Happy Wednesday, everybody, and welcome to the Ole Miss Wake-Up Call, your daily stop for everything happening in the world of Ole Miss sports.
Something negative may be going on behind the scenes.
That’s the theory of ESPN college football analyst Tom Luginbill, who covered the Ole Miss-Georgia game for ESPN. Luginbill told Paul Finebaum the Rebels must have a problem in the locker room, because the Rebels are too talented to be losing the way they have in recent weeks.
“On the day I saw Ole Miss, when they dismantled Georgia, that was not a 3-4 team on the field,” Luginbill said on the Paul Finebaum Show. “Athletically, I see what I see, which leads me to believe how good of a team this is in the locker room. Their leadership, their personalities. How invested are they in the program instead of their individual well-being?
“There’s something wrong with that locker room dynamic. The talent level should not be performing to the level that it is.”
Most Ole Miss fans, who expected something far greater than 3-4, would probably agree with Luginbill’s assessment.
Evan Engram told the Ole Miss Spirit that the team had a frank heart-to-heart Tuesday led by Engram, Chad Kelly and Marquis Haynes, and Engram said he thought it helped.
“We are not down,” Engram said. “I think our meeting today aired things out. We are in this thing together and there is no lay down in us.”
Breaking down the breakdowns
Matt Wyatt of Head to Head Radio broke down two of Leonard Fournette’s explosive plays. He slows it down so you can see exactly who is out of position and where the tackle was missed.
Watch and you will start to understand why coach Hugh Freeze has been so frustrated with the play of his linebackers this season.
Another recruit gets away
The second Ole Miss commit in as many days de-committed from Ole Miss on Tuesday. Three-star defensive end Bryan Jones of Madison Prep Academy (Baton Rouge, La.) announced on Twitter that he is reopening his recruitment.
Pray. Wait. Trust.?? pic.twitter.com/wFCAzvxI9I
— KINGJONES#️⃣9️⃣9️⃣™ (@yallknowlilb) October 25, 2016
Jones had been committed to the Rebels since May 8, 2016.
He is ranked as the nation’s No. 14 weak-side defensive end and the state of Louisiana’s No. 15 overall prospect, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings.
Willie Gay, a 4-star linebacker from Starkville (Miss.), announced he was withdrawing his commitment on Monday.
The Rebels are down to 10 commitments, according to 247 Sports, and only one of them is a linebacker.
If you watched the Matt Wyatt film breakdown (above), then you know that’s a problem.
Between the disappointing 2016 season and the NCAA investigation that still looms overhead, the 2017 signing class is looking more and more as if it will not live up to Freeze’s previous classes. Given the depth issues the Rebels are having, a bad year in recruiting will likely haunt Ole Miss in seasons to come.
You’re probably tired of LSU film, but this complete takedown of two fast-moving Rebels is almost hypnotic. The Tigers’ Jamal Adams used his body like a missile, and it worked.
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn is trying not to let LSU’s 38-21 win over Ole Miss make his surging Tigers overconfident.
“We’re playing a very talented Ole Miss team this week,” Malzahn told reporters at his weekly press conference. “They’ve got one of the better head coaches in our league. They play extremely well at home. They played Alabama closer than anybody and they beat Georgia by 31 points.”
A Rebel in the World Series
Former Ole Miss baseball great Chris Coghlan started Game 1 for the Chicago Cubs in the Word Series on Tuesday night. Coghlan started in right field, but was 0 for 2 with a pair of strikeouts at the time this article was written.
— Ole Miss Baseball (@OleMissBSB) October 25, 2016