight and nervous? Who knows. The Rebels just need to show up and play there game and not commit turnovers. If they do that and if Arkansas plays their normal game it should take care of itself.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mid Week Theme Music


Just as they thought things were going great on the Plains Saban gets Bama ranked number 2, Auburn can't play offense fires a coordinator and loses to Vandy and Arkansas. That's All.

West Virginia by more than 3 over Auburn

Alabama Recap

Sorry its taken so long this week. Just a devastating loss to Bama. To crawl back into it at the end only to throw it away. Anyway send your tardiness complaints to the Irish Canadian.

Not a lot of great things to say about the offense. For every great pass an interception. For every great play a turnover. For every big run they have numerous no gains and the failure to convert 3rd or 4th and inches is just embarrassing now. The Rebels do have some guys making consistent big plays though.

Shay Hodge is becoming the stud receiver the team needs. He chipped in another 66 yards and a touchdown against the Tide showing his great ability to bring the ball down in traffic. He's fourth in the SEC in receiving yards and tied for first in receiving touchdowns. That's a solid season.

On defense the big positive to come out of the game is that the linebacker play is finally improving. Allen Walker is stepping up and making plays and finished with 7 tackles. Ashlee Palmer is playing more like he did last year and had 8 tackles. Plus he's one of the better linebackers at timing his blitzes well. Peria Jerry played like a man possessed and finished with an impressive 7 tackles, a forced fumble and a sack. Ted Laurent also played well.

You know one of the biggest things I don't talk about any more? Special teams. Under the gar fisherman they were abysmal. Probably the worst special teams in the BCS conferences and lost the Rebels numerous games. Credit must go to Coach Shibest who has taken those same players and turned them into a solid group. Gone are the days of squib kicking every kickoff and twenty yard punts. Justin Sparks is doing a great job on kickoff's of angling the kick towards a sideline and deep to limit returns. Rob Park is getting great hangtime and distance this year. Against Bama he was a weapon and averaged 45+ yards a punt. That's solid. He's gone against a fearsome group of return men in Florida's James, Vanderbilt's Moore and now Bama's Arenas but he's managed to hold all in check.


Speaking of Special Teams the Rebels ran a perfect fake field goal that was the driving force that got them back in the game. Scoring his much belated first touchdown was Jason Cook who had a monster of a game. Enrique Davis's 67 yard run was the result of his great block. He made other big blocks and really set the tone that the Rebels were going to be in this physical game.


The offense completely struggled in the first half. Other than Enrique's big run there wasn't much to it. And he also got chased down from behind despite being way ahead of all defenders. Even the Predator might have scored on that one. Enrique was the leading rusher on the day but didn't do much other than that run. He carried the ball eleven times. On the other ten carries he ran for twelve yards or a 1.2 carry average. This was most apparent during the drive where the Rebels ran on both 3rd and inches and 4th and inches and Enrique was stopped at the line both times. Absolutely no excuse not to convert there. Part was bad play calling and part was the line and Davis not doing what they had to be able to do. No excuse not to get one yard ever. I don't understand why when Eason and Bolden have been the far more productive backs all season they combine for less carries than Enrique who's running at a 1.2 yards per carry clip. And after they stopped you the first time why run the same play? Try to play action or naked boot. You know Bama was expecting the same run up the middle and either would have been open.

And there were other play calls that left a lot to be desired against Bama. I don't know who is in charge of the different play calls. The McCluster pass on 3rd and 22 was just stupid. Did you really think they were going to load the line on 3rd and 22? They seemed overly predictable in the first half but got better at mixing it up in the third by actually passing on first down some. I still don't understand when Bama or anyone else is blitzing why they do not run screens and draws. Especially a quarterback draw.

