Ole Miss's New Offensive Set: The Wild-Rebel

Derek StephensSenior Analyst IJuly 14, 2008

When the new coaching staff came to Ole Miss, they said they wanted to bring the offense in which Darren McFadden ran over, through, and around defenses.  The coaching staff brought the Wildcat (now known as the Wild-Rebel) to Oxford.

During the spring, Nutt tried to find a player to fit the offense on Ole Miss's current roster.  He found him in one of the nation's top utility players, Dexter McCluster.

It's undecided who will play the Felix Jones role, but you can assume it will be someone with top-quality speed, maybe even a freshman.  Enrique Davis or Brandon Bolden could probably do the job very well (both could be track stars), or a returning quick receiver like Lionel Breaux.

One thing is for sure: Ole Miss has the talent to run it with top-quality tackles in John Jerry and All-American Michael Oher.


The Wildcat is an offense in which it is workable to add in plays, but there are three core plays within the scheme.

1) Stealer: This is an outside zone blocking play where the outside receiver comes in motion, takes the handoff from the QB, and tries to outrun the pursuit of the defense to the outside with zone blocking.  This was a very popular play with Felix Jones.

2) Power: This is an initial stealer, but once the ball is snapped, the QB fakes to the motion receiver and powers through the tackle holes, whichever one gives him the lane.

3) Counter: This is an initial stealer and power, but once the ball is snapped, the QB fakes to the motion receiver to give the defense the illusion of stealer or power and takes a step and counters to the weak side. 


In addition to these initial plays, the Ole Miss staff also can keep the defense in check with passing plays and trick plays along the way.  These are just the core plays for the offense.

Can we see Dexter McCluster run this to success?  I believe so, for many reasons.  Ole Miss has enough speed depth to give the Rebels a good candidate for the "man-in-motion RB" position, or simply the motion receiver position Felix Jones used to play.

Also, Ole Miss has a very experienced line, leading their running back (BenJarvus Green-Ellis) to 1,000-yard seasons the past two years.  Dexter McCluster doesn't compare to Darren McFadden as a runner, as both have different unique styles.  McCluster isn't going to run over anyone, but he will use lots of jukes and quickness to get to the open field.

The problem many Ole Miss fans worry about with Dexter is his size.  At 5'8", 170 pounds, Dexter can't take tons of hits as McFadden did.  Nevertheless, with McCluster's quickness and speed, it's undeniable that Ole Miss will experiment and have success with the Wild-Rebel offense. 

Do you think Ole Miss can use this offense to their advantage?  Leave some feedback and let me know.  Thanks and God Bless You!


Derek Stephens is the Ole Miss Community Leader for BleacherReport.com.