College Football Report: Ole Miss, Mississippi State & Southern Miss

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - No. 10 Ole Miss (3-0) has a week off they battle the Memphis Tigers on September 27 in Oxford.  The Rebels dismantled Louisiana-Lafayette 56-15 Saturday.

At Monday's news conference head coach Hugh Freeze said many from the Ole Miss family attended the funeral of Stan Sandroni who died last week of a heart attack.  Sandroni was the long time radio sidelines reporter for the Ole Miss network.

When asked about his team being ranked No. 10 in the nation Freeze said," It's obviously exciting for everyone, to our kids, to our people here, but really to me, every day has a life of its own. Every play in a game has a life in its own, today is a life, tomorrow, too. The trouble with being ranked is it's a good thing, but all you ever worry about is the rankings or the scoreboard and what it says, you lose sight of the process and it's just result-oriented, and that's certainly not what we are about in our program. We hope those things go our way, and we hope those things stay that way, but I've seen already in a short period of time a lot of people that love this program so dearly get really caught up in that, and we've got to maintain our focus on the process."

During the off-week, Freeze says they will study themselves and the next two opponents and the coaches will recruit.  He said,"Some of our coaches will hit the road Wednesday night and be places Thursday and Friday."

The Rebels suffered a couple of injures in the win over the Ragin' Cajuns.  "I"Tavius Mathers has a toe injury, Jordan Wilkins has an ankle injury and his knee is swollen. Wilkins was expected to have some tests done on Monday.  Freeze says Mathers should be OK, but it may take a couple of weeks.  He said they have to wait and see what comes back after Jordan undergoes a couple of tests.

Are the Rebels looking past Memphis and looking ahead to Alabama? Freeze said,"We have a mature group that knows what's at stake.  We know what's coming up, but no one is satisfied with the way we are playing.  You don't see us celebrating after beating these teams.  We're taking a business-like approach to these games and trying to play our best game."

Mississippi State tangles with No. 8 LSU Saturday night in Death Valley at 6:00.  The Bulldogs haven't beaten the Tigers in the last 14 games.  Mississippi State (3-0) is coming off a 35-3 win at South Alabama.

Mullen hopes the losing streak will end on national television this coming Saturday.  He said,""We get a ton of publicity playing in the Southeastern Conference and playing great teams all the time. If we win we will have one day where everyone tells us how great we are, and if we lose we will have one day where everyone tells us how bad we are. Then we have to get back to work. I don't pay much attention to it because we won't be as good as everyone tells us we are and probably won't be as bad as everyone tells us we are. Sunday we will be right back to working on the next opponent."

The LSU defense has been rock solid and has allowed opposing quarterbacks just a 40 percent completion rate for 94 yards per game.  Compare that to Mississippi State having scored at least 35 points in three season-opening victories.

LSU (3-0) faces junior quarterback Dak Precott, a northwest Louisiana native who played at Haughton High School.  Prescott has completed 60 percent of his passes for nearly 700 yards and nine touchdowns.

Tigers coach Les Miles said,"Prescott is as good a player as there is at his position in the Southeastern Conference, not just because of the way he throws but because of how effective he is as a scrambler.

Southern Miss (1-2) played good football in the opening period at Alabama on Saturday before the Tide rolled to a 52-12 victory over the Golden Eagles.

Southern Miss entertains Appalachian State Saturday at 6 in Hattiesburg.

Golden Eagles head coach Todd Monken said,""Appalachian State is a vastly improved team from last year to now. You can see the last two or three ball games they played last year. Beating Georgia Southern where my cousin was at, soundly. The improvement that they have made, especially on the offensive side. The scheme that they run presents a number of problems."

Monken says Southern Miss must improve on the communication of the offense beginning with quarterback Nick Mullens.  He said,""Nick got the ball out quickly. We have to shore up a few things up front with twists and different things they presented to us. We threw it a little bit more. If that is what we are going to do, we need to work it a little bit more during the week. We probably did a disservice to those guys, but as the game kept progressing, we thought it was the best way for us to move it. I thought they communicated better. We didn't pass things off as well as I would have liked. I thought we communicated better."

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