We got into our smoking robes and sat in luxurious leather chairs for a discussion with SB Nation's Ole Miss site - Red Cup Rebellion. Pour a snifter of bourbon for yourself and enjoy, won't you?
GBH: Welcome. Thanks for joining us under such dour, melancholy circumstances. Three weeks ago it looked like the Rebs and Ags were on a collision course for a huge matchup. Alas, we’re all reeling and everything is ruined. First things first – what does the city of Memphis represent for Ole Miss students and alumni?
RCR: The city of Memphis and the University of Mississippi have a very interesting relationship. Memphis is the closest city to Oxford, being located just an hour away. There’s an interesting nightlife, good food, and a wealth of things to do. Ole Miss has a formidable alumni base there, and they recruit the area relatively well.
But it’s Memphis. I know that means nothing to you, but… it’s Memphis. Your average Memphian is nothing short of THE WORST.
GBH: SIR, we are LIBERTY BOWL CHAMPIONS. I think we know our way around a Memphis brothel. Let's move on. The Doctor Bo Wallace era has been followed by the Chad Kelly era. Both JUCO stars, both incredible broski names. Is there a Tanner Spicoli at a Kansas junior college that Coach Freeze has his eye on and how does Marshall Henderson fit into this?
RCR: Before the season, relatively every Ole Miss fan was saying that if Chad Kelly could be even average, Ole Miss might be spectacular. Kelly has been incredible, and Ole Miss has been…. not spectacular.
Kelly has elite touch on the deep ball and arm strength that Bo Wallace never dreamed of. He also generally makes the smart throw, with at least three of his seven interceptions coming because of balls receivers batted into the air.
This run on junior college quarterbacks will eventually end, but… it hasn’t been bad. Of course, with the nation’s #1 quarterback, Shea Patterson, enrolling in January, the string of junior college starters at quarterback is likely to end at two.
The (sports) world needs more Marshall Hendersons.
GBH: Wait. The next QB is named Shea? The BROSKI legend lives on. Let’s unpack this Ole Miss offense a little further, shall we? It leads the league. It’s balanced. It went into Tuscaloosa and wrecked shit. Other than the aforementioned nephew of Jim Kelly, who are the playmakers? If this offense were a Grecian god, what would be its Achilles heel?
RCR: Slow down there, buddy. To say this offense is "balanced" is not just an error; what Smarf was to Thundercats and Rick’s awful wife was to The Walking Dead, that portion of the question is to this otherwise lovely Q&A. Yes, against some of the worst teams in college football, the Rebels can pile up rushing stats. Whenever a team with any semblance of a defense takes the field though, Ole Miss has to pass for roughly all the yardage it accumulates. The running game, as it has been for the past three seasons, is a steaming pile of dogshit. The offensive line can’t block, and the backs can’t break tackles.
As for playmakers, the receiving corps is full of them. Laquon Treadwell is a robot sent from the future to decimate all cornerbacks. Cody Core is 6’3" and one of the fastest players on the team. Quincy Adeboyejo, who you may know from the "tip six" against Alabama, also has incredible speed. Damore’ea Stringfellow would have more notoriety playing for a team without a litany of other great receivers. "Tight end" Evan Engram has actually had a down year, but he’s capable of going wild at any time. There are other highly recruited receivers as well, but you get the picture. Oh, also Robert Nkemdiche runs the ball occasionally. People are going to make that into some big storyline if he plays. Don’t worry though: it’s not very effective.
GBH: [opens artisan tea and yarn business named "Damore'ea Stringfellow's"]. Let's stick with the offense. Running back Eugene Brazley is averaging 12.4 yards per carry. That’s almost a first down each time he gets the ball. And yet, he only has 17 carries on the season. Is this Hugh Freeze practicing a certain Southern Baptist penance? Masochism?
RCR: Brazley only plays on the last couple of drives of blowout wins. It’s the damnedest thing. Obviously the coaches are able to evaluate him in practice, but when he does get the ball, he usually makes good things happen. I don’t know. It’s odd. I can’t understand why they don’t just give him a few carries and see how it works. Sure, he is rumored to have trouble holding onto the ball, but at this point, whatever.
GBH: The Grove has a mythical, legendary reputation. The beauty, the Southern tarts, the helmet haired frat bros. Two parter – 1. What is THE Grove drink to carry in your red solo cup? 2. What’s the most ridiculous thing you've ever witnessed in the confines of the Grove?
- Almost exclusively bourbon. It doesn’t have to be the best bourbon (though I obviously prefer that), but it will be bourbon.
- When I was a sophomore in college, I was out late one Friday night setting up tents in the Grove. Ole Miss was playing Arkansas and not Alabama (this is an important point). One fraternity was, I assume, forcing its pledges to run up and down the Walk of Champions over and over again yelling, "ROLL TERRIBLE! WE’RE GONNA BEAT THAT ALABAMA ASSTOMORROW!"
As for ridiculous in another sense, I have literally seen someone polishing silver in the Grove… only once, but still.
GBH: Does Leigh Anne Tuohy call into Finebaum under a pseudonym? If so, what name? Is she Hugh Freeze’s helicopter mom?
RCR: I can’t say things about Leigh Anne Tuohy, because she’ll come after me on Twitter. I’m not ready for that. Seriously. She has been known to stick up for Hugh Freeze on occasion when people call him out for things. Perhaps she should get in his grill like she did in The Blindside and tell him to start, like, throwing the ball to Laquon Treadwell.
GBH: She does have quite the presence. She emasculated Tim McGraw in that film in a manner that is usually reserved for modern country music. I digress. This is the third time Texas A&M has visited Oxford in four years. The first two times, Johnny Manziel pulled out somewhat incredible victories. How do you see Saturday night unfolding?
RCR: I think A&M will win going away. When the initial line was released at Ole Miss -5, I thought about writing a letter to the U.S. Department of the Treasury encouraging them to bet the house on A&M covering.
Ole Miss a) can’t defend the pass, b) may be playing without its top five pick DT, making it tough to defend the run, c) can’t run the football, and d) has been negligently coached this season. A&M 45 – Ole Miss 20.
GBH: Well my god. This IS dour. Let's put a bow on this thing - just how weird are Aggies?
In order to know this, I’d have to stop going to fancy, expensive parties and start mingling with peasants. You seem alright though, I guess.