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September 23, 2013

Wallace confident but aware of Tide

OXFORD, Miss. -- Bo Wallace is the quarterback of an undefeated Southeastern Conference team that's ranked No. 21 nationally.

There's reason to be confident, and the junior displayed that during a Monday sit-down with media members prior to Saturday's ESPN televised tilt at No. 1 Alabama.

The Rebels are currently leading the league in plays per game and have used their high-tempo offense to average more than 40 points in road wins over Vanderbilt and Texas. The Crimson Tide is another animal, but Wallace is ready to test Alabama with his team's system.

"Yeah, I think we can put points on them," Wallace said. "I think we can put points on anybody. We just have to show up and play. It's the same thing every week, let's stay on schedule, control the tempo and don't have any turnovers."

The main talking point Monday was Texas A&M's 42-point performance against Alabama. Nick Saban said there's not an "ounce of similarity" between the Rebels and Aggies, but Wallace did take some things from watching that film.

"I think we have better receivers than A&M," Wallace said. "They want to talk about Mike Evans being so good, but we have Donte (Moncrief) and I think Laquon (Treadwell) is going to be that way. We have better players on the outside than A&M does."

"But You can't watch them and think that's how they are going to play us. I'm not Johnny (Manziel). I'm not going to run around like Johnny does. The tempo I think (is the similarity)."

Evans, a tall, talented receiver for the Aggies, caught seven balls for 279 yards against Alabama, out-running and out-jumping the Tide corners most of the day. Alabama always has a talented secondary, but corner Deion Belue missed the last game with injury. The Tide is having to replace Dee Millner, who was selected ninth overall in the 2013 NFL Draft.

"I wouldn't say a drop off (at cornerback), but when you have first-round corners every year, I don't know if they are exactly first-round corners," Wallace said. "But if you have a guy going in the top 10, you're going to have a little bit of a drop off the next year."

The Rebels played well in a 33-14 loss in Tuscaloosa last season. Wallace remembers the atmosphere and said it and the environment in Baton Rouge against LSU were the two best Ole Miss experienced.

The rumblings are that Alabama is weaker than past seasons, but Wallace delivered the Crimson Tide plenty of respect. Winners of three of the past four national titles and currently No. 1 nationally, it may not take perfection, but it will take something close to it, Wallace said.

"As perfect as you can get. You have to play as perfect a game as you can and hope they make a couple mistakes. Hope the defense can make turnovers and get us the ball back."


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