BLOG — The rest is over for Ole Miss. Up next is Alabama.
The Rebels (3-0 overall) returned to the practice field Sunday following their first bye week of the season in preparation for their upcoming trip to Tuscaloosa to square off against two-time defending national champion and No. 1-ranked Crimson Tide.
Coach Hugh Freeze talked about the game with Alabama in his weekly press conference Monday afternoon at the Manning Center, hitting on how this year’s matchup is different, the Rebels’ up-tempo offensive attack compared to Texas A&M’s — a team Alabama beat 49-42 two weeks ago — and “one-on-ones” that will be critical for his squad if it wants a chance to get out of Bryant-Denny Stadium with a win Saturday night.
It will be a tall task for the Rebels, who have lost the last nine meetings with the Tide and have been outscored 248-118 in those games. This will be the second straight year Ole Miss will travel to take on Alabama, which beat the Rebels 33-14 last September.
Freeze also updated the injury statuses of linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche and offensive tackles Pierce Burton and Emmanuel McCray. Nkemdiche, who hasn’t played since suffering a torn meniscus in his knee against Vanderbilt, is still planning on giving it a go against Alabama, Freeze said, but he’ll only play if he can.
“Not just because he wants to,” Freeze said.
Freeze said Burton and McCray practiced at full speed Sunday after dealing with leg injuries earlier in the season. Both will rotate with true freshman Laremy Tunsil, who will continue to get playing time because “he’s that talented,” Freeze said.
A short snippet from Freeze’s meeting with the media is below.
A number of players were also made available Monday, including wide receiver Donte Moncrief, who will face Alabama for the third time in his career. The junior praised the Alabama defense, noting the Tide’s knack of always being in the right place.
But if there’s one place the Tide could be vulnerable, it’s in the secondary. Texas A&M passed for 464 yards against Alabama, and Moncrief believes if the opportunity is there to make a big play, he and his fellow receivers have the ability to take advantage.
Below is a video of Moncrief.
Check Tuesday’s print edition of the EAGLE for complete coverage of Freeze’s press conference. (September 23, 2013)