VIDEO BLOG: Instead of spending the bulk of Monday’s press conference looking ahead to Saturday’s homecoming game against Auburn, Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze spent the plenty of time looking back at the Rebels’ 30-27 loss to Texas A&M.
Not that it’s surprising, but Freeze said during his press conference that he would have gone for the fourth-and-inches again. He might call a different play should he have that opportunity again, but he maintains he would still go for it rather than punt the ball away and give possession back to Texas A&M, and more specifically quarterback Johnny Manziel.
“Obviously I wish I had it over now and would have called something different,” Freeze said. “I had about five seconds to make that decision and that bear defense that they did the time before is the reason we did what we did.”
Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace threw two interceptions against the Aggies, one was returned for a touchdown just before halftime and the other sealed the loss. Regardless of those two blunders, Freeze remains confident in the sophomore quarterback and said Wallace will start against Auburn.
“Bo, if you look at his game he played a good game but the mistakes he does make are magnified simply because of the state of our program,” Freeze said. “We’re not at a place in our program where… every single snap, every single possession is critical for us and it appears that way for us right now.”
Although Mike Hilton surrendered what ended up being the game-winning touchdown, Freeze said he believes the freshman defensive back will continue to come along.
“I thought he played really well for a true freshman being thrown his first significant snaps of the season,” he said. “I thought he made some key plays and got beat a few times but that’s kind of who we are right now with the young kids; that’s going to happen at times. I’m very confident in Mike. I think he’s going to be a really good player. He’s a tough kid, hard nosed and can run. We need as many of those as we can find.”
Hilton made three total tackles against the Aggies, with two TFLs. He has nine total tackles on the season.
One player Freeze commended for coming a long ways from a personality standpoint is Jeff Scott. The junior running back has been in the dog house at times and has been off limits to the media this season, but Freeze said he has seen a different Scott recently.
“I think he’s progressing more attitude-wise and more as a student athlete now than he was in the spring or fall camp,” Freeze said. “I couldn’t be more pleased with his progress. He has shouldered a good bit of the load and I’ve been real pleased with his progress.”
Freeze said Scott was “dinged” against the Aggies but went through workouts on Sunday.
INJURY UPDATE: Freeze said Ole Miss sophomore receiver Collins Moore separated his other shoulder and will miss the remainder of the season.
“It’s unfortunate for us because he was starting to get his shot at playing well,” Freeze said.
Freeze added he expects slot receiver and punt returner Korvic Neat to return to the field against the Tigers.
Ja-Mes Logan has primarily been playing in the slot in place of Neat and Moore.
Here’s the first portion of Freeze’s press conference:
For a complete roundup from Monday’s press conference, checkout Tuesday’s print edition of the Oxford EAGLE. (October 8, 2012)