Laces Out: Josh Heupel making his mark at Tennessee, Ole Miss has a chance to enter nation’s elite tier

Once in a while you see first-year coaches present glimmers of promise at main applications — at occasions greater than you’d count on given the breadth of rebuilds and the mandatory rising pains that include it. Such is the case at Tennessee beneath Josh Heupel, a rent that acquired extra criticism than reward when the Volunteers gave him keys to the orange Cadillac on the time of his arrival.

Additional south in Mississippi, Lane Kiffin confirmed comparable progress in Yr 1 and is attempting to stage up in Yr 2 with Ole Miss approaching the elite realm of the game ranked No. 10 within the new AP High 25. For a program simply two years faraway from the SEC’s abyss, the Rebels have been altered with Kiffin directing the ship. He is proving that instantaneous change can occur when mindset and philosophy intertwine with rules established early.

That is probably the most full Ole Miss crew since Hugh Freeze led the Rebels to the Sugar Bowl a handful of years in the past, and that is a viable purpose heading into Saturday’s sport at No. 18 Auburn. Quarterback Matt Corral and the Rebels step on the sphere with a newfound confidence they’ll win each sport, they usually’ve performed prefer it this fall.

Tennessee’s close to miss at Alabama

Do not let the ultimate rating idiot you. Two performs is all that separated Tennessee from having the defending nationwide champions on the ropes within the fourth quarter of Saturday night time’s 28-point loss at Alabama that lastly unraveled in rubbish time.

That is how shut this crew, with an incomplete roster, is from competing with one of the best within the SEC, and Tennessee has carried out it in brief order throughout Heupel’s first season. The Vols are even displaying confidence and swagger not seen from this system in years.

SEC officiating has been porous this season, and this isn’t supposed to enlarge one other folly, however Alabama QB Bryce Younger’s goal-line fumble on the primary play of the fourth quarter ended up being the primary of two nails in Tennessee’s coffin. Younger charged by way of the center of the Tennessee protection from the 6-yard line and misplaced management of the ball earlier than crossing the purpose line after a success by Jaylen McCollough. Three Tennessee defenders converged, and the play was known as a landing on the sphere after Younger efficiently recovered the free ball on the backside of the pile.

The combat for the soccer was disputed after the stadium lights dimmed and flashed virtually concurrently with Younger’s dive, customary at many venues today to have fun scores with the group with lighting results. Heupel galloped towards the facet choose, asking for an evidence. After overview, the decision was upheld.

The nail that sealed Tennessee’s destiny was QB Hendon Hooker’s lone mistake throughout an in any other case noteworthy outing, a miscommunication two possessions after Younger’s scramble landing leading to a turnover. Receivers inside Heupel’s offensive scheme usually run selection routes, and Hooker probably anticipated his man to run an out to the first-down marker, however the reverse occurred. Hooker’s throw was on time however behind his supposed goal after alerts obtained crossed and the go landed immediately within the chest of Alabama’s Jalyn Armour-Davis, who raced 47 yards to the Vols’ 19-yard line.

Benefiting from a go interference name on second down, it took Alabama solely 4 performs from there to widen its hole to a few touchdowns with 8:51 to play. That was that. Whereas he disagreed with the ruling on the Younger fumble, Heupel did not provide up excuses for the loss. 

“Clearly, I felt like going into the fourth quarter we had a possibility to compete and discover a option to win the soccer sport,” Heupel mentioned. “I am happy with the hassle and pressure that our guys performed with all night time lengthy. We simply did not play good sufficient, particularly on the offensive facet of the ball.”

Candy season at Ole Miss

Keith Carter resides it up in Oxford, Mississippi. This system’s athletic director, credited with touchdown Kiffin two years in the past, made the powerful determination to axe long-time buddy Matt Luke as coach simply 10 days after his full-time promotion to his present place. The remaining is historical past. When you may have competence and full buy-in inside your athletic division, successful occurs. It helps when you’ll be able to carry a coach of Kiffin’s caliber in after which get out of his approach, too.

Bowl eligibility used to imply one thing at Ole Miss, a program not but spoiled by the riches of 1 or two video games defining a season. However now? Six wins is a low-end purpose. Kiffin took residence a $50,000 bonus for Saturday’s win at LSU, the Rebels’ sixth of the season, however attending to the postseason was anticipated this fall with Corral returning at quarterback and a number of other different playmakers remaining on campus.

Ole Miss has dealt with that strain. It exited Week 8 with an out of doors shot at nonetheless reaching the SEC Championship Sport. If the Rebels deal with enterprise towards Auburn this weekend and win out, they’re an Crimson Tide loss to the Tigers within the Iron Bowl away from enjoying in Atlanta towards No. 1 Georgia.

And but, nobody is speaking about that situation. It is unlikely, certain, however would you need to be tasked with stopping Corral and this offense the remainder of the way in which? Ole Miss is taking the ultimate 5 video games on per week to week foundation, however at worst, it should play in a New Yr’s Six sport if Ole Miss finishes 11-1.

That may repay in a giant approach on the recruiting path and set up sizable momentum transferring into the offseason. | Laces Out: Josh Heupel making his mark at Tennessee, Ole Miss has an opportunity to enter nation’s elite tier


Inter Reviewed is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button