Pre-Season Q&A With Ole Hotty Toddy


October 13, 2012; Oxford, MS, USA; Mississippi Rebels fans in the Grove before the game against the Auburn Tigers at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook – USA TODAY Sports

As we look ahead to the 2014 college football season, it is important to know as much as possible about your favorite team, and that includes knowing their opponents.

Last week, I sat down with Dave Bevan, the editor at Ole Hotty Toddy, the Ole Miss fan site on the Fansided network, to discuss the upcoming season, and to answer some questions about the Auburn Tigers. Dave, who you can follow @OleHottyToddy, was kind enough to return the favor. Below is our pre-season Q&A with Bevan about the 2014 Ole Miss Rebels.

Fly War Eagle: Bo Wallace is the SEC’s most experienced quarterback entering the season. What can we expect from him in his senior year?

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Ole Hotty Toddy: Dr. Bo has the opportunity to break Eli Manning’s all-time passing record this season. Last season, Wallace threw for 3,346 yards. If he can throw right at 500 more yards than that this season, he would break Manning’s school record. And you know as well as I do of the mixed criticism Bo has received from everyone over the years. If he does break this record, what pedestal do you put him on in Ole Miss history?

Bo is expected to be healthier than anyone has seen him while at Ole Miss. For a quarterback who has been consistently ranked in the top 5 in the SEC each year, and to do that with a hurt shoulder, it’s scary to think of his full potential. I don’t think we’ve seen his full potential, yet. I’m convinced we will this year.


FWE: The biggest question mark for the Rebels on offense appears to be the offensive line. How is the starting unit shaping up thus far?

OHT: What makes the Ole Miss offensive line have those question marks is that you have a former five-star prospect (Laremy Tunsil)  starting at left tackle. Behind Tunsil at second string is a walk-on. It is like that in every Rebel offensive lineman position.  You have an experienced player starting and someone with no experience backing him up.  Some of these guys maybe rotated around in positions throughout the season if one is not working out.

All eyes are on the incoming talented recruits, Fahn Cooper and Rod Taylor. Cooper is a very talented JUCO prospect who has great run blocking skills. Taylor is a borderline five star prospect coming out of Callaway High School in Jackson, Mississippi. He’s big and has quick feet. But, even though they are both very talented, there is no experience on their resume in the nation’s toughest conference. So, talent is coming, but we don’t know what to expect, yet.

FWE: The defense really played well last year. Who are the players that fans are most excited to see this season on the defensive side of the football?

OHT: Cody Prewitt, Tony Conner, and Serderius Bryant led the way for the Rebel defense last season. Prewitt received All-American honors for his performance last season. Conner received SEC All-Freshman honors. Bryant led the team in tackles. All three of them are returning this season. All eyes are going to be on them for sure.

I know we haven’t seen the full potential of Robert Nkemdiche, yet. Last season, he was frequently moved around in positions to fill depth. Now, with more depth, we should see him breakthrough this season.

As far as incoming talent, a lot hype is surrounding Tee Shepard (cornerback) and C.J. Hampton (free safety). Both of them will see exceptional playing time this season. This may be the best defense Ole Miss has built since 2008. It may be better than that defense.

Oct 5, 2013; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers quarterback Nick Marshall (14) scores a touchdown in the third quarter against the Mississippi Rebels at Jordan Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

FWE: Who is an under the radar player that you expect to have a big impact on the field this year for the Rebels?

OHT: I am going to bring up Laquon Treadwell. He may not be an under the radar player, because everyone knows him by now. He had a very impressive season last year, by breaking a lot of Ole Miss freshmen records. But, I know that is not his full potential.

Last season, Treadwell proved he could be a trusted receiver. In fact, Wallace threw it to Treadwell more than any other receiver. Treadwell finished with 72 receptions, but the yardage wasn’t a big eye opener due to him being a slot receiver.

Now, with Donte Moncrief gone, Treadwell will be moved to the outside and will be the downfield threat. I’m not as concerned of losing Moncrief, because of Treadwell. This kid has the talent to lead the SEC in receiving yards this upcoming season.

FWE: The schedule sets up really well for Ole Miss this year. How many wins do fans expect this season?

OHT: If you look at the talent on paper, it is hard to expect anything less than nine wins. A lot of statements have been made that Ole Miss could win five games in the regular season or they could win ten. That is a wide range of predictions.

I honestly believe this team has just as good of an opportunity to win a divisional title as anyone else. A lot of experts would agree they wouldn’t be “surprised” if that happened. Then you have other SEC fan bases who just laugh at that statement. And that is fine. The only advantage anyone can give the big three of the SEC (Alabama, LSU, and Auburn) over Ole Miss at this point is Ole Miss’ track record. We are “just” Ole Miss to most eyes. And that is fine too.

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  • In order for Ole Miss to be taken seriously they would have to beat at least two out of the big three. Alabama has that track record of having a midseason upset. They will be starting a new quarterback and the game will be held in Oxford for the first time in three years. If the Rebels are undefeated going into this game, it will be the first College GameDay experience in the national’s ultimate tailgating venue. If Ole Miss upsets Bama, it will be the biggest college football upset of the year. Oxford may not survive that experience.

    I would say LSU would be the best opportunity for us to beat one of the big three. We beat them last year. “But, the game is in Death Valley this year.” I don’t care. I have seen some of the worst Ole Miss teams go into Death Valley facing some of the best LSU teams, and give them a nail biting game. I don’t know what it is, but we are one of the few not intimidated by LSU in Death Valley. And this may or may not be a good LSU team this year.

    FWE: Auburn and Ole Miss played a close game last year, what do you expect to see this season?

    OHT: It was a close game last year. I wouldn’t expect anything less this year. At this point, the game could go either way. I think it is too early to put your money down on this one.

    What I do know is that Hugh Freeze and Gus Malzahn know each other’s strategy probably better than any other SEC coaches (which always builds up for a close match). These two are so close they will probably play a round of golf together the day before this game. You and I are almost like brothers!