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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Freeze discusses Alabama, other topics

VIDEO BLOG: Earlier today Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze met with the media during his regularly scheduled press conference at Ole Miss’ Indoor Practice Facility and addressed a number of topics.

As to be expected, Freeze devoted the majority of his press conference to talking about this week’s opponent, No. 1 Alabama, and Ole Miss’ shutout victory over Tulane.

The only real newsworthy comment involved sophomore receiver Collins Moore. Due to a labrum injury he suffered during the preseason, Moore had been held out for most of the season and was, according to Freeze, a possible redshirt candidate. Today Freeze confirmed that Moore more than likely won’t be redshirted and will probably see increased playing time moving forward.

“It looks like we’re going to proceed forward with him playing,” Freeze said. “It’s just a long season and as you see already we’re getting beat up some so I think we’re going to need him and he wants to play. It looks like we’re going to proceed forward with that.”

Moore caught his first two passes of the season for 25 yards against Tulane and is currently penciled in as the No 2 “H” receiver on Ole Miss’ new depth chart.

As Freeze pointed out, the Rebels aren’t blessed with tremendous depth. They do, however, feel good about their group of running backs.

Entering this week’s 8:15 p.m. game on ESPN or ESPN 2, the Rebels lead the Southeastern Conference in rushing offense, averaging 259.8 yards per game. Ole Miss’ 5.8 yards-per-carry is second best in the conference to Georgia’s 6.0 average.

“I’m hesitant to talk about depth because we’re so thin at so many different places right now but that is one spot we do have some guys that are able to rotate in and we feel like the drop off is not too much. Randall (Mackey) and Jeff (Scott) and the two young kids in I’Tavius (Mathers) and Jaylen (Walton) have done well,” Freeze said. “Getting into the game the other night, Nick Parker had a great run, so did Devin Thomas. We do have some depth at that position. The negative or challenge at that spot is not all of them are prepared to do everything we do and that sometimes gets us caught in trouble when you make a call and look out there and you say that’s not playing to his strength. You get caught in some of those sometimes because of the way we like to go tempo and all of a sudden you make a call and kind of cringe and hope that the young man can succeed at what you’ve asked him to do.”

“It can’t help but motivate you. If you’re made to compete that’s the kind of environment you want to be in,” Freeze said. “You sure hope you can put your best foot forward and that’s our plan.”

Speaking of depth, Alabama has a lot of it and seems to have the rare ability to roll out premier talent after premier talent on both sides of the ball making it tough for opponents to compete for four quarters.

“They’re deeper than any team we have faced, particularly on the O-line and D-line and obviously other places too. Their defensive line, they can go three deep with very, very talented kids,” Freeze said. “They’re able to keep them fresh and that allows them to play with a high motor all the time. I know he requires that of his kids. When you’re able to play that many people and not have a significant drop off I think that even helps more. They have tremendous depth and tremendous talent.”

Below is video of Freeze’s opening statement plus two answers to questions:

For a complete wrap-up of today’s presser, see Tuesday’s print edition of the Oxford EAGLE. (September 24, 2012)

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