Ole Miss’ progress gets ‘tall test’ at UGA

ATHENS – Ole Miss, one of two teams standing between Georgia and the SEC Championship game, shouldn’t be judged by its recent 16-game conference losing streak, according to UGA coach Mark Richt.

“What I see is a team that has a brand new head coach that’s brought a lot of energy to the program,” Richt said. “A lot of times, you just never know how close you are to winning and breaking through and having success.”

Ole Miss lost its final six SEC games in 2010 and went 0-8 in the league last season, resulting in a coaching change that saw Hugh Freeze replace Houston Nutt. The conference losing streak reached 16 when Ole Miss lost its first two SEC games this season to Alabama and Texas A&M.

But the Rebels broke through with a 41-20 win over Auburn on Oct. 13 and followed that with a 30-27 win at Arkansas, enabling them to bring a two-game winning streak into Saturday’s game at Georgia.

“I know it’s going to be a heck of a ballgame,” Richt said.

Even before the back-to-back wins, Ole Miss showed signs of progress.

The Rebels played Alabama “pretty darn good” — Richt’s words — in a 33-14 loss in Tuscaloosa. They held the No. 1-ranked Crimson Tide to fewer points than any other team has done this season.

“When you watch that film,” Richt said, “you know they can run and play with the big boys.”

Then “they came very close to beating Texas A&M,” Richt said. The Rebels led the No. 16 Aggies by 10 points in the fourth quarter before losing 30-27.

Ole Miss (5-3, 2-2 SEC) has a balanced, up-tempo offense that ranks sixth in the SEC, averaging 430 yards per game, and a young defense that ranks ninth in the league, giving up 369.5 yards per game. The defense was at its worst in a 66-31 non-conference loss to Texas on Sept. 15.

“That game was so long ago, it’s not the same Ole Miss defense, in my opinion,” Richt said.

Ole Miss has lost its past nine games against Georgia and has an all-time record of 4-17-1 in Athens.

“To go to their place with our limited number of scholarship kids and the lack of depth we have at places, it’s a tall task,” Freeze said. “But we’ve been that way in most games we’ve played. Our kids are going to compete, I know that, and I think we need a few breaks here and there. And we’ve got to play probably a near-perfect game to go in and pull it off.

“Our kids are going to be very excited to play in this type of atmosphere, and coming off two wins certainly gives us some confidence. But it is a tall task.”

A Georgia victory would put the Bulldogs in position to reach the SEC Championship game by winning at Auburn on Nov. 10.

– Staff writer Michael Carvell contributed to this article.

Click here for more details on Ole Miss’ team.

82 comments Add your comment

7576DAWG

November 2nd, 2012
12:53 pm

I like Freeze a lot and wish him the best but he can’t get much credit for Auburn or Arkansas. Auburn has the worst team chemistry I have ever seen and need a coaching change real bad and Arkansas has a very crazy coach.

GwinnettDawg

November 2nd, 2012
12:54 pm

Gary

November 2nd, 2012
1:03 pm

Its hard to get excited about wins over Arkansas and Auburn this year, though in years past that would have turned heads. This may be an above average Ole Miss team, but they do not have Georgia’s talent, size, or speed. That being said, there is no way Georgia can resume the sloppy and uninspired play they had against Kentucky and SC if they want to repeat as SEC east champs.

GTBob

November 2nd, 2012
1:03 pm

“I know it’s going to be a heck of a ballgame,” Richt said.

Already making excuses for UGA’s poor performance against a bad team.

dmr

November 2nd, 2012
1:08 pm

Georgia’s at that point. Nothing else matters. Georgia lost to the number #6 team in the land solidly. They beat the number #2 team in the land. It doesn’t matter how they win these last games sans maybe GA SOUTHERN. Al Davis’ “JUST WIN BABY!” should be all the rage. Beat Ole Miss by 10 or by 1. Play a solid game against Auburn. Handle your business outside the conference. And hope for only one thing. BAMA GOES UNDEFEATED UNTIL ATLANTA.

Beyond that don’t worry. Handle your business and let the chips fall where they may. You might be surprised by the outcome.

RCB

November 2nd, 2012
1:08 pm

Has GT found an athletic director yet?

kingdaddy

November 2nd, 2012
1:12 pm

How about black jersey’s an Red helmets for Homecoming??? Silver britches…

flo-ri-duh

November 2nd, 2012
1:13 pm

Ole Miss did not back down to the Bama hype …… they are well coached and determined. UGA needs to bring their “A” game. As for Bummer. they are good but not unbeatable. A balanced offense and a solid defense can beat them. Bummer has yet to play any teams that are in the top 10 in talent but they will saturday. Unfortunately LSU is sticking with Mettenbubba at QB. Big advantage for Bummer. Look for a switch at QB for LSU by half time if Bubba continues his erratic ways.

