About an honor after LSU coach Les Miles talked about his satisfaction with his team’s much-improved passing game, Ole Miss coach High Freeze had a different take on the subject.
“I wish they would have waited until after our game to become good at it,” Freeze said Wednesday morning on the Southeastern Conference coaches weekly teleconference.
The Rebels plays the Tigers on Saturday afternoon in Tiger Stadium. LSU has had its two best passing games of the season the last two games, throwing for 296 yards against Alabama two weeks ago and 273 against Mississippi State last week.
“There’s no question they’re much more confident in that area,” Freeze said. “It creates added difficulty in adding people to the box to stop the running game, which they were already good at. They have excellent athletes at wide receiver winning some one-on-one match-ups. That’s a concern with the number of people in the box.”
Freeze has a deeply felt appreciation for the historic LSU-Ole Miss rivalry because he grew up as a Rebels fan. He said this will be his third trip to Tiger Stadium, having gone twice in a previous stint as an Ole Miss assistant.
He said when he was growing up, the question of whether Mississippi State or LSU was the Rebels’ biggest rival, was answered differently by different people.
“There are some who say (LSU) is as big if not bigger,” Freeze said. “I don’t quite feel that way, but I know it’s very important and a huge rivalry to people here. (Tiger Stadium) is a great atmosphere to play a college football game in.”
Ole Miss is 5-5 and needs a victory against LSU or against State next week to become bowl eligible. The Rebels were in position to get their sixth victory last week, but lost a fourth-quarter lead and were defeated by Vanderbilt, 27-26.
Freeze called that loss “gut wrenching.”
He said injuries have exacerbated Ole Miss’ depth problem. Only 59 scholarship players will make the trip toBaton Rouge.
One of them will be former Bastrop High star Randall Mackey, who Freeze praised for his attitude and adaptability to a new coaching staff as a senior. Mackey was switched from quarterback to “athlete” by Freeze and his staff.
“Randall is one of my favorite kids on the team,” Freeze said. “When some kids are asked to change positions as a senior they have a sour attitude, but Randall has been nothing but a great young man to coach. I couldn’t be prouder of him. He’s very important to our team and he’ll get a lot of touches on Saturday.”
The Tigers and Rebels kick off at 2:30 p.m. on CBS.