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Rebel Roundup - 9/11/09

Last night's Titans vs. Steelers highlights | Videos
The NFL started last night.  Did you see it?  "No lmao I liek collage hey wtf this is an Ole Miss blawg?!"  Yeah, I know that, but any Ole Miss Rebel fan should appreciate the fact that Mike Wallace has already proven himself to be an important element of the Pittsburgh Steeler offense.  Click the linkage for the video.  I really worry that we're going to miss that guy a ton this season by having real trouble establishing the deep ball.

Hot seat: Ole Miss LT Sowell survives 1st start | AP
"Survival" isn't exactly the goal I think any football player, let alone an offensive tackle, should strive for, but it was the young man's first outing at one of the sport's most demanding positions.  Let's cut him some slack.  Hopefully, Sowell will only improve from here on out.  We really don't have an option otherwise.

Practice Highlights 9/9/09 | Inside the Grove
Ty does it again.  Watch.  Now.

Ole Miss offense putting up eye-catching numbers | Brandt
If you don't Tweet then you're a) automatically way cooler than most sports bloggers, but you knew that, and b) likely unaware of this fact: Ole Miss has never scored 45 points in three consecutive games, until now.  The Egg Bowl, Cotton Bowl, and First 48 Bowl all saw the Rebs make their way into the endzone on plenty of occasions. 

Comparison: Ole Miss versus Memphis in 2008-09 | Team Speed Kills
Speaking of our now-and-hopefully-forever defunct annual Memphis throwdown, Year 2, the "numbers guy" at TeamSpeedKills, has been comparing SEC season openers from 2008 with SEC season openers of 2009.  While some comparisons demonstrate very little (Alabama/Clemson is nowhere comparable to Alabama/Virginia Tech in terms of talent, coaching, etc.), others demonstrate a lot.  Our Memphis game is part of the latter because, get this, they're the same exact teams!  Neat, huh?  The comparison yields exactly what we could have gleaned from watching the game, but backs it all up with some solid numbers.  Our offense underperformed in all areas of the game until very late, and we shackled ourselves with turnovers (3 in 2009, 0 in 2008).  Our defense, on the other hand, was dramatically better this go-around, save for rushing D.  Memphis' rushing numbers were nearly identical to their rushing numbers from the 2008 game, but their passing game was nearly one half as productive this season.  We also earned one more turnover and three more sacks this year than we did last. 

Other TSK comparisons of note: South Carolina's openers against NC State (once again, same exact team) and Mississippi State's home openers (both games against a Division 1-AA school).  South Carolina regressed on offense significantly form a yardage standpoint but actually improved in ball protection, while regressing in every defensive area outside of sacks.  Mississippi State, interestingly enough, saw very little change in their offensive output against Jackson State than what they had last season against SELA.  Dan Mullen's "Spread the SOCIALISM" (/rivalsposter'd) offense was statistically damn near identical to the Walrus' Gulf Coast offense.  Furthermore, aside from forcing a whopping five turnovers, their defense wasn't nearly as effective this go around.  Linkage to those stories are riiiiiiiiiiiight here: 

Comparison: Mississippi State versus SELA and Jackson State - Team Speed Kills
Comparison: South Carolina versus NC State in 2008-09 - Team Speed Kills