kingdaddy

November 2nd, 2012
1:13 pm

GT Bob for AD…

beachside BULLDAWG

November 2nd, 2012
1:14 pm

This coach is doing very well at Ole Miss. He has brought out the best in his players and forged an interesting “team chemistry.” The work that these young men put in at the SEC level is commendable. Not this year, but the Rebs are maybe one or two recruiting classes away from being a threat in this league. I hope Ole Miss can keep this guy, he is a credit to the SEC. Very similar to coach Richt, loyal to his beliefs and a very hard worker. Good luck, after Saturday.

beachside BULLDAWG

November 2nd, 2012
1:16 pm

Hey RCB, what the heck is a GT

flo-ri-duh

November 2nd, 2012
1:19 pm

DAWGS to survive. As long as they get a “W” I am satisfied. LSU in Death Valley will give Bummer all they want. Got to get the running game going and throw mid range passes. Forget the bomb until the 4th quarter. Bummer has one weakness….. WR. Crowd the line and stop their run game. Cover the Wr’s one on one and put heat on the QB. Bummer won’t score over 17 in this game unless Bubba coughs up turnovers.

flo-ri-duh

November 2nd, 2012
1:20 pm

GT will have a complete house cleaning at season’s end. Get out your check book and hire a competitive head coach.

[...] post: Ole Miss’ progress gets ‘tall test’ at UGA ← Back to Home Tags: alabama, coach, dawgs, houston nutt, miss, reached, richt, win [...]

RedandBlackDAWG

November 2nd, 2012
1:27 pm

The same key actions apply as they did for the Florida game. Get a good job from your OL, run the ball, be aggessive on the DL, and have the linebackers stick to their assgnments and not get out of position. If they do that, they will get a “W”, with very little problem.

joe jenkins

November 2nd, 2012
1:42 pm

I would like to see us wear black jerseys and red pants……I know most of yall would not agree with that uniform combination….but red and black is our school colors!!! Ole miss is small….and this is time of the year when teams really small on defense start to wear down from the pounding they take from teams with big running backs….come on gurley…….I will be surprised if we dont win this game by 10-28 points…..I think we roll baby!! dawgs 37 rebs 14

The Ballad of Poor Joe Cox

November 2nd, 2012
1:43 pm

“GT Bob for AD” hahahaha

Biff

November 2nd, 2012
1:52 pm

Limited scholarships at Ole Miss? Tell Coach Freeze to check out the number at UGA.

kingdaddy

November 2nd, 2012
2:01 pm

Poor Joe
He couldn’t do any worse than Radajcoughskiverton…

kingdaddy

November 2nd, 2012
2:04 pm

I never thought I’d ever say this, but pray for the New Yorkers. It is going to get much worse…

Just Thinking

November 2nd, 2012
2:08 pm

If Auburn or GT gets rid of their coaches, how about Bobo for HC?

7576DAWG

November 2nd, 2012
2:12 pm

I know that the rest of the country is tired of seeing the SEC win it all but you lose your credibility if the two best teams don’t get into the Championship. If Alabama loses a game and Notre Dame and Kansas State finish undefeated , it will be terrible to see the Championship without at least one SEC team because every SEC team has at least one lost.The only Quality win Notre Dame has is against a rebuilding Oklahoma team. The problem in the SEC is most teams have to play 3 to 6 top 12 teams in a season. At the end of week eight the SEC has 5 of the top 10 BCS positions should say everything about what should happen and to put TWO teams in the Championship who don’t have to even play a Conference Championship would kill any respect for the BCS.
Does anyone really think that Notre Dame or Kansas State would be undefeated with an SEC schedule.

DIT

November 2nd, 2012
2:16 pm

Guys, please don’t give “Sponge Bob” any air time by commenting on his mindless drivel!

DirtyDawg

November 2nd, 2012
2:19 pm

Looking forward to how that ‘crack’ CBS broadcasting crew – including cameramen, director and announcers – handles this game. I mean they seemed to do everything possible to take Florida’s side on last week’s game…the endless delight the announcers seemed to derive from Georgia’s failings – regardless that both teams had their share, plus Florida’s were, seemingly to them, self inflicted rather than good Georgia play…even though Georgia was the ‘home’ team, cameras were always trained on UF – cheerleaders, band/flag-wavers, etc., whereas the Georgia fan-shots were from cameras on the opposite side of the field, and never did they show the UGA cheerleaders, or even UGA hisself – what’s up with that? You can count on Danielson being on Murray’s case from the get go…if for no other reason to validate his observations from this one. The only thing he seemed to acknowledge was that Mr Jones played great and that Murray redeemed himself a bit on that late TD drive – with all the gifts from UF of course, since they never failed to remind us just how ‘fortunate’ we were. So maybe since we’re actually playing in Athens, perhaps we’ll be given a little more benefit of the doubt – care to bet on that?

NCDawg

November 2nd, 2012
2:23 pm

CMR needs to put the pedal to the metal and not left off the gas until the season is over. Coach, style points DO matter and it is not unsportsmanlike to let your team play their hardest through the whole game. The old days of “not running up the score” are dead. If I were a head coach my first news conference would contain a statement like this… “an offense’s job is to score points and my team will score points from start to finish. It is not an insult to the opposition to do what you are supposed to do. It is an insult to ask your team to stop doing their job. My team will play all out from start to finish. The score does not matter.”

