Friday, November 21, 2008

Weekly Theme Music

Follow Phil Rebels. Follow Phil to victory!

Ole Miss within 5 of LSU
Mississippi State over Arkansas
Tennessee over Vanderbilt
Florida will destroy the Citadel by amounts Vegas won't give odds on.

LSU Preview

The Rebels take to Red Stick this weekend and its an interesting battle of two pretty even teams statistically. Both teams have numerous play makers on both sides of the ball. The winner finishes second in the SEC west and goes to the better and probably New Years Day bowl. Lot's riding on it.

The Rebels are fourth in total offense in the SEC. The Tigers are third. Ole Miss is 7th in scoring defense and 11th in total defense. LSU is 8th in total defense and 11th in scoring defense. Ole Miss is 3rd in rushing offense to LSU's 4th. LSU is 4th in passing offense with 18 TDS. Ole Miss is 6th with 17 TDs. They are 10th and 12th in Red Zone defense. LSU is 10th in pass defense and Ole Miss is 12th. They are 7th and 8th in turnover margin. LSU has thrown 16 interceptions; Ole Miss has thrown 13.

If you review those statistics it shows what we already know about their respective squads. Both run the ball well and have solid backs. LSU rotates their backs well also with both Charles Scott, Trindon Holliday, and Keiland Williams all getting plenty of carries. Both squads have solid defensive lineman that put up a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Tyson Jackson and Rahem Alem are two of the top for tackles for a loss in the SEC. Both teams have given up a lot of points by their secondary. Both quarterbacks have thrown for touchdowns and yards but more importantly a lot of interceptions. Both have had complete meltdown games where they threw four picks that cost their team the game. (versus Bama for Jarrett Lee; Vandy for Snead.)

To oversimplfy it, which quarterback plays within himself and avoids the multiple turnovers will give his running game and defense a great chance to win. In a game of this type with solid rushing attacks shorting the clock you can't give away short fields. Both defenses will load the line to stop these attacks as well. Whichever quarterback steps up and makes the defense play off will go along way towards limiting those turnovers.

LA Monroe Recap

The Rebels haven't dominated a team to this extent in my life time. For a week there is no bad or ugly. If you are disappointed by the lack of bad and ugly send your complaint to the crazy Canadian.

Big story of the day was the Rebels rushing for 350 yards. Cordera Eason topped the century mark for the second straight week and is now in the top ten in yardage in the SEC. He's averaging an impressive 5.0 yards per carry on the season for 545 yards. If he got the carries that the Predator got last year he'd easily have a 1000 yards already this year. Against La Monroe he average 7.6 yards per carry for 106 yards and a touchdown. McCluster in his new role as the complementary speed back added 78 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Bolden chipped in 41 yards on 4.9 yards per carry. Enrique still pulls up the rear with only 2.9 yards per carry but did score a touchdown and appears to be the main short yardage and goal line back. This running back stable is why the Rebels are in the top 3 in rushing in the SEC and only one back is even in the top 10.

The Rebels only threw for 170 yards on six completions but when you rush for 350 that's fine. Burnell Mike Wallace set the record for the longest reception in Ole Miss history with an 88 yard scamper that somehow failed to get into the endzone. Snead still only completed 50% of his passes (6 of 12) but it was a solid day considering half of his completions were touchdowns. Burnell Mike Wallace, Derrick Davis, and Gerald Harris all caught touchdowns. Derrick Davis is becoming a weapon as the goal line blocking back that slips open for the touchdown two weeks in a row. Gerald's went 22 yards and caught many by surprise since it didn't seem the tightend was eligible during the Orgeron years. Harris is developing into a solid threat in the passing game and if his blocking can improve he'll be a great weapon next season.

The Defense stepped up huge as well. Very impressive shut out especially considering they third string was in at one point. Cassius Vaughn stepped up with a pick late to preserve the win. Greg Hardy had the other interception. Hardy got a sack as well and it looks like he's working his way back and should play more against LSU. Chris Bowers lead all tacklers. 24 different Rebels were credited with tackles including guys like Jeremy Parnell and freshman Derrick Herman and Justin Smith. Great game for Tyrone Nix's crew.

You know the offensive line is doing there job when you rush for 350 yards on the day, score 59 points and the quarterback isn't sacked once. The Rebel offensive line has gotten better and better all year and at this point are leading a rushing attack that is just unstoppable. The Rebels are running for 4.9 yards per carry on the season and to this point have 1879 rushing yards on the year. 2000 rushing yards is attainable which would be incredible.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Weekly Theme Music

The Rebels have an off day so Phil's on vacation for a week. Look for him to return. But in the mean time enjoy your travels during the open week.


Alabama by more than 3 over LSU
Florida by more than 25 over Vanderbilt
South Carolina by more than 10 over Arkansas
Wyoming to cover Tennessee's 25
Georgia by more than 11.5 over Kentucky

Auburn Recap

Great week for the Rebels so there should be little to complain about to the Irish Canadian other than the brevity of this recap. Not a lot to complain about, especially not a lot that's not the same I call out ever week.

Lot of good to go around. Rebels got there first back to back SEC wins since Cut was the coach. First 5 win season since Eli helmed the team. The Rebels actually have a reasonable chance to make it to a B word. Now all discussion of such must be halted.

The Rebels showed a great running attack that keeps the ball in their control and away from the opponents. 233 rushing yards as a team is stellar. Cordera goes for over a hundred for the first time this year to lead the way and show that he's a premier back in this league. Shame he couldn't carry it more last year. Dexter added 88 rushing yards. Most of his came on some huge carries late in the game leading to the Rebels last touchdown drive that put the game out of reach. Bolden chipped in with 34 yards. Derrek Davis even joined in scoring his first career touchdown. Great day by the offensive line as well opening up running lanes all day.

The defense was also stellar playing bend but don't break football. They gave up 394 total yards but only seven points. Great performance. Three interceptions by Kendrick Lewis, Marshay Green, and Cassius Vaughn helped seal the win and keep Auburn from scoring more.

The story is the defensive line though. Great performances by all in holding Auburn's rushing attack to 75 yards. Lawon Scott, Peria Jerry, Marcus Tillman, and Emmanuel Stephens were all credited with tackles. They also got into the backfield and harassed Kodi Burns. The Rebels had nine total tackles for a loss. Just great performances all around.

Kentrell Lockett had his big day. After already getting the block in the Florida game he stepped up even bigger with the same level play over an entire game. He had seven total tackles with 2.5 for a loss and had his way with the Auburn offensive line.

Snead was off again only completing half of his passes for 140 yards. When the Rebels run for over 200 yards the passing should come a lot easier than that. Of course its like Rick Cleveland said. If the receivers were 12 feet tall he would have thrown for 300 yards.

The secondary redeemed themselves with three interceptions and keeping Auburn out of the endzone. However they still gave up 319 yards passing by far Kodi Burn's career high. That doesn't bode well against teams with good passing games. Luckily the Rebels remaining schedule features predominate rushing teams.

The personal fouls were also a problem and killed numerous drives. It cost the Rebels at least three points by driving them out of easy field goal range. Luckily it wasn't a game changer. They just don't need to continue doing it and let teams back in ball games.

I hate to pull a Chuck Rounsaville but after sitting at 5-4 with a win over Auburn there's not a lot of ugly unless you go back and think about the horrible horrible Vanderbilt loss. Its now obvious how terrible they were and that could be the game that keeps the Rebels from bowling at all or from a much better game. Just a great day when Coach Vaught finally got his due with a statute to commemorate everything he did for the university.