VIDEO: Freeze talks Arkansas, bye week

Published 10:58 am Monday, November 9, 2015

Thirty-nine hours wasn’t nearly enough time for Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze and his players to move on from Saturday’s wild loss to Arkansas, a game that featured seven ties, four lead changes, a miracle lateral and second chances resulting in an ending Freeze said he’s “never quite experienced” in his career.

Brandon Allen’s two-point conversion run in overtime finally did the Rebels (7-3, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) in in a 53-52 loss that featured 1,195 yards of offense and knocked Ole Miss out of control of its destiny in the Western Division.

At his weekly press conference Monday mornign, Freeze called Saturday’s game “maybe the efficient offensive game since I’ve been here” for his team, but a defense that looked like it had shored some things up against Texas A&M and Auburn was exposed again, specifically in man coverage on Arkansas’ play-action. The Rebels, who gave up a season-high 442 passing yards, now get a week to rest and go back to the drawing board before LSU comes to Oxford on Nov. 21.

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Freeze said the defense will use the bye week to self-evaluate and conduct more individualized practices that become less and less frequent during a game week with more of the focus being on opponent-specific game planning.

“Is it the best call for our defensive staff to put them in those (one-on-one) situations?” Freeze said. “That’s what we have to evaluate. I’m certain there were some calls at times that we’d love to have back. It’s a combination of things.”

Watch a portion of Freeze’s press conference in the video below, but one note that didn’t make the tape was the status of reserve offensive lineman Christian Morris, whose spinal contusion has ended his career.

Morris, who was taken off the field on a stretcher at halftime of the Rebels’ win over A&M on Oct. 24, tweeted Saturday morning, “Devastated. My career is done. All my hard work…” Freeze said doctors from Jackson made the trip to Oxford and broke the news to Morris before Saturday’s game.

Freeze said Morris will stay on scholarship and become a student assistant.

“Life will go on,” Freeze said. “It’s disappointing for him and I’m sure hurtful. We hate it for him. … We’ll support him and love him.”