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Keys to the Game: Ole Miss vs. Fresno State

Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications
Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

“The longevity of success depends on how well you manage your breakthroughs” – Author Unknown

Week 1 is in the books for the Rebels and now we eagerly move on to week two at home again. Before we get too eager and put our boys in the running for the conference title we still have a great deal more breakthroughs to go before we are solid enough to be a viable contender. Realistically we have to create a more consistent and reliable depth as well as play each game before we are in the running. Not trying to burst anyone’s bubble or say we are less than we are.

In fact, our potential to be great is probably more probable this season than ones in the past. I am as much of an idealist about our guys going all the way but even the most idealistic person has to take into account the reality we are in this season which is going to be a difficult one in this conference. I know most fans were in awe with the video game score as it was called against UT Martin but that is far from a guarantee we can make it through the long haul or let our guard down. No offense to UT Martin but they are not a model for what we face down the road in our conference.

This week we take on the Fresno St Bulldogs from the sunshine state and they are looking to dim our light. So what’s it going to take to continue to get the W for the Rebels. Here are this week’s Keys to the Game.

No Video Game Scores: Folks if this were basketball it be normal to have a score like we did against UT Martin. This week we need to get a comfortable score and play strong but not worry about going into ridiculous numbers. Not to say I’m not proud of the effort to earn the score. However, taking a play from the past if the Rebels have an explosive score then they tend to let the guard down as some seasons have show with that. If they get too comfortable in this game it is more than likely going to backfire when they face Alabama. In my opinion should you play less no but don’t worry about running up the score were not South Carolina and Spurrier is not our coach.

Pace & Balance: This is one you’re probably going to see for a while in my keys to the game because it is necessary for a team to be whole and not just one sided like we have been in the past. Folks I have to say this probably most balanced and complete team the Rebels have had in some time so with that said they have to make sure they utilize it to its full potential. If we’re going to hang with the big boys were going to have to play smart and pace our play through each quarter. It’s difficult in just one quarter to manage the clock and make plays without overextending your reach. If the Rebels continue to rotate players on both sides of the ball and create more depth it is more likely they will not over exert themselves causing them to play sloppy or lose more players.

Working Multiple QBs: I know a number of people are hesitant when teams have a multi QB system because there is not a clear leader. Here’s the thing in the past even though we have had solid single QBs it’s still has isolated and minimized the capabilities we could have on offense. This season if we continue to utilize all the strengths of having Chad, Ryan & DeVante each get sufficient playing time are offense could explode in more ways than one not to mention bring in that run game we all have yearned for. Its great to have a star but if you have the chance to be a chameleon and have multiple threats on offense then why not. The success of a team cannot stand solely on the shoulders of one or a few players or it will all fall apart eventually.

Playing with Intensity: It’s easy to play with fire and passion when you are winning all the time but the difficult time comes when you are not always on top. The Rebels have come along way in the last four seasons but here’s the thing they can’t allow their mental obstacles to block the ability to play like the best no matter the circumstances or vice versa. Heart and passion go along way in this sport and sometimes it’s easy to let that emotion be clouded by circumstance. However, they must remember that the only way to get to the top is with fight and with heart.

We must not overlook any team this season because how we play each one of them will determine where we stand in the end. The important thing is to take each opponent and play them with everything you have. Never let the glory fade. Hotty Toddy Rebels and see y’all at the Vaught.

Lee Ann Herring-jpgs-0601

Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo is a HottyToddy.com contributor, veteran SEC sports journalist and Brown University graduate. She loves good cigars, good games and a smooth glass of bourbon — not necessarily in that order. She can be reached at misskentucky2011@gmail.com.

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