Ole Miss can go uptempo on offense, but picks and chooses when it does.
Ole Miss Hugh Freeze has helped lead the Rebels to average 71.6 offensive plays per game this season.
“It definitely keeps the pressure on,” said Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, whose team beat the Rebels 30-27 on Oct. 6. “Hugh Freeze and their staff are doing an excellent job of mixing the tempo. It’s not always the same pace and so the ability to go at different speeds is what probably makes them a little bit different than us.”
Fast-pace Texas A&M leads the SEC with 79.3 plays per game, followed by Tennessee at 72.9 and Ole Miss at 71.6
“Really what goes into it is trying to put your team in the best situation that they can be the most competitive in,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said. “You don’t want to go a bunch of three-and-outs in tempo and your defense is back out there inside a minute.”
Georgia’s scout team tried to simulate the pace expected in practice on Wednesday.
“You’ve got to get lined up in a hurry when you play these guys,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said.
“We’ve seen a couple of plays where the chains weren’t even set yet and they were already running their next play. That’s just part of the offense,” Georgia cornerback Damian Swann said. “They move quick and try to score.”
They did with some success against Alabama, prompting Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban to say: “I think that the way people are going no-huddle right now, that at some point and time we should look at how fast we allow the game to go in terms of player safety.”
Richt said Georgia’s biggest challenge against Ole Miss’ offense will be lining up and getting ready, but Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, whose defense already faced a high-tempo offense in Missouri earlier this season, isn’t expressing concern about that.
“We’ll be fine,” Grantham said. “They’ve got pace, but I think the SEC officials do a good of, if they sub, we’re allowed to sub. It won’t be a problem.”