Scouting report: Ole Miss 

October, 30, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia needs wins in its last two games in order to defend its SEC East championship. First up on the list is Ole Miss, which visits Athens on Saturday.

Record: 5-3 (2-2 SEC)

Coach: Hugh Freeze, first season (5-3)

Series record: Georgia leads 31-12-1

Top players: QB Bo Wallace (136-205, 1,649 yards, 10 TDs, 9 INTs), TB Jeff Scott (113-612, 5.4 YPC, 6 TDs, WR Donte Moncrief (39-540, 13.8 YPC, 5 TDs), LB Denzel Nkemdiche (52 tackles, 9 TFL, 2 INTs) Scouting the offense: Although Ole Miss’ roster numbers keep them from playing at the high tempo Freeze would like, they have picked up his fast-paced offense well enough to become a dangerously balanced offense. With dual-threat quarterback Wallace at the controls, the Rebels average 235.6 yards per game passing and 194.4 rushing. The Rebels had major problems at quarterback last season, but Wallace’s emergence -- he was 29-for-37 for 278 yards, one touchdown and one interception in last Saturday’s 30-27 win at Arkansas -- has paid big dividends for Ole Miss.

Scouting the defense: The Rebels have surrendered at least 20 points in every SEC game and gave up 66 to Texas in a mid-September loss. They have also been an opportunistic bunch, using a couple of Auburn turnovers to score key touchdowns that helped them break a 16-game SEC losing streak. However, they have not been particularly effective at defending the run (they rank ninth in the SEC, allowing 148 yards per game) or the pass (ninth, 221.5).

Three keys to victory

  • Continue high-energy play from Florida game: There aren’t many teams in the country that can hang with Georgia if it plays with the intensity that it carried into last weekend’s 17-9 upset of then-No. 2 Florida. But maintaining that edge on a week-to-week basis will be difficult. Georgia doesn’t have to duplicate that effort, but a comparable level of aggression against Ole Miss would probably be enough to win.
  • Get in Wallace’s face: Wallace is fifth in the SEC in total offense at 239 yards per game, but he has also made his share of mistakes in his first season as the Rebels’ starting quarterback -- as evidenced by his 10-9 touchdown-interception ratio. The Bulldogs need to rein him in as a runner like they did against Florida’s Jeff Driskel and pressure him into errors that will make a victory easier to achieve.
  • Start fast: Ole Miss is a program that is only learning how to win under a new coaching staff. The Bulldogs need to break their will early in this game. Alabama jumped out to a 27-6 halftime lead and was able to cruise to a win, but Texas A&M fell behind in Oxford and had to battle back in the fourth quarter to win. The Rebels are capable of winning this game if Georgia doesn’t come to play.
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