Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Midseason review: Ole Miss
By ESPN.com staff
Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
As it turns out, Ole Miss wasn’t quite ready to make its move to elite status in the SEC. Not yet, anyway. The Rebels (4-2, 1-2) are still looking for their first quality win after starting the season ranked in the Top 10 nationally. They rose all the way to No. 4 in the rankings, but bombed at South Carolina in a Thursday night performance that was telling back in September. They got another chance a couple of weeks ago against Alabama and could only manage a field goal in a 22-3 loss. The offense has never really looked in sync, although the Rebels did hammer UAB last week. It’s no secret that quarterback Jevan Snead has struggled, but he’s not the only one. Ole Miss’ pass protection has broken down at key times, and the Rebels haven't run it consistently, either. The frustrating part is that Ole Miss’ defense has been everything and more that it was supposed to be. The Rebels’ front seven has proven to be one of the best in the country.
Offensive MVP: WR Shay Hodge. The Rebels haven’t been able to get the ball to Dexter McCluster as much as they would like, so Hodge has sort of stepped in as their go-to guy on offense. He’s third in the SEC in receiving yards per game (64.8) and fourth in catches per game (4.3). He’s also tied for the team lead with three touchdown catches.
Defensive MVP: DE Kentrell Lockett. The hard part with this choice is that so many players have played well on Ole Miss’ defense, but Lockett stands above everybody else with the number of big plays he’s made. He leads the team in tackles for loss (5.5), sacks (4) and quarterback hurries (6).