First Glance: Ole Miss Rebels

September, 10, 2013
9/10/13
10:00
AM ET
A look at No. 25 Mississippi, the Longhorns' third opponent of the season. Texas plays at home Saturday (7 p.m. CT, Longhorn Network).

Campus location: Oxford, Miss.

Nickname: Rebels

Conference: SEC

All-time record vs. Texas: 1-6

Last game: Ole Miss jumped out to a 31-0 lead in the first half against Southeast Missouri State and went on cruise control from there for a 31-13 victory last Saturday. Bo Wallace threw touchdown passes of 64 and 67 yards and sat out the second half, and backup quarterback Barry Brunetti rushed for 111 yards. Getting a chance to rest starters and work on depth early in the season is always a good thing.

Last meeting with Texas: Steve Edmond took one of three Bo Wallace interceptions to the house to start off this blowout, and the Longhorns got a comfortable 31-10 lead by the half. They traded big plays the rest of the way, and Texas made a few concerning busts on defense but still won 66-31. Marquise Goodwin had one of the great games of his career with a 69-yard touchdown run, 55-yard touchdown catch and 198 all-purpose yards. The downside? Texas lost Jordan Hicks for the season and Malcolm Brown for much of it on that night.

Key player: Ole Miss’ two-quarterback system. Considering how much trouble Taysom Hill gave Texas last week, you can bet Texas will be ready for Wallace and Brunetti. Wallace is a far better passer than Hill with an array of dangerous receivers, and he’s mobile. Brunetti could be a problem, too. He’s rushed for 115 yards and three TDs in two games and can make plays in the read option game. Texas couldn’t handle that last weekend. The QB duo has combined for more carries (40) than top running back Jeff Scott (16).

Why Ole Miss might win: You watched that Texas game last week, right? The Longhorns have a lot of work to do in one week, and a lot will be asked of new defensive coordinator Greg Robinson. This Ole Miss offense can attack teams in a lot of different ways, and its athletic defensive line will also be a handful.

Why Ole Miss might lose: It is possible we’ve overrated and overhyped Ole Miss, just as we did this time last year. If their secondary is vulnerable to the deep ball again, Mike Davis and Kendall Sanders could blow this game wide open. We should see Texas players come out more focused than ever after the events of the past week, and the fact is they have much more talent than their inconsistent play suggests. Just when you count Mack Brown out, his team just might come strong, punch the Rebels in the mouth and surprise a lot of folks.

Max Olson | email

Texas/Big 12 reporter

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