coleryan Posts:14553 Followers:21
On 09/09/2013 10:19 AM in NCAA Football

Ole Miss Rebels at Texas Longhorns: Preview and Pick

Ole Miss Rebels at Texas Longhorns: Preview and Pick

The Texas Longhorns have aspirations of winning a national championship but all that took a big hit when they lost to the BYU Cougars. Now with a coach in Mack Brown on the hot seat, they look to rebound at home against the Ole Miss Rebels, which will be no easy task.

Ole Miss Rebels at Texas Longhorns Odds

The college football betting line for this game opened up with the Longhorns listed as (-3.5) point favorites. Since the opening the line has yet to move although 58 percent of the betting public is backing the Longhorns to rebound after the loss.

The Longhorns had defensive problems against BYU and it led to the firing of the defensive coordinator. Manny Diaz was fired and replaced with Greg Robinson, which some may think is a panic move for Mack Brown and the Longhorns. The Longhorns surrendered a school record 550 yards rushing including 259 yards on 17 carries to quarterback Taysom Hill, which led to the quick firing.

Brown is the next target of the fans, but he is not worried about being fired in his 16th season as the head coach. If he is going to stick around the wins will have to start coming soon, starting this week with the big game against Ole Miss.

The Rebels come into this game undefeated and the future looks bright for this team. The Rebels scored on five consecutive series in the last game, highlighted by touchdown passes of 64 and 67 yards from Bo Wallace to Evan Engram and Donte Moncrief, respectively. Wallace was 8 of 15 for 188 yards and did not play in the second half. This game against the Longhorns will provide the toughest challenge for this team to date.

The college football betting trends in this game favor the Rebels. The Rebels are 18-8 against the spread (ATS) in their last 26 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game, 15-5 ATS in their last 20 non-conference games, and 5-1 ATS in the last six games on the road, not an easy feat in college football.

The Longhorns are 5-11 ATS in their last 16 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game, 6-14 ATS in their last 20 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game and 2-8 ATS in their last 10 home games against a team with a winning road record.

Ole Miss Rebels at Texas Longhorns Pick

With plenty of time to go before game day, I will wait to release my pick on this game until we get closer to kickoff.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-4-0
coleryan Posts:14553 Followers:21
09/10/2013 03:53 PM

Texas tailback/wide receiver Daje Johnson will miss Saturday’s game against Mississippi due to injury, and the Longhorns might be forced to play without quarterback David Ash, too.

Johnson, who led UT with 139 all-purpose yards in its season opener and was the focal point of its offensive game plan in Week 2, sprained his left ankle on the first series against BYU on Saturday. This week, Johnathan Gray is listed as the starter at tailback, and Kendall Sanders has assumed one of the three starting wide receiver spots.

Ash left Saturday’s game in the fourth quarter after suffering injuries to his head and right (throwing) shoulder. His progress will be monitored throughout the week, and if he can’t play, Case McCoy will start in his place.

In other news, new defensive coordinator Greg Robinson arrived in Austin on Sunday night and immediately began putting together his game plan for this week. Since being hired as a football analyst in July, Robinson has seen film of every UT practice, and coach Mack Brown said Robinson’s familiarity with the personnel was one reason why he was comfortable having him replace Manny Diaz.

Robinson, who was making $62,500 as an analyst, will be paid a salary of $250,000 as defensive coordinator. Like every other UT assistant, he is on a one-year contract, but the Longhorns do not consider him an “interim” coach.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-4-0
coleryan Posts:14553 Followers:21
09/11/2013 03:08 PM

Ole Miss is 2-0 on the young season, having topped SEC rival Vanderbilt in the opener (39-35) followed by an easier win over FCS foe Southeast Missouri (31-13). The Rebels entered the AP poll at No. 25 this week, marking their first appearance in the Top-25 since the end of the 2009 campaign.

Ole Miss was also 2-0 before facing the Longhorns last season, a game in which the Rebels were summarily dismissed in a 66-31 final to fall to 1-6 in the all-time series. Following this bout, Ole Miss will get an extra week to prepare for its SEC opener at No. 1 Alabama on Sept. 28.

Mack Brown's Longhorns find themselves on the outside looking in on the national rankings after getting run over by the BYU Cougars in Utah last Saturday, 40-21. It was a far cry from UT's season opener against visiting New Mexico State as the team whipped the Aggies in a 56-7 final.

Texas is hoping some home cooking will give it the edge it will need to get back on track as it looks ahead to the Big 12 Conference opener versus Kansas State on Sept. 21.

Ole Miss scored early and often in its recent clash with SEMO, jumping out to a 31-0 halftime lead before coach Hugh Freeze called off the dogs. Despite allowing the Redhawks 13 points in the third quarter, the Rebels easily won the yardage battle (532-252), using a balanced attack to overwhelm the visitors in averaging 6.5 yards per offensive play, converting 10-of-17 third- down opportunities, and scoring on 3-of-4 trips to the red zone.

Bo Wallace went 8-of-15 for 188 yards and two TDs before giving way to his backups who combined to go just 6-of-17 for 72 yards with an interceptions and two sacks. Donte Moncrief and Evan Engram made the most of their limited touches, with each having just two catches but for a combined 144 yards and two scores. Although it's only been two games, Wallace is hitting 62.9 percent of his passes for 235.5 ypg with two TDs and no INTs, and there are three receivers with more than 100 yards.

Barry Brunetti rumbled his way to a career-best 111 yards and a TD on 18 carries against SEMO, while I'Tavius Mathers logged just four carries, but averaged 14 yards per in finishing with 56 yards and a score. Brunetti already has three rushing TDs, matching his output from all of last year.

