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Rebel of the Week: Bo Wallace

This is a little bit different than past weeks.

Joe Murphy

I normally throw a poll up on Monday mornings so that people can vote for whoever they want to win the Rebel of the Week. That seems silly after this game.

People can make arguments for players other than Bo Wallace. Senquez Golson, Tony Conner, and several other defensive players played fantastic games. The offensive line pass blocked well against an incredible front seven. The receivers did well.

But the narrative surrounding this whole game, for at least the last three weeks, was that "if Bo Wallace doesn't screw this up for us, we've got a chance." Well he didn't screw it up for you. He threw three touchdowns and didn't turn the ball over a single time.

At times last season, people hoped Ole Miss would pull Devante Kincade's redshirt and start him over Wallace. In week one, I got texts about how he was an incompetent quarterback. For some reason, there has been a pretty unreasonable amount of blame thrust upon him.

I'm hopeful that people will finally be able to accept that Bo Wallace is a very good quarterback. He's a quarterback who makes mistakes. He throws the ball to spots where he shouldn't. That's not a unique trait though. At every level of football, there are tons of quarterbacks who make ill-advised passes sometimes. I don't mean to compare Bo Wallace to Peyton, but to give some context, even Peyton Manning struggled with interceptions early in his career, setting the record for interceptions by a rookie at TWENTY ONE.

Playing quarterback is hard. It's particularly hard against defenses like Alabama's. Landon Collins is an all-world safety who Bo Wallace tricked twice for touchdowns. His throws to Markell Pack for the first down late in the game and Vincent Sanders for his touchdown were absolutely stunning. Sanders never had to break stride at all, and he was able to easily corral the ball.

The weight of an offense that struggled to run the ball was placed entirely on Bo Wallace's surgically repaired shoulders. If he threw a late game interception, that was going to be the entire story people wrote about the game. He didn't. He led three beautiful drives in the second half and earned a comeback victory over the #1 ranked team in the SEC, earning Ole Miss its tenth win over Alabama through the fifty-nine game series.

So please. Let's do away with this "Good Bo/ Bad Bo" thing. He's just Bo, and on Saturday, he was exceptional.