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Vassallo: Rebs’ Midseason Report Card

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The Ole Miss Rebels (Photo by Josh Bonner/Libertine Images)

Now that six games are in the books with a 5-1 record, here is how I grade the first half.

Offense….A+    Who can criticize the highest scoring team in the SEC? Averaging 47 points again is hard to find fault. Chad Kelly has now established himself as the best QB in the league…bar none! And with the most talented group of receivers in the nation led by all world Laquon Treadwell, it’s easy to understand the scoring. True, the running game could be better, but why run when you can fly? The offensive line has been severely crippled with injuries and despite this, the production has still been there.

Defense….A+   Surprised with this answer? Look back on the starters who were being projected as such in August. Do the names C.J.Johnson; Isaac Gross; Tony Conner; and Tee Shepard sound familiar? Losing a third of the starters and continuing to execute at such an advanced level is quite impressive. Robert Nkemdiche could end up being the number one draft choice overall and the talent surrounding him is highly regarded. The five takeaways versus

Alabama has set the bar for this year already!  Coaching….A+   Having played the two top SEC teams on the road and gaining a split is a formula for success. Any coach in the nation would gladly welcome this result. Currently 14th in the AP Poll and having been as high as 3rd, the Rebs have three unbeaten teams remaining on the schedule for advancement opportunities starting with Memphis.

The development of Chad Kelly and replacing all the injured players has taken a full court press by the coaching staff. And then when you factor in the unexpected suspension  of All American  Laremy Tunsil, the coaches have done a superlative job.

Summary….Overall A+   It’s hard to improve on 5-1 unless you’re thinking perfection. The second half will be equally challenging with two of the top four teams in the SEC waiting in the wings not to overlook trips  to Auburn and Mississippi State. Should the Rebels begin returning injured players plus Tunsil, there is no ceiling for this team. Let’s also not forget about the outstanding recruiting efforts that brought all of this talent here. And from what we’re hearing a great deal more talent is on the way!

Steve Vassallo

Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at sovassallo@gmail.com or call him at 985-852-7745.

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