By Tiger Fan
Lest there be any doubt, Mizzou’s game on Saturday against Ole Miss is one of the key games of the season. A win against an SEC foe should propel the Tigers to a 5-0 start and the best season in years. It would also reinforce all the optimism felt by most Mizzou fan’s after last weekend’s drubbing of
By now, we’ve probably all heard the story of Ed Orgeron arriving at Ole Miss, taking off his shirt and challenging his players to fight him. There’s no doubt about it, the former USC defensive coordinator is tough – and if everything in that story is true, he’s pretty much insane. Orgeron is in his second year at Ole Miss after serving as the defensive mastermind of the Trojans’ national championship teams in 2003 and 2004. Although he only put together a 3-8 record last year with the Rebels, recruiting is Orgeron’s specialty (he was named the National Recruiter of the Year by the Sporting News in 2004 and was responsible for recruiting players like Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart). The coach brought his recruiting touch to Ole Miss and lured in a top-10 recruiting class for this season. But can he succeed as a head coach? That remains to be seen. You can’t read too much into last season, mainly because Orgeron was stuck with the players recruited before his arrival. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt in this game because of one simple stat: national championship rings. Orgeron 2, Pinkel 0.
Advantage: Ole Miss
The discussion of the Ole Miss defense has to begin with senior linebacker Patrick Willis. Already on everyone’s 2006 Butkus Award watch list, Willis earned first-team All-American honors last season and seems like a mortal lock to repeat that feat this season. And before you think that it will take 11 guys to stop the Mizzou offense, I ask you to look no further than the game against
Defensive line advantage: Mizzou
Linebacker advantage: Ole Miss
Secondary advantage: Even
The inexperienced Ole Miss offense is led by Brent Schaeffer, a former Elite 11 quarterback who transferred away from
Offensive line advantage: Mizzou
Quarterback advantage: Mizzou
Running back advantage: Ole Miss
Wide Receiver advantage: Mizzou
Last week in this space I correctly predicted that Mizzou would probably block a kick against
Advantage: Ole Miss
This won’t be the cake-walk that many Mizzou fans foolishly seem to think it will be. In fact, I see no reason for all the brash predictions of a blow-out. Last time I checked, we’re still Mizzou and these are the types of games we usually lose. Should we win on paper? You bet. Will we win? That’s harder to say. But I have faith that the Tigers can get it done. Chase is the type of player who steps up in big games and while Willis is an amazing talent, he can’t guard four receivers and a running back on every play. I think Mizzou wins it in a nail-biter, 30-28.