By Parrish Alford
OXFORD – Ole Miss veterans praised the play of their younger teammates last Saturday night after the Rebels’ 27-24 win over then-No. 6 LSU.
Guys like Tony Conner, Derrick Jones and Lavon Hooks on defense, Laquon Treadwell and others on offense, played key roles against the Tigers.
Their big games were welcome and didn’t happen by accident. They happened at the insistence of the older guys.
Upperclassmen like Cody Prewitt were important in getting the short-handed defense ready to play.
“We really just had to get on the younger guys and say, ‘Look, ya’ll have to step up. You have to focus. You have to have a great week of practice. You need to practice like you’re going to play,’” Prewitt said “We pushed our younger guys all week and even Saturday, we made sure they stayed focused the whole game and that they played each play the best they could.”
The Rebels (4-3, 2-3 SEC) are heavy favorites tonight against a struggling Idaho (1-6) team that has been outscored 43-16 on average and is expected to start its third quarterback.
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze stressed focus to his players in practice this week, but there’s also the sense that the Rebels – with a streak of ranked opponents and road games now behind them – have the chance to string together some wins.
Maybe even every game remaining on the schedule.
“The remainder of the schedule looks good, and the way everything is playing out, we could win out, most definitely,” offensive lineman Emmanuel McCray said.
Ole Miss has an open date next week prior to a Nov. 9 visit from Arkansas.
The idea of a strong finish hasn’t been voiced by players alone, but defensive coordinator Dave Wommack is adamant that there be no letdown by his players this week regardless of how much emotion was invested in the LSU win.
“We’re getting ready to go into an open date, and we can get on a roll. Our guys know how important this game is,” he said. “If anybody is letting down in the game, I promise you they won’t be in the game very long, I don’t care who it is.”