Most of Rebel Nation’s faithful have been counting down the days until it’s time for tailgating in the Grove and for the Ole Miss Rebels to be back in action on the gridiron.
Each spring, fan bases across the nation get a tease of football, hoping it’s it’s a good omen of things to come.
It’s no question that for the Rebels, the last couple of spring sessions have not been the best criterion to base the season to come. This spring session for the Rebels is no different in my eyes.
Since the moment I started covering SEC football, I have found myself trying to assure fans that it’s not practical or logical to base the spring session as the determinant for the season ahead whether it be good or bad. Instead, the best way to take the spring game as a piece of film. It will show a little bit of everything but can only give us an indication on a small scale and can’t fully prepare or show us the true state of the Rebels.
More than 15,000 Rebel faithful filled Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Saturday to get their first and last glimpse of Hugh and the boys until next season, which officially opens up in 141 days. Here is my take on the events that transpired during the 2015 Regions Grove Bowl for the Rebs.
The Blue team defeated the Red team 17-7 at this weekend’s Grove Bowl. First of all, my take away of intrasquad scrimmage is not really one I take into consideration when it comes down to the nitty gritty of what this Rebel team will be come the fall. The main reason that spring games for me are not the best indicator is because playing between your fellow teammates is not going to be the same as playing against LSU or Bama. There are also definitely more mental and physical limitations that are put on teams during the spring sessions that don’t allow them to show all their cards, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
Plain and simple, this spring game indicated to me the Rebels remained in the state of uncertainty and many players, especially on the offensive side of the ball, are still coming out of the woodwork to see who will be on the front line come August. Though we may be uncertain who will prevail in the quarterback race or other positions as new and old players vie till fall camp opens, the one thing it does create is good healthy competition which is what helps motivate everyone in this atmosphere.
Despite the issues on the offensive side of the ball, we also saw that Rebel defense emerge time and time again, giving a glimmer of hope on that side of the ball that we will have a strong D come the fall and allowing us to rehab the offense which is something we all know we have struggled with inconsistency.
None the less with the glimmers we did see from Saturday, the Rebels have the ability once again to prove a lot of the critics wrong and emerge in the SEC West if we they can utilize the new and veteran talent and make them one. Right now, the Rebels are raw and need and lack that mojo that will set us apart come the fall in that gauntlet that is the SEC and especially in the West.
I wish I could have more tangible indications for our readers on the reality of where the Rebels stand that could solidify where we will emerge come Fall but that wouldn’t be good sports analysis on my part so Ill spare our fans the nerves or false hope and will revisit all this in about 140 days. Until then keep your shades on because I can say that the Rebels do have a lot of bright moments ahead.
Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo is a HottyToddy.com contributor, veteran SEC sports journalist and Brown University graduate. She loves good cigars, good games and a smooth glass of bourbon — not necessarily in that order.