GTslob

November 2nd, 2012
2:25 pm

We love our coach. He will beats de crappy out of you bullpups. No chance for the pups at all. And remember to vote for O-Bama. Me needs my food stamps and all the government assistance I can get. He is the best prez we have ever had. Go Tech! Go O-Bama!

gomdawg

November 2nd, 2012
2:25 pm

I DON’T LIKE DANIELSON AT ALL ( TWO FACE )

GO DAWGS

FussDawg

November 2nd, 2012
2:28 pm

NCDawg – I could not agree any more – unless it is time for the victory formation keep the pedal to the metal – Go Dawgs!

Blue Ridge Dawg

November 2nd, 2012
2:30 pm

DirtyDawg- Other than Vern calling out the wrong player’s names (which is very often because he is 200 years old) I thought the commentary was very fair. I didnt notice the camera shots showing FL more, but I thought Gary Danielson was very thorough and called a good game. He was very complimentary for Murray during the second half.

kingdaddy

November 2nd, 2012
2:32 pm

How about this…
Take the top 3 SEC teams, and play against Oregon, Kansas St. & ND. That will never happen. They want a Champion from another conference this year.
How about this…
Let’s play less conference games and more meaningful out of conference games against teams like Oregon, KSt., ND…

JB

November 2nd, 2012
2:33 pm

If Shawn Williams doesn’t speak up soon this week, all bets are off, just say’n.

JB

November 2nd, 2012
2:35 pm

That CBS crew was apologizing for Florida for most of the game

DIT

November 2nd, 2012
2:37 pm

Not a big fan of Danielson either. Man, I really miss the days when you turned on your TV, turned down the volume, and turn Munson way up!

JB

November 2nd, 2012
2:37 pm

Pat Dye out of Birmingham on the radio said this morning that Georgia was not man enough to beat Ole Miss…………………………….( No, but tell the that)

JB

November 2nd, 2012
2:38 pm

whoops, tell the TEAM that

NCDawg

November 2nd, 2012
2:46 pm

KB… I thought about that too!

kmarshall4

November 2nd, 2012
2:57 pm

danielson and lundquist will be in baton rouge just a lil fyi we will get the backups

DIT

November 2nd, 2012
2:59 pm

Thanks for the good news kmarshall4!! Back ups are probably an upgrade

kingdaddy

November 2nd, 2012
3:05 pm

I’ll take the backups or radio…

GT Bobby Booo Booo loves a coke, hot dog, and 4 ticket combo

November 2nd, 2012
3:07 pm

Stating that it will be a good game and being respectful of your opponent before the game to the press doesn’t equal excuses but thanks for playing Bobby Boooo Boooo.
Why don’t we try and find something that GT Bobby Boooo Boooo can’t criticize. Nah there isn’t anything.

Let’s just make fun of his pathetic program. His coach is a complete jerk off to the press and can’t back up his cheap talk with any victories because they don’t win. Also, here is something all Tech fans can brag about. “Our coach doesn’t take crap and said to punch Georgia fans in the mouth”. “He is great and just because we don’t win doesn’t mean we can’t talk a big game to the press”! Go Jackets YAY!

TopDawg

November 2nd, 2012
3:10 pm

GTBOB
Excuses? You and the trade school are tops on excuses and ideas. You could run for President with all the knowledge you possess.
Ole Miss would win the ACC.

Birddawg

November 2nd, 2012
3:12 pm

Pretty sure Vern and Danielson are calling the AL/LSU game, which is also on CBS Saturday night – not sure who is calling the GA/Ole Miss game – anybody heard?

JB

November 2nd, 2012
3:18 pm

They will butcher it whoever it is.

Black-N-Red

November 2nd, 2012
3:27 pm

Not a big fan of Danielson either. Man, I really miss the days when you turned on your TV, turned down the volume, and turn Munson way up!

Oh how I miss listening to Larry! Great Call DIT.

ARdawg

November 2nd, 2012
3:42 pm

Prolly, Sean McDonough

I hope not

ARdawg

November 2nd, 2012
3:54 pm

Bumbling alkie Vern I could do without but I like Danielson, IMHO probably the best analyst on the air today

fencedawg

November 2nd, 2012
3:56 pm

GTBob,
This is not the ACC.

Rick James

November 2nd, 2012
4:03 pm

@GTBob

Already making excuses for UGA’s poor performance against a bad team.
————————————————————————————————–
You mean the way Paul Johnson has made excuses for losing all year..What is Richt supposed to say Bob? We’re going to blow Ole Miss out by 40 points? Funny how we didnt see much of you in the Georgia blogs after the Florida game.

Black-N-Red

November 2nd, 2012
4:06 pm

I just read the “FoxSports” fearless predictions page and they are dissing UGA (no surprise there) and have Ole Miss winning by 3 – Please somebody let Dawgs know they are being called out and last week was an abboration and they think the Dawgs are still soft… Pound them back to Mississippi!

Stiffneck

November 2nd, 2012
4:08 pm

Vern and Danielson dancing in the booth….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DS3ky9SSMF4