AUBURN, Ala. Thursday morning is here, and with it comes another "7 at 7." As we do each Thursday, we preview Auburn's opponent with seven different links. This week, that team is Ole Miss.
Following standard operating procedure, the links come from people who are around the Rebels on a near-daily basis.
Let's get started.
1. With all the talk about both head coaches in this game and their commitment to "tempo" and "pace," Hugh Kellenberger of the Clarion-Ledger researched the most plays Auburn's Gus Malzahn and Ole Miss' Hugh Freeze have called since becoming college head coaches. Up to this point, Freeze holds a slight edge.
2. With the continued emergence of true freshman Laremy Tunsil at left tackle, one of the Rebels' other linemen will start to see playing time elsewhere. According to Parrish Alford of the Daily Journal in Tupelo, Miss., senior Emmanuel McCray is beginning to take reps at guard. Rebels offensive line coach Matt Luke is a proponent of playing who he deems the "five best linemen regardless of position."
3. Keeping with the topic of offensive line play, Freeze said the unit will have to play much better if it is to pick up a road victory this weekend. The Rebels are coming off one of their one rushing performances since Freeze became the head coach, tallying just 46 yards last week versus the Crimson Tide, the same output Ole Miss had against Georgia last season.
4. Want to take an in-depth look at Ole Miss power run game? Alford (the writer, not the quarterback) did that earlier this week, providing some very good information on the Rebels' success (or lack thereof) on third and fourth down conversions this season.
5. Who is playing the role of Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall at the Rebel's practices this week? None other than a former "Mr. Football" in Mississippi, Anthony Alford. He was Southern Miss' leading passer last season, but is sitting out this year due to NCAA transfer rules. Ole Miss believes Alford "is the closest thing we have" to simulating the things Marshall can do when the ball is in his hands.
6. With bad weather possibly on the horizon, Freeze isn't taking any chances. On Thursday, the Rebels were set to do "wet-ball" drills to see how fast they can operate their offense. If it isn't up to the coach's liking, they'll "take the dry-ball."
7. Though he hasn't notched a sack yet, true freshman Robert Nkemdiche is making his presence felt in other ways thus far. The Georgia native ranks second on the team in tackles for loss with four and 12th overall in total takedowns with 10.
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