Following a too-close-for-comfort win over Vanderbilt in the SEC home opener, Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze seemed optimistic that some of the struggles the Rebels experienced were in fact an anomaly.
Specifically regarding his offense’s red zone struggles, Freeze gave credit to Vanderbilt’s defense, noting that “teams in this league are generally really good in the red zone.” He admitted that a couple of play calls were schematically suspect, but that they will “continue to work on the schemes.”
“I liked all of our calls [in the red zone] the other night,” he said, “with the exception of two.”
“Sometimes it was us making a bad call at the wrong time,” he said. “[but] we do miss Tony Conner and Isaac Gross.”
He had similar feedback for the offensive line, saying that his young and injured unit’s “effort was tremendous, execution not so good.” Freeze said that there was “a lot of progress” made last week in the Laremy Tunsil saga, but remained tight-lipped in regard to specific developments.
As for this weekend’s opponent, Florida is riding high after a second-half comeback last weekend over Tennessee. They resemble Vanderbilt somewhat, in that their defense has been consistently competitive despite mixed offensive results over the past few years.
In his own press conference Monday morning, Florida head coach Jim McElwain claimed that Freeze’s Rebels might not “have much regard” for the Gators heading into this week. Freeze, however, was quick to sing Florida’s praises, saying that they were a “test” for his team, and that they are a “quality opponent that’s really well-coached right now.”
The Rebels find themselves in the unfamiliar position of being favored heading into The Swamp, but as has been the case all year, Freeze preached caution regarding his team’s national perception and lofty ranking.