EDITOR’S NOTE: Beginning this week and counting down to the first week of Ole Miss football practice the week of August 15, HottyToddy.com’s own Collin Brister, former sports editor of the Daily Mississippian, will bring you exclusive “5 at 5” analyses of either A) the opponents Ole Miss will be facing this season or B) some background on Ole Miss’ players at each position. It’s being called “5 at 5” because each original piece will give you 5 key things to know, and we will post these stories at 5 p.m. every Monday-Friday.
The Matchup: Ole Miss will play Wofford the Saturday after their Monday night contest with Florida State. Ole Miss will beat Wofford the Saturday after their Monday night contest with Florida State. Ole Miss has dominated FCS opponents the previous four years under Hugh Freeze, and this won’t be any different. It will be the Rebels home opener, so it will provide fans with a chance to see the Rebels before they enter SEC play with Alabama and Georgia the next two weeks.
Wofford’s Offense Analysis: The Terriers run a triple-option on offense, but their speed, or lack thereof, will prove detrimental against Ole Miss, however, there is good news with Ole Miss playing this type of offense. The Rebels take on Georgia Southern in November, and the Eagles have a much more potent triple option attack. While the offense the Rebels will see against Wofford isn’t comparable in skill level to Georgia Southern, it will be a good precursor for that match up. Georgia Southern has given teams fits over the years, as the Eagles beat Florida (without completing a pass) in 2013 and took Georgia to overtime last season.
courtesy ACC Digital Network
Unless Ole Miss decides to redshirt the heralded freshman, this will likely be his first opportunity at extensive action. The five-star quarterback from Louisiana is the highest ranked quarterback Ole Miss has ever signed, and will likely be the Rebels option at quarterback for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Patterson was an early-enrollee, allowing him to go through spring practice and learn the playbook ahead of the 2016 season.
Hugh Freeze vs. FCS Opponents
2011 (at Arkansas State) vs. Central Arkansas-53-24
2012 (at Ole Miss) vs. Central Arkansas-49-27
2013 vs. Southeastern Missouri-31-13
2014 vs. Presbyterian 48-0
2015 vs. UT Martin 76-3
Outside of the 2013 game, where Ole Miss struggled to get anything going on offense during the second half, the Rebels have dominated FCS opponents under Freeze. The previous two seasons Ole Miss has outscored them 124-3, and it will likely be much more of the same come September 10.
Analysis and prediction: If we’re being realistic, Ole Miss will likely have this game won by halftime, allowing chances for younger players (A.J. Brown, Shea Patterson, D.K. Metcalf) to get their first opportunities in live game action. That’s why it is important for Ole Miss to go ahead and put Wofford away so that the younger players can get on the field in the second half.
Collin Brister is a staff writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.