Mississippi Football 2012 Bowl Capsule

Mississippi Rebels


The Rebels are a team that is easily overlooked and forgotten about in the crowded SEC, but they are a team that deserves respect and can compete with just about anyone.  They capped their regular season with a dominating performance over Mississippi State to clinch a bowl berth.

2012 Record: 6-6, 3-5
Coach: Hugh Freeze
Coach Bowl Record: 0-0

Big Wins: 10/27 at Arkansas (30-27), 11/24 Mississippi State (41-24)
Bad Losses: 9/15 Texas (31-66), 11/10 Vanderbilt (26-27)

Ole Miss has an outstanding run defense and it is this team’s single greatest asset. It is no secret that running the ball is the key to a successful offense and Ole Miss has put an emphasis on slowing down opponents running game. They are able to do this with talented defensive lineman and linebackers as well as knowing when to call a run blitz. Their front seven is physical and aggressive, another key in stopping the run. Their opponents have been averaging just over 133 yards per game, giving them the 28th best run defense, statistically, in the nation. Furthermore, their front seven has made a living in the backfield, as the Rebels accumulate nearly eight tackles for a loss every game, seventh best in the nation. Once they have effectively stopped the run, Ole Miss is able to turn up the heat, sending in blitzes and allowing their defensive linemen to pin their ears back and rush the quarterback. This has clearly been working for them as they rank 14th in the nation in sacks per game, averaging nearly three. If Ole Miss can dictate opponents play calling they are a tough team to beat.

This team’s offense struggles to keep pace with their talented defense. The problem starts with the offensive line. To be fair they do play some of the most talented defenses in the nation, so this unit may be better than they look. However, the Rebels give up a staggering 2.75 sacks per game on average, but it is not just giving up sacks that is their problem. It is also is their lack of protection leading to hurried throws, quarterback hits, and pressure that forces the quarterback outside of the pocket. This limits their down field passing attack and makes it difficult for Ole Miss to convert in third down situations. Additionally, in order to better protect their quarterback, the Rebels have to leave a back in the backfield or chip in with a tight end, limiting the amount of weapons the quarterback can throw to during a play. Pass protection is not the only issue for this offensive line though; they also struggle to open up running lanes. The Rebels rushing attack ranks 54th in the nation averaging a mediocre 170 yards per game on the ground. For Ole Miss to be successful they need to be able to run the ball, keeping control of the clock and letting their defense keep them in the game.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Jeff Scott, RB, 828 yards
Passing: Bo Wallace, QB, 2,843 yards
Receiving: Donte Moncrief, WR, 948 yards
Tackles: Denzel Nkemdiche, S, 75
Sacks: C.J. Johnson, DE, 4.5
Interceptions: 4 tied with 2

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 169.67 (54th in nation, 7th in conference)
Passing Offense: 257.17 (48, 5)
Total Offense: 426.83 (46, 5)
Scoring Offense: 30.92 (47, 6)
Rushing Defense: 133.33 (28, 6)
Pass Defense: 251.67 (84, 12)
Total Defense: 385.00 (48, 7)
Scoring Defense: 28.50 (69, 11)
Turnover Margin: -0.08 (61, 8)
Sacks: 2.83 (14, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 2.75 (101, 11)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2009    Cotton Bowl        Oklahoma State (21-7)
2008    Cotton Bowl        Texas Tech (47-34)
2003    Cotton Bowl        Oklahoma State (31028)
2002    Independence Bowl    Nebraska (27-23)
2000    Music City Bowl    West Virginia (38-49)

*all team stats through 11/24


Bowl Central

 Miss Shop