Thursday, August 18, 2005

Behind The Scoreboard
By Claude Vinson

Like the style at Ole Miss

Did anyone ever have that prickly feeling at the top part of the back of the neck which made you uncomfortable for just a few seconds? I am not talking about the prickly feeling which was caused when listening to some of Mom’s scary stories when you were a child. This one comes from a pleasant, though inexplicable, origin. Uncomfortable, but pleasant.

Well, I got that feeling after considering the direction which the Ole Miss Rebels seem to be taking this season. The uncomfortable, pleasant feeling appears to be attributable to the way in which Super Ed Orgeron is shaping the team. Super Ed is saying that he is not recognizing any positions from last season as being “locked” for this season. As a matter of record, Orgeron went on to say that as far as he was concerned all those positions (11 returning starters) were “etched in sand.” He went on to say that there were not a lot of sand boxes in Oxford.

One has to like the style. And if you know football, you have to appreciate the fact that he has a possible starting quarterback at every level. Starting with senior Michael Spurlock, who was benched in the 4-7 season under coach Cutcliffe. The junior Ethan Flatt, who took over, was well, sort of flat. Robert Lane, the sophomore, gets high marks from the staff and the practice observing public. And, of course, there is Billy Tapp, the frosh.

There are other frosh quarterbacks who are also taking snaps.

These prospective leaders of the Ole Miss offense really won’t have a very long wait since they meet bordering state menace, University of Memphis on September 5 (yep, that’s right Monday afternoon football), to open the season.

According to some of the players, the heat from Orgeron has been a lot hotter than the heat from the elements; however, all have only positive things to say about his techniques and tactics. Listening to some of these players and their praises of expectancy probably explains the pleasant prickly feeling.

And the uncomfortable prickly feeling? Well, that indubitably comes from the time that another head coach came to Rebel country, raised the bar, and expectancies, and then went to Auburn, was it?


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