Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rebels vs. Gamecocks

Usually when the #4 team in the country plays an unranked conference opponent -even on the road -they're favored by more than 3-4 points. Not so Thursday when Ole Miss travels to Columbia, SC to take on Darth Visor and the Gamecocks of USC.
An old college roommate of mine and I have had this game circled since the spring. Why? A couple of reasons - revenge and it's a trap game. On the road. Against a national championship coach whom the Rebels have never beaten.

South Carolina and their fans will be up for this game and for good reason. They shoulda, coulda beaten UGA and taking down the #4 team in the country would do a lot to bolster their attempt to break through the glass ceiling in the SEC East. Ole Miss wants to avenge last year's disappointing loss the week after upsetting Tim "no one will work harder" Tebow and the Gators.

For their part, the Rebels seem to be healthy and haven't shown very many ill effects from the swine flu or the irregular schedule they've had thus far. The positives are a 2-0 start, healthy key players, and scoring early and often while hardly revealing much of their playbook. Last year, the Rebels blew a 14 point lead in Oxford in the 4th quarter. Spurrier exposed his former defensive coordinator, Tyrone Nix. Nix is ready for the rematch and should have a healthy Greg Hardy.

While it's tempting to make sophomoric jokes about this game being Nutt vs. the Cocks, I'll try not to. Oops... (insert immature guy laughter here)

I admit to thinking the Rebels are a tad overranked right now. But, I think the bottom line is this - SC has not faced a defensive line as good as Ole Miss, the Rebels still have a lot of offense to unleash that SC hasn't seen on video and hasn't been able to prepare for, and the Gamecocks are historically terrible against teams ranked in the top 5 - 1-31 all time. My buddies and I are heading to Columbia late tomorrow night and will be at Bryce-Williams Stadium to root on the Rebels. I think they pull out a "W" and get that elusive victory over Spurrier.

Rebels 34, Gamecocks 20.

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