College Football Analysis: Lessons Learned from Ole Miss vs. Texas

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On Saturday night, Texas ground Ole Miss into a fine paste, leaving Oxford with a 66-31 win.  Much of the postgame chatter from coaches and media types centered around the size advantage Texas held, which they used to disperse whatever red jerseys were standing in their way.

But, was there something more to the dissection of the Rebel defense?  Is there anything Ole Miss could have tried to make piling up yards and points a little more difficult?  Let's go to the Belly of the Beast film room, which is nothing more than a leaky broom closet, to find out.

First, let's start with the run defense, which surrendered 350 yards.  In the second quarter, Ole Miss is hanging tough, only trailing by 7 when they faced a 2nd and goal from the 3.

As you can see, Texas has its Goliath package on the field, with 7'4", 415-pound running back Malcolm Brown in the backfield.  Ole Miss is forced to focus on the literal giant lined up as the deep back and ends up giving up a touchdown to a tight end off a play-action pass.

In the third quarter, as the Rebels started to melt, they changed things up.  Instead of 11 undersized defenders, defensive coordinator Dave Wommack sent out a series of speed bumps to try to slow down the Longhorns.

That too failed.  Then, later in the third, Texas just started to plain cheat when they brought in their Dump Truck package.

Not much you can do about that if the refs aren't going to call it tight.

As for the passing defense, Ole Miss didn't fare much better, giving up 326 yards and big play after big play.  Right away, a problem with secondary is easily identifiable.

Out of fears of blown assignments and not making a play on the ball, groups of scarecrows leftover from the Tyrone Nix days were installed in hopes of confusing quarterback David Ash and limiting big plays.  Much like when the Ole Miss defense used actual players, this too failed.

And here are the scarecrows not doing much of anything later in the game.

So, while Ole Miss was physically outmatched, as well as trailing in the talent department, give the Rebels credit for at least trying new ideas when the game plan quickly fell apart.  Even though pretty much everything failed, Ole Miss never gave up, which, in the words of Herm Edwards, "WE CAN BUILD ON THIS!"

And that concludes today's film study.  Kindly make your way out the door because Herm Edwards needs to get the mop bucket.

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