Scott easing into new rushing attack

Junior RB Jeff Scott's 55-yard touchdown reception with 5:02 remaining sealed Ole Miss' first conference victory in over two years and capped a stellar 207-yard performance. Amid the Rebel's 2012 football renaissance, Scott is having a breakout season, something the Miami, Fla. native attributes to the offensive philosophy of first-year head coach Hugh Freeze.

"Coach Freeze has brought in a whole new style of play. It's all about running downfield, moving the ball north and south," said Scott. "[Former Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt] was more focused on lateral movement, sideline to sideline."

Freeze's quick-strike, vertical offense stands in stark contrast to Nutt's plodding, largely horizontal attack. Despite his teams' struggles at Ole Miss, where Nutt led the Rebels to a combined 6-18 record over his final two seasons, Nutt contends his brand of offense has its advantages.

"Well Chucky*, it's all about hashmark control," said Nutt. "Findin' that perfect spot on the field for your team to strike from. Right hash. Left hash. Hashbrowns, golden brown. Mashed up in a mess of ketchup. What were we talkin' about?"

The numbers, however, favor Freeze's strategy. Through 7 games, the 2012 Rebels currently lead the SEC in total rushing, whereas their 2011 counterpart finished 10th in the conference. Freeze's 211-yards per game is up from 130 in 2011, and yards per carry has increased from 3.4 to 4.9.

Nutt argues that the numbers don't paint a fair picture.

"Most people only count yards from scrimmage. Not me. Nope. When I was at Ole Miss, we counted total yards run per play, which took into account your lateral yards," explained Nutt. "Used to have a boy by the name of [Dexter] McCluster. Quick. Explosive. Short legs, big heart. Used to be able to squeeze 15-20 yards out of a 6-yard gain."

Scott is the most recent in a long line of legendary perpendicular Ole Miss rushers. Scrambling greats like Michael Spurlock and Brent Schaeffer were classic east-west runners, able to use their agility and quickness to turn short losses into breathtaking, drawn-out spectacles.

"That Brent Schaeffer, he was everything you look for in a prototypical 7-cut rusher**," said former Rebel coach Ed Orgeron.

For now, Scott, whose 562 rushing yards rank 5th in the conference, says he's just trying to settle into his new role.

"It's been a big change with the new coaching staff coming in. It's been tough at times, but I'm starting to get the hang of it."

* Throughout our discussion, Coach Nutt remained convinced that this reporter was in fact John Gruden, sent to interview him for the Monday Night Football job.

** Translated estimated from original Cajun.

Shoutout to Operation_Masoli_Freedom for inspiration.

This post is a Red Cup Rebellion FanPost. Please don't sue us.

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