1. Robert Nkemdiche is going to be a star.
The massive defensive end showed why he was the No. 1 recruit in the country coming out of high school this past year. At 6’4”, 297 pounds, Nkemdiche is built like a freight train and Vanderbilt had trouble stopping him in one-on-one battles. He played with an impressive motor for a true freshman and his combination of speed and power is scary. At one point, Ole Miss even used him to run the ball and pick up a first down on a fake punt. A fake punt! A three-hundred pound lineman running the ball on a fake punt. Stop it, Hugh Freeze. You’re beautiful.
2. Ole Miss is a huge wildcard in the SEC West.
There is no denying that Ole Miss is a team with an incredible amount of talent and potential. The highly touted freshman class lived up to the hype in the first game and showed why they could have the Rebels in the national championship discussion in a couple years. But, what will the growing pains be for this group? After watching the first quarter against Vanderbilt, I thought two things about Hugh Freeze’s team:
1. They are going to pull a major upset this season. They’ll have plenty of opportunities with games against Texas, Alabama, Texas A&M, & LSU.
2. They are going to lose a game to a team they have no business losing to. At some point, this group is going to show it’s inexperience and overlook an opponent.
3. It will be almost impossible for Jadeveon Clowney to win the Heisman Trophy.
By most standards, Jadeveon Clowney played well against North Carolina last night. Even though he regularly faced double and triple teams, he regularly broke through into the UNC backfield and put pressure on Bryn Renner. He finished the game with three tackles, no sacks, and everyone questioning him about his effort and conditioning. Despite completely changing the North Carolina offensive gameplan, people already began to wonder what was wrong with Clowney. He’s not going to have four sacks in every game. He’s not going to decapitate a running back on every play. And he’s not going to simply leap over triple teams to get to the quarterback. Unfortunately, that seems to be the standard that’s been placed on him.
With the season now underway, I recommend keeping up with Saturday Down South for outstanding coverage of SEC Football.