Which brings me to another point. Snead is even more like Schaefer than originally thought. He's also more effective when he can run the ball and can keep defenses on their heels worried about the run. I don't understand why he's not getting designed runs on a regular basis. He's a tough SOB as he showed tackling a guy. He ran a lot in high school and can take it. Its not worth worrying over the potential injury. It probably open up some more coverages for him as well if linebackers were worried he was about to run the ball. He had some great runs to keep the final drive alive but when it came down to it and he had to pass for a first for some reason he threw down field really way off towards the deep and well covered receiver missing in the words of Kent Austin "wide open" receiver running a drag route for a first down.

And the other half of the turnover twins had a rough day as well. Dexter made his usually big plays with his usual even more devastating turnovers. The fumble this time was manageable since Bama turned it right back. It was just odd since he wasn't even hit as hard this time it just went flying away while he was diving up in the air. The interception was awful since it came right after one of Snead's and gave Bama great field position on successive drives. As mention before it was terrible as well because the play call was terrible considering no one thought he was going to run for 22 yards on 3rd down. The execution was equally bad as he didn't look like he could see over the line or had the upper body strength to throw it 23 yards directly so he just sort of heaved it up in the air. I think its time Nutt readdresses the wildcat formation and either quits running it or lets a different player manage it. Dexter's good as a slot back but not running an offense. For it to work they have to have someone deep that makes the defenders actually defend the pass some what.

For the second straight game pass defense was essentially the difference in the game. Tyrone Nix actually did a good job of clamping down on Bama and making them work for any running yards and held them scoreless in the second half. But the two biggest offensive plays for Bama were two long passes from John Parker Wilson. These two quick and easy scores were Bama's big points. Other than that they got a rushing touchdown from a yard out and a 41 yard field goal on a short field after an interception. The offense faltered in the first keeping the defense on the field most of the first half but for the most part the defense held their own other than those two huge plays.

On both Marshay Green got beat bad. On the second he actually had safety help from Kendrick Lewis who could have made the play and it took a perfect pass but Marshay was still beat. On the other he just wiffed on his bump part of his bump and run coverage and the defender ran right past him. I don't mean to signal Marshay out because he's a great athlete and a solid punt returner. He made great plays at receiver last year and I have no doubt that he could make a solid defender. But it looks a little rushed right now. And what doesn't make any sense is why last years best coverage guy never plays. Dustin Mouzon doesn't even get back up duty anymore. I'm sure the coaches no more than I do but it doesn't make any sense why they wouldn't use him at all.

The Curse lives on thanks to Miami beating Duke therefore the Rebels lost so as not to achieve a greater record than the Blue Devils. The Blue Devils go to Nashville this week. Lets hope they do what the Rebels couldn't do and beat Vandy.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Weekly Theme Music

The Rebels are against all the odds today. But if there is a man that make you look at him and overcome these odds its Mayan god Phil Collins.

Unless Phil Collins is playing in Hardy's iPod I've got to take Bama by more than 13.5 over the Rebels.
Mississippi State to cover Tennessee's 8.5
Georgia by more than 15 over Vandy
South Carolina to cover LSU's 3.5 points
Kentucky by more than 11.5 over Arkansas.

Alabama Preview

(Try thundering Now Tide!)

The Rebs roll down to the number two team in the country this week. The Fox is 5-9 against top five teams in his career. No doubt it'll be a tough battle for the Rebels since there are match ups that favor Bama all over the field.

John Parker Wilson is putting up a solid season. He doesn't throw for a ton of yards but that's because he doesn't have to. All Saban asks of him is not to turn the ball over. Which with 2 interceptions he's doing a good job of that this year. Glen Coffee is a stud running back who is currently leading the conference right now with 708 yards. He's got a stable of backups behind him as well in former Mississippi Player of the Year Terry Grant and Mark Ingram. The biggest reason they are doing so well on offense is a dominate offensive line. Andre Smith is the best run blocker in the conference and absolutely mauls people. He's like watching Shawn Andrews in his senior year. Bama can aways get some running yards going to the left side. They also have one of the SEC's better centers in Antoine Caldwell.
They aren't bad on defense either. They are one of the few college teams to run a 3-4 defense. They can because of nose tackle Terrence Cody and his 6'5" 370 pound run stopping frame. He's a beast and frees up the linebackers to roam. Bobby Greenwood and Brandon Deadrick are solid as well.
One of the better linebackers in the SEC, Rolando McClain leads their defense. His back up is Charlie Higgenbotham and with a name like that you know he's disruptive. They also bring in a solid secondary lead by Javier Arenas at cornerback and safety and Oxford native Justin Woodall who's second in the SEC in interceptions.

