The Rebels take a road trip to New Orleans this week to face Tulane, in what becomes an important game on Ole Miss’ schedule, sandwiched between major powers Texas and Alabama.
This is a game the Rebels must win and can’t afford a poor effort due to the Texas loss. This team shouldn't’t even think about Alabama yet. The focus needs to be solely on Tulane, getting better as a team and avoiding injury.
Saturday’s game will mark the 71st game between the two schools with Ole Miss leading the series 42-28, but only 26-25 in games played in New Orleans. Tulane was at one time a member of the SEC, and for a lot of fans this series is a traditional and welcomed trip to the Big Easy.
Scouting the Green Wave
This Tulane team has some real weaknesses on offense. Tulane had a disastrous 2011 in which the Wave started with a 2-5 record and led to the midseason resignation of former coach Bob Toledo. New coach Curtis Johnson was a New Orleans Saints wide receiver coach and a New Orleans native.
Fifth-year senior QB Ryan Griffin went down last week with a shoulder injury and has not been able to practice this week. Expect freshman Devin Powell to get his first opportunity to play this week.
Ole Miss fans are particularly sensitive to an injury that occurred last week to Tulane safety Devon Walker. The senior from New Orleans suffered a spinal cord injury in the Tulsa game and was recently moved to a rehab facility after surgery. A long-term prognosis is unknown at the moment.
With the memory of the late Rebel great Chucky Mullins in everyone’s mind, Ole Miss Athletic Director Ross Bjork put together some “DW” decals that will be displayed on the Rebels’ helmets.
Installing the Game Plan
Facing a new QB will force the Rebel defense to adjust during a game instead of on the practice field. Coach Hugh Freeze is impressed with Tulane’s defensive line. (Press notes from weekly Ole Miss press conference) Ole Miss will be making several changes on the defensive side as Charles Sawyer is being moved from safety to corner and C.J. Johnson is being moved from defensive end to middle linebacker.
This will be a game for the Rebs to rebound from a tough home loss to Texas, and it’s important they take care of business. This team needs to focus on themselves and getting better and more proficient on both sides of the ball.
Ole Miss is second in the SEC in total offense (500 yards per game), while the Green Wave is giving up 35 points and 480 yards a game so far against Rutgers and Tulsa.
If this team an elite offense, they will not have any problem getting a win against Tulane. The motivation should be high to pass the win total from last year, and every little bit of improvement will be welcomed by the fans.