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Keys to the Game: Complete the Whole Package

Photo by Joshua McCoy, courtesy Ole Miss Athletics
Photo by Joshua McCoy, courtesy Ole Miss Athletics

I have always said that we make our own luck. This season hasn’t been pretty for the Rebels, but they have managed to find ways to slip on by and win.

The Rebels still control their own fate in a meaningful way. The possibilities are a crazy scenario we Ole Miss fans didn’t see coming after a few heartbreakers the Rebel fan base knows too well.

If the Rebels win out. they are going to Hotlanta for the SEC Championship against the Gators. But if that occurs, the other SEC teams are likely to be shut out from the playoffs. Right now, LSU remains No. 1 as it faces No. 7 Bama and the outcome will be influential. This afternoon, Rebels will face the Hogs.

Arkansas shouldn’t be underestimated. We have all seen what the Hogs are capable of, and every team has its day especially in the SEC.

The Rebels are good, but they are not great. Yes, they have won games. I know my readers are thinking that’s all that matters, but Ole Miss barely got out of the past games alive. Right now, the Rebels are one dimensional and have been for some time. Ole Miss has less than three weeks to change if the Rebels want to make it past Arkansas, LSU and State.

But this column will focus on what it could take to defeat Arkansas. This is the homestretch, folks. The Rebels will need to do more than getting by.

What do the Rebels need to do today against the Arkansas? This week’s Keys to the Game is about completing the whole package.

Not Being One Dimensional: The Rebels have the ability to not be one dimensional, but they have been playing like a one-dimensional team with just a few tricks up their sleeves. They need to make run games happen especially against LSU in the near future.

Stop Handing Things Over on Silver Platter: The Rebels need to stop making silly mistakes that cause them to continuously hand over the ball. These mistakes made the difference for the Rebels’ mental and physical abilities in the game. They have been lucky that their opponents made mistakes too, but I guarantee you, the Rebels have a target on their chest nonetheless. The Hogs could capitalize on this weakness early on.

Play Calling: Coach Freeze could possibly hand over some of the play calling to his coordinators so the Rebels could find a balance in the crucial moments of the game. The play calling inconsistency has caused too many uncomfortable, stressful situations for the Rebels. If the play calling isn’t working, then change it. Communication is key when it comes to play calling so a change is needed for the communication to come through.

Rebels Need to Play Full Quarters of Ball: Rebels can cross the line from good to great when they play all four quarters of the game. They sometimes let their guard down and become too comfortable. This weak spot has made the games stressful for Ole Miss. Rebels, play hard and give it your all until there’s nothing left in you.

We make our own luck. Rebels can change its destiny in a matter of seconds. It just takes one play and one player…

Hotty Toddy! Give ’em hell, Rebels! See y’all at the Vaught, and don’t forget it’s a Blue Day.

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 misskentuckyus2011@gmail.com.

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