There is a reason they are number two right now.

John Parker Wilson doesn't handle pressure well but he hasn't faced much this year thanks to a stellar offensive line. But he also hasn't faced a defensive front four like the Rebels have when everyone is healthy. Everyone remembers last year when Greg Hardy had three sacks and 4.5 tackles for a loss and basically scared John Parker Wilson into the fetal position. The Rebel's have to get the Freak Hardy again and get John Parker Wilson turning the ball over out of fear. If they can get 5 turnovers or more they have a shot.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Since its a Bye Week the Rebels can't lose. So I'm slightly less depressed. I do remember when I was in college and the Rebels were good.

I've decided only one man can pull the Rebels through to a winning season now.

So lets get some Phil Collins up in this bitch.

Georgia by more than 14 over Tennessee
Florida by more than 4 over LSU
Arkansas to cover Auburn's 18 points.
Mississippi State to cover Vanderbilt's one point. Screw that State for the win straight up. Kentucky over South Carolina.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Sports Wookie Will Gladly Conduct the Interview

University of Tennessee starting runningback Arian Foster, who is on the verge of becoming UT's all time leading rusher, has stated he will only take interviews now conducted in the Pterodactyl language.

"Veeeeek! Veeeeek! Veeeeek!" Foster shrieked."

If he could adjust to the Shyriiwook language the Sports Wookie would gladly conduct the interview.

South Carolina Recap

Another let down loss for the Rebels. I guess I can't really complain because we all knew it was going to happen. At least now our flukes aren't playing a team close we actually pull a Sly Croom once a year amazing upset. Maybe we should all join the Irish Historian in Canada where you can't be subjected to the amazing frustration that is Ole Miss football. It'd at least be easier to send the complaints there.

Eason and Bolden scored touch downs again. Eason's proving to be a very solid player but Bolden looks like he could be truly special. Next year he will more than likely become the star of the offense. That's about it for the good.


Once again the Rebels played well enough to win a game. They were within 40 yards of matching South Carolina's out put. They were even up at one point 14-3. But they just couldn't hold on. One of the biggest culprits was the defensive secondary and the linebackers especially. The Linebackers just can not cover the intermediate routes. Once again a random middling quarterback gets player of the week honors just by facing the Rebel secondary. I've praised Tyrone Nix for most of the season because I think he's getting about as much out of the personnel as he can right now. But he didn't call his best game as the pressure never seemed to get there. His blitz scheme wasn't nearly as effective as it was in previous outings. Now some of the catches by the gamecock receivers were the miracle catches that just happen sometime. But the defense gave up too many big passing plays and could not get off the field on third and long.

The offense didn't help the defense much either. After generating nearly half of their total offensive yards in the first two drives the offense disappeared for the entire third quarter. The Rebels had one offensive drive in the third of which nearly the entire drive was one long Dexter McCluster run. After that the defense was spent and couldn't stop South Carolina. Still the defense held on the final South Carolina drive and got the offense the ball back down one score with a minute and a half to go. Or thirty seconds more than Wake needed to drive the field.

But the true story of the game was the turnovers. South Carolina made one and the Rebels failed to capitalize on it. Ole Miss had three turnovers. South Carolina capitalized on all but the final one since that was Snead interception to end the game.

It seems like for every great play like this.
The Rebels throw out another one of these.
And of course the human turnover machine contributed with his previously mentioned interception and his second quarter fumble.
That South Carolina returned for a touchdown.
That return gave the gamecocks the lead and Nutt said it looked like the team never got over it. They had a look like they just lost the game. They even scored again and lead at half 21-17 but Nutt said the players acted as if they were down at half again. They came out like a defeated team in the third quarter.

