Ealy is ready to go!

Five star running backs at Ole Miss were once as common as unicorns, but no more thanks to one Jerrion Ealy.

Ealy stepping on the field in a red and blue uniform is one of the more exciting stories to follow when Ole Miss takes on Memphis this Saturday (11am ABC), and throughout the season because running backs of his caliber can be difference makers. The MVP from the Under Armour All-America Game could ignite the Rebels in a way we haven’t seen before.

That’s certainly my hope.

Ealy told reporters on Tuesday that he is ready to go, and it sounds like the true freshman will be part of the game plan in Week 1.

“They look to give me the ball in space. That’s all I know,” Ealy smiled.

“Sometimes they ask me to get in the slot a little bit, running back, return kicks, return punts. other than that, that’s about it.”

That sounds like just about everything. I can’t wait to watch this guy play!

Maybe Baby

If we’re honest with ourselves, few reasons exist to have lofty expectations for Ole Miss football this season.

AJ Brown and DK Metcalf are in the NFL. A redshirt freshman is starting at quarterback. The offensive line is thin.

And then that defense.

It would be foolish to expect the defense to all of a sudden be really good or even kind of good after the atrocities these eyes have witnessed the last two seasons.

And it gets worse. Practically speaking, this should also be the season that the NCAA sanctions start to really show up (lack of depth) on the field.

The odds are against Matt Luke’s team experiencing much success this season. That’s why most are picking Ole Miss to fight it out with Arkansas for last place in the SEC West.

But just when it seems like all reason for hope is lost, you throw in Rich Rodriguez at offensive coordinator and give him a pocketful of quality running backs, make that redshirt freshman QB one that has some legit talent and a little bit of game experience from a year ago, and see that the wide receiver cupboard isn’t exactly bare. It’s inexperienced, but talented.

None of that changes the predicament on the offensive line, but if Rodriguez has proven anything over the years he’s proven that he knows how to use a chalk board to utilize talent and exploit holes in defenses. It’s conceivable that a good X’s and O’s coach, which RichRod is, can figure out ways to create space for weapons like Scottie Phillips and Jerrion Ealy. And if that happens Matt Corral’s job gets a lot easier at quarterback. Maybe the Ole Miss offense could turn out to be really good.

As seen above, I have 5-star abilities to create reasons for hope, but those abilities are being seriously tested by the defense.

Mike MacIntyre is an upgrade at defensive coordinator. He has to be. But can we just be real here? It’s unrealistic to thing that MacIntyre is a coaching magician. If he was he would still be the head coach at Colorado. MacIntyre can’t reach in his hat and pull out All-SEC players. He can’t wave his wand and create linebackers out of thin air. And without these powers I am just not sure what we will see out of the defense this season. I’m not saying he can’t “Coach em up,” but I need to see it happen before I can predict it will happen. When it comes to the defense, it’s hard to get a handhold for hope. “It can’t get any worse,” isn’t a recipe for better.

But maybe the defense is just a little better. Maybe the offense keeps possession of the football longer this season and doesn’t put the defense in as many bad positions as the Phil Longo strategy of three passes and punt. Maybe the defense tastes some success and starts to get a little confidence as the season progresses.

Maybe just a little better is enough to get to six wins and a bowl.

Maybe.

Rebs need 2 wins

The rain and fog weren’t kind to the Ole Miss batters on Friday night. Despite great performances from pitchers Will Ethridge and Houston Roth, the Rebels couldn’t manage a single run against Mississippi State, falling 2-0 to the Bulldogs.

Fortunately, Ole Miss gets two more chances against the 5th ranked Dogs. Doug Nikhazy will take the mound for the Rebs for Game 2. Nikhazy is coming off an outstanding win over LSU in which he allowed just 1 run over 6.1 innings.

Ole Miss lost the first game to LSU a week ago before winning the next two and taking the series. Maybe the same thing will happen this weekend. First pitch is at 6:00 tonight (SEC Network +).

DK Metcalf and AJ Brown should find their NFL homes tonight

The 1st round of the NFL Draft turned into a long Thursday night for DK Metcalf and AJ Brown, but Friday should be a good one for both players as I don’t expect either to be available after the 3rd round.

Of course I’m disappointed neither went in the 1st round, mostly because I hate to see them miss out on the money that comes along with it.

As an aside, the whole process pained me for Metcalf. He went from being the story of the NFL Draft and a possible Top 10 selection with everyone in awe of his size, speed and strength at the Combine to being totally picked apart in the final days leading up to the draft. Suddenly, his cone drill time became the biggest factor. So weird. If Metcalf had known it was all going to go down like that I’m sure he would have been happier to stay in Oxford. This should be fuel for Metcalf’s fire. Some NFL team is going to get a great wide receiver tonight.

I was also really hoping the Patriots were going to select Brown as was projected by some, because that would have been a huge break for him to begin his career with the greatest quarterback of all time under center.

Tiger’s back!

It was a true honor to watch Tiger Woods win his 5th Green Jacket on Sunday. I watched every hole, and it was epic. Unforgettable really. Just like I remember watching Jack Nicklaus win it in 1986 and Tiger win it for the first time in 1997, I’ll never forget watching Tiger win The Masters in 2019. What a comeback! I love redemption stories, and this is certainly one for the ages. Many thought Tiger might never win another Major. He overcame a boatload or personal and physical adversity and proved us all wrong. I love it!

AJ Brown and NWO featured in NFL video

The NFL Draft is just around the corner, and NWO continues to get hype, which has to be a good thing for the Ole Miss brand.

Ole Miss atop the SEC West leaderboard

I hope your TV, couch and fridge are ready because it’s a big Sunday. First, Tiger Woods has a chance to get another green jacket starting at 8:20am. Then Ole Miss has a chance to finish the weekend in sole possession of first place in the SEC West with a doubleheader against Kentucky set to start at 1:00.