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October 29, 2012Yesterday was a total team effort all the way around.
Everybody made mistakes but stayed with it. Defense got tired when Arkansas drove down late, but then the offense took over and got it done, setting up Bryson Rose in easy field goal range. That initial first down on the last drive was so critical.
Bryson has been automatic since that 0-4 start to the season, but I was still nervous on that 54-yarder and the last one. I'll be honest: I had my eyes closed. He's nailing it every time, but I had a hard time watching. I looked a little bit through my fingers. I swear it's tougher as a fan than it was as a player.
Saturday just goes to show you how when young kids stay together anything can happen. Our coaches are putting them in positions to be successful and make plays, and then on-field leadership is taking over. It's so exciting to see us move in the right direction and be on the same page.
I continue to be impressed with Bo Wallace. He threw for nearly 300 yards and is steadily improving, and the rest of the team is improving with him. He showed a lot of poise on those drives at the end of each half. The crowd didn't rattle him, and he was in control. That's something significant since it was his first true road game where we were in it at the end.
Wallace was also really helped by Randall Mackey at wide receiver. Mackey had seven catches for 99 yards. I always tell people quarterbacks have the best hands. We throw and catch with one another all the time. The ball is always in our hands. When Mackey caught that seam to get us in field goal range in the second half, that was a big play. It was third down, and we didn't get the first, but it set Rose up well. I know it didn't work out at quarterback for Mackey, but he's tough to guard and can do damage at receiver.
I think we're catching Georgia at the right time. We're sky high right now, and they are, too, after a really emotional game against Florida. They have a lot on the line, but it could be tough for them to duplicate that again this week. That game in Jacksonville is always a tough one for Georgia and Florida emotionally.
As far as playing in Athens, once you cross a certain point, there's no such thing as louder. 91,000 isn't louder than 90,000, and our guys have been to Tuscaloosa, so this will be sort of like that. It's great to see how excited our kids are. I know they wish they could go out and play right now.
Road games are great because it's you against the world. Yeah, there will be 7,000 or so Ole Miss fans, but it's players and coaches against a sea of red. We're watching the team grow up before our eyes, and it's a joy to watch them go out and become men.
I walked by the team bus after the game Saturday and saw Grant Heard and Matt Luke and told them to get on the bus and start recruiting. They told me I was acting like a fan now. I said, "Yep, now get on the bus and get to it."
Ole Miss NEWS