The Ole Miss defense allowed just 93 yards on the ground to the Redhawks, giving the unit an average yield this season of 109.5 ypg. Filling in for injured linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche, Serderius Bryant posted a career-high 15 tackles, while Cody Prewitt logged six stops, came up with an INT and forced a fumble.

While obviously pleased with the outcome, Freeze was quick to point out his displeasure with the lack of focus his team showed for a spell in the second half. "We're happy to be 2-0, come out of the game healthy, and get a lot of kids in the game," Freeze said. "Those kids give a lot of effort practicing and preparing, and some playing time is good. At the same time, I'm disappointed in the passion we played with in the second half. With the stretch of games we have coming up, that will not get it done."

The Longhorns took it on the chin in Provo last Saturday, getting steamrolled for 550 yards on the ground -- the most ever surrendered by a defense in the storied history of Texas football. They had allowed just 104 rushing yards the week before against NMSU, but Brown was clearly not happy and decided to make a change.

Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was fired on Sunday, giving way to Greg Robinson who begins his second tour of duty with the Longhorns after serving in the same capacity back in 2004.

"Our performance on defense last night was unacceptable, and we need to change that," Brown said on Sunday. "Greg will be here tonight and get with the staff and players to start preparing for Ole Miss (next week's opponent). He will be running our defense immediately."

Brown continued, "His familiarity with the staff and players should make for a smooth transition. He knows this place, did a terrific job in leading our defense before, and I'm excited to have him back on the field."

Despite the historically bad performance by the unit overall, both Jordan Hicks and Cedric Reed did all they could in combining for 30 tackles.

On offense, Johnathan Gray ran for 90 yards on 13 carries, while David Ash completed 19-of-34 passes for 251 yards and two TDs. Mike Davis and Jaxon Shipley both had eight catches, with the former logging 114 yards and two scores, and the latter 105 yards.

After the debacle in Provo, Texas needs to redeem itself and what better way than to treat the hometown faithful to a big win over a ranked opponent. Expect the Rebels to put their best foot forward, but for the Longhorns to prevail, getting the team back on track as the Big 12 slate approaches.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-4-0
coleryan Posts:14553 Followers:21
09/12/2013 01:37 PM

Texas coach Mack Brown said quarterback David Ash remains questionable for Saturday’s game against No. 25 Mississippi after head and shoulder injuries last week against BYU.

Ash left in the second half of the 40-21 loss. Ash has been held out of practice and Brown said Wednesday he’s still waiting to hear from team doctors on Ash’s status for the next game. Brown said a final decision could be delayed until Saturday.

If Ash can’t play, the Longhorns will start senior Case McCoy with freshman Tyrone Swoopes as the top backup. McCoy has six career starts.


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Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze has confirmed that DB Charles Sawyer will not travel with the Rebels this weekend to face Texas. He was charged with DUI and running a stop sign on the Oxford, Miss., campus early Sunday morning. Sawyer is among the top NFL prospects in the Rebels' senior class.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-4-0
coleryan Posts:14553 Followers:21
09/13/2013 04:05 PM

Ole Miss and Texas is the kind of nonconference series that rarely happens anymore. And while Saturday’s game is the end of this particular home-and-home contract, it may not be the end of matchups like it. “If our conference decides to stay with eight (games), I do think one game outside of your conference that draws national interest is good for your program,” coach Hugh Freeze said.

No. 25 Ole Miss (2-0, 1-0 SEC) comes into the game in the best possible situation, entering the top-25 rankings for the first time since the end of the 2009 season and with last February’s top-10 recruiting class creating a national curiosity in the Rebels. Beating Texas (1-1), even in its current state of turmoil, would validate the idea of Ole Miss as a program on the rise, which would not be possible against lesser opponents from lesser conferences.

“It’s a measuring stick for us as to where we are right now,” Freeze said.

So is Ole Miss ready to take on all challenges? Not exactly. The overall goal for the nonconference schedule has not changed in the year since Freeze and athletics director Ross Bjork were hired.

“Coach Freeze and I talked about philosophy moving ahead, and that’s obviously to be 4-0, that’s the first thing,” Bjork said.

And the school has to play seven home games, because that’s what is necessary, financially, for both Ole Miss and the town of Oxford. That becomes easier to do as long as the SEC stays at eight conference games, which seems likely.

But after those stipulations are met, Bjork said his goal is to find destination games. Playing Texas in Austin, Texas, counts as that, as does the 2014 Chick-fil-A Kickoff game against Boise State in Atlanta (both were scheduled prior to Bjork’s arrival).

So would playing schools like Tulane and Memphis, which are not in major conferences but have the benefit of prime location. “Our fans love going to New Orleans,” Bjork said. “Last year, we had a great crowd. Memphis is like an eighth home game for us with our big alumni population up there and an easy drive from Mississippi.”

Texas actually approached Ole Miss after last year’s game about finding a way to keep the series going, Bjork said. “We said there were a lot of things we’re figuring out on our end and future schedules in the conference,” Bjork said. “We put that conversation on hold until we have more definition.”

The fact Ole Miss has time to figure out the best way to approach that final nonconference game is a good thing for Freeze, because “we can have two more recruiting seasons before we get to that point.”

“Something that draws national attention is good for our kids, good for our program, good for our fans and good for our conference,” Freeze said. “I’m very open to it.”

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-4-0
coleryan Posts:14553 Followers:21
09/14/2013 09:09 AM

If Mack Brown wants to get off the hot seat he has to do start winning and winning a lot. A loss to the Rebels would be devastating. The Longhorns are deep at QB, but they may be without Ash under center. It won't matter who plays, Texas gets back on track.

Texas -2.5

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-4-0