FAN BLOG: Are You (Bowl) Ready?

By – Brandi Ratliff

November 8, 2012 – Ole Miss will show this weekend why they are the team that is shaking things up in the SEC.

Underestimated in the pre-season, the Ole Miss Rebels have been given new life under first year coach Hugh Freeze and with a win against the Vanderbilt Commodores at home this weekend, they will be bowl eligible for the first time since 2009.

There has been a lot of adversity to overcome this year. Getting the right players into the right positions, overcoming academic issues, and changing the attitude of a team from “We are going to do our best,” to “We can and will win this!”

Coach Freeze has made calculated moves on where to position his players and the results are showing on the field.

Top tackler Denzel Nkemdiche is a top speed athlete and is affectionately known as the Tasmanian Devil. Originally recruited to play safety, Freeze took over and adjusted him into the linebacker position where he has been a dominating force leading Ole Miss with 60 total tackles in 9 games.

On offense, Randall Mackey is a triple threat and is expected to be widely used this weekend against the Commodores. With 558 total yards of offense this season and the ability to run, throw, and catch, he can easily be utilized to trip up an opposing defense. He can take pressure off starting running back Jeff Scott and starting Quarterback Bo Wallace. He is a multi-purpose machine on the field and can make the plays when called on.

The adjustments Freeze has made has allowed this Ole Miss team to thrive in places they would have previously struggled.

The Rebels are making a statement in the SEC and are putting L’s in our opponent’s slots where they expected W’s and vice versa.

Vanderbilt dominated the Rebels with a 30-7 win last season giving the Commodores their greatest margin of victory over a Southeastern Conference team in 41 seasons. With the dynamics of this improved Rebel team, it is assured that Vandy will not break another victory margin this Saturday.

The Rebels are no stranger to adversity and always find a way to conquer and move forward in each challenge.

After last weekend’s loss to Georgia, coach Hugh Freeze began the week stating, “Our character theme for the week was overcoming adversity, it is a great week for that. The coaches and the kids came back with a renewed spirit knowing this is the fourth quarter of our season; it’s about finishing.” Freeze continued, “We’ve got three very tough opponents left and we better bring our A game, because I know they will.”

Both Vandy and Ole Miss are entering the Vaught this weekend with 5 wins each and both will be looking for that 6th victory and a bowl opportunity. The Rebels are a three-point favorite and this battle for a bowl should be a powerful game to watch.

Ole Miss is a team who exemplifies strength and solidarity. With the game nearly sold out, the atmosphere is sure to be electric as Rebel Nation will turn out with a large showing of unity and support for this team and this school.

Game time is at 6pm. Be Early. Be Loud. Wear Navy! GO REBELS!

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