Post Game: Tennessee, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Nutt

So, we totally fucked Tennessee up. I feel like I can say that this week without fear of a 100 comment bitch-fest by Arkansas fans about how... well, it's hard to understand them through the bad grammar, and the tears on the keyboard and whatnot, but they were bitching about something. Anyways, UT fans know they have a good team, they know they got whipped by a better-prepared squad, and they know that they could easily return the favor next year. They appeared to be exceptionally good sports. But for now...

Thrashing an SEC opponent feels good. Thrashing a historically strong SEC opponent on a fantastic Fall afternoon, going out on the Square, while not having to worry about the Internet fallout from the opposing fans' various personality disorders... feels fucking amazing. Before I dive into any real analysis, I'd like to send thoughts out to LaMarcus Thompson, the injured UT linebacker. Apparently, the prognosis is good, likely no more than a stinger, but this is not the first such injury for Thompson. Be careful, LaMarcus, it's only football.

Let's talk about replay for a moment; I don't think the topic has been mentioned much this year, so I feel like my opinion needs to get out there (/sarcasm). Seriously though, what the fuck!? Jevan's run on 3rd down leaves him splayed out across the Ole Miss logo on midfield, practically his whole body past the marker. 4th down. The offense lines up, snaps the ball (replay is no longer an option at this point, remember), and the play is "stopped" after Snead clearly picks up the first down. After an illegal review, the play stands, even though there is precisely zero chance that the ball was not advanced past the marker. The offense lines up again, Snead dives again, converting the first down (for the 3rd time, now), and comes up limping on his ankle. Thanks, replay! With LSU's prison rape-esque treatment by the replay officials last week, and the circus at the Notre Dame/Pitt game that may cost Charlie Weiss his job... something's gotta give. I'd love for someone more industrious than me to study the effectiveness (or more realistically, perceived effectiveness) of replay over the past three years or so.

The New Offense looks incredible, and not just the part where we hand it to Dexter thirty times. In case you didn't notice, we incorporated:

1. A really effective misdirected draw play

2. Some option read opportunities for Jevan, where he can toss to Grandy on the end around, or hand off to McCluster.

3. A screen for Shay Hodge, with Markeith Summers blocking

4. Some pass plays designed for Brandon Bolden. (I'm convinced that he's hurt, but we still need his reliability out there)

5. A new setup along the line, with Bobby Massie at right tackle and John Jerry at right guard. I'd been dogging Jerry's play at RT all season, so it's nice to see him back at the position he'll play in the NFL.

Everything seemed planned, everyone looked calm and competent. Except for a few glaring errors by Bradley Sowell (I'd even credit Snead's interception directly to Sowell getting reverse pancaked), the offense is performing like we thought they could.

The defense quietly had a good day. Injuries have carved into our depth a little bit, and we'll need guys like DT Shackleford and Lamar Brumfield to return if we're going to have a complete defensive showing against LSU. Still, 17 points agaist a Crompton-led offense used to be about normal, but in case you hadn't noticed, he's been pretty excellent lately, and put his team in a position to make the game much closer than it was.

Jerrell Powe had a fantastic game. Having a defensive tackle who can explode through the line like that changes the entire defensive dynamic. He continues to be an excellent replacement for Peria Jerry, which is more than we could've asked from him. Jerrell, please don't go pro.

Cassius Vaughn... welcome back, big guy! We're playing LSU next week, wanna come play?

Lastly, recruiting fanatics: if we sign a 5'7, shifty guy this year, hold off on the Dexter McCluster comparisons. Dex is making a case for being one of the best players in Ole Miss history. I hate to make premature claims like that, but damn. Percy Harvin is a poor man's Dexter McCluster. NFL defenses, watch out.

As much trouble as I had feeling good about this Ole Miss team since the loss to South Carolina... here we are. We're playing LSU next week, and the game means something. If we win, LSU's stock plummets and ours soars. We'll have a chance of surpassing our record from last year, and the chance to play in Orlando or Tampa, against a Big Ten team we've never played before. That's pretty exciting. Also, the Grove is going to be FUCKING EPIC. This week can't go by fast enough.

Have a great Sunday, Rebel fans, and Hotty Toddy.

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