What a treat the Rebels received for themselves this past Saturday in an early Halloween showdown against the Auburn Tigers in Alabama.
For a few moments it seemed the faith has been restored that the Rebels have a chance to get to the show in Atlanta and still control their own fate week by week. The Rebels improve to No. 19 in the AP Poll and are now 7-2 overall and second in West Division.
The Rebels take another step closer to winning out and traveling to Atlanta but they are also blocking the SEC to get a chance in the Big Show in this year’s playoffs. Despite the Rebels appearing to be better, they definitely had a scare against the Tigers. The victory was a tight one with 27-19 over Auburn.
So the question is: can the Rebels win out against Arkansas, LSU and State? While the Rebels managed to slide by, they’re still not in the clear to win if they don’t continue to tighten their belt.
Coach Freeze’s play-calling as of the last few weeks has been spotty in some regards. His play-calling has put the Rebels in some unusual situations that have caused them not to do so well.
Furthermore, the Rebels are going to need a run game. They also need to discontinue the silly mistakes that has caused them to hand over the football as much as they have in crucial game situations.
The Rebels are a good team, but not a great one at this point. They have been able to slide by, but honestly if they want to win out against these next three opponents then their one-dimensional antics and not playing four quarters of football is not going to get them past Arkansas and especially not LSU who is trying to stay in the bigger show for the SEC.
It’s great the Rebels can find ways to win, but it’s not something we all should bet on if they don’t fix things now. Coach Freeze and his team have had plenty of time to tighten their belt.
Living on the edge and having a few tricks up the sleeve may work for Les Miles and his Mad Hatters, but unfortunately it doesn’t work for this Rebel team. The Rebels need to find their own identity and know what works consistently for this team so they can play hardball for all four quarters.
I am not being harsh by any means. The Rebels have a good ball club, but little things make the difference between teams being good or great. Right now the Rebels are in the middle.
This Saturday, the Arkansas hogs are coming to play on Rebels’ turf at 2:30 p.m. Make sure to wear blue and don’t forget the SEC Nation will be in town for the game.
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. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.