I was wrong about Ole Miss (3-0, 1-0) running back Jeff Scott. Prior to the season, I listed the 5-foot-nothing speedster as one of 10 SEC players likely to disappoint in 2013. My reasoning: he wouldn’t be able to take the week-to-week beating because of his small, 5-foot-7, 167-pound frame.
Well, it’s becoming quite obvious that his size doesn’t matter, because Scott isn’t taking a beating at all – no one can catch this guy! And his numbers so far are anything but disappointing. Scott’s racked up 330 rushing yards and two touchdowns on just 35 carries. He also had a 73-yard punt return for a TD against Texas (1-2, 0-0) last week. At this point, I have to admit that the 25th-ranked Rebels’ smallest player is without question one of the biggest playmakers in the league.
But this Ole Miss team is much more than just Scott, and after a 3-0 start it might be time to really start taking the Rebels seriously. They have a better-than-average quarterback in Bo Wallace, who has put up pretty decent numbers through three games. More importantly, he’s made big plays when needed and hasn’t turned the ball over, which was an issue for him last season.
Defensively, Ole Miss is young and extremely talented. You have to expect some mental lapses in big moments might cost the Rebels a game or two this season, but overall, this unit is good enough to win against the better teams in the league. Right now, Ole Miss looks like it could win at least two of four during an upcoming stretch against the SEC West murderer’s row: at No. 1 Alabama (Sept. 28), at Auburn (Oct. 5), No. 10 Texas A&M (Oct. 12) and No. 6 LSU (Oct. 19).
What to look for in Week 4: With as tough a divisional four-game stretch as you can imagine coming up, how well can Ole Miss maintain its focus, keep things in perspective and not get ahead of itself during this off week? Things look great now, but it could all go downhill – way downhill – in a hurry following the bye.