I am now firmly convinced that we are suffering through the Curse of Cut. We(read Pete Boone) stupidly fired the coach with the best first seven year record in program history for a no experienced loony defensive line coach. This made the football gods angry.

Every year away from this decision looks worse and worse. Yes Cut had his flaws. And he was in poor health. But you can't say the program is in better shape now than if he had remained coach. It will take Nutt a couple of years to get back to Cut's mediocrity. Hopefully one day we'll be a little bit better or luck into a Western Division Championship.

But I've decided the football gods will not let this happen till Cut gets to a bowl game first. Luckily he's turning around the worst BCS league team faster than you'd expect. So far they've already beaten Navy by ten points (same Navy that beat Ole Miss tormentor Wake Forest) and they beat Virginia by 31-3. You may remember that former number one team in the Country was widely praised for its unstoppable offense after beating Virginia by a similar margin.

So far Duke sits at 3-2. Here's there remaining schedule to get to six wins. I will keep a running tab on the Curse of Cut until it is broken.

@ Vandy
@ Wake Forest
N.C. State
@ Clemson
@ Va Tech

Pull for the Blue Devils. It will only anger the sports gods more if you pull against Cut for whatever grudge you hold.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Status of the SEC

We're half way through the season after another 3 games. Time to assess the conference. I think the SEC is way down this year and only one team deserves to be in the top 10. The winner of the SEC will probably have 2 losses or more. Maybe three or four in the top 25.

2) Louisiana State
3) Georgia
4) Florida
5) Kentucky
6) Vandy
7) South Carolina
8) Auburn
9) Ole Miss
10) Mississippi State
11) Tennessee
12) Arkansas

Friday, October 3, 2008

Weekly Theme Music

Here's to a good score when the Rebels call Elvis on the Jumbotron.


Alabama by less than 16 over Kentucky
Florida by more than 25 over a humiliated Arkansas
Ole Miss and South Carolina within a point of one another
Auburn to beat Vandy with neither team scoring the full four point spread so a cover I guess
Northern Illinois within 16 of Tennessee

South Carolina Preview

(Eat Wookie Fists Spurrier)

The Ole Ball Coach is coming back to Oxford for the first time in years.


The Gamecocks have the top statistical defense in the SEC this year. They brought in stellar former Mississippi State defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson who has them running a 4-2-5. I'm not a fan of the 4-2-5 because I remember Eric Oliver trying to defend deep post routes but it seems to work better for South Carolina.

That probably has to do with the personnel. Their two linebackers both weigh in the 260-270 pound range and stop the run well. Eric Norwood is a great pass rusher and played end last year. Jasper Brinkley is the Defensive MVP and was the reason USC started 6-1. He got hurt and the rushing defense fell apart with Carolina loosing their last 5 games. They also have two great defensive backs in Captain Munneryln and Emmanuel Cook. Nutt praised all four of these players before the game.

They have the best tightend in the SEC this year in Jared Cook. Jared is actually Ole Miss fullback Jason Cook's younger brother. If Orgeron had recruited him at all he'd be at Ole Miss now. But Ed hated tightends and refused to sign one that stayed in the program over three years of his horrible tenure.


The Offensive line is considered the weak point. They have trouble in protection and don't run block particularly well either. They've also struggled in the passing game with Chris Smelly this year since he doesn't have a very strong arm. Expect to see a guy Orgeron loves to compliment even though he won't compliment any of the guys he recruited to Ole Miss, Stephen Garcia, get a lot of playing time. He supposedly doesn't manage the game well but has a great arm.

The Rebels should be able to get a strong rush on this group and disrupt their offense. I'd actually expect a low scoring game. They have to minimize the turnovers to keep from giving up easy field position and easy points. South Carolina will play to stop the run and this is where their defense especially excels at. It will open up the quick hitches and slant patterns if Snead can audible off and hit the receivers. If he has a good day the Rebels will as well if. If the Rebels get the same Snead they got against Vanderbilt the results will be about the same as the were against Vanderbilt.