/Sunday college football review including refrigerating players, coaching from a bed

Sunday college football review including refrigerating players, coaching from a bed

* The Memphis Tigers defeated Ole Miss 15-10 to make a living in Mississippi. Mike Norvell believes Memphis is on the rise, and a lot of that is due to the Tigers’ better recruiting in the Magnolia State. Darrell Henderson, Batesville and South Panola, led the nation last year in rush. Kenny Gainwell from Yazoo County is now Henderson’s replacement. Gainwell, who was a high school quarterback, chose Memphis to replace Ole Miss two seasons ago. He red-shirted last year and was exceptional against the Rebels. He rushed for 77 yards on 16 runs and caught six passes for 41 yard. He can play. He can play. Veteran Mississippi high school coaches once called him an “another Micheal Tottenhamlock.” This was a reference to the Indianola product, who played quarterback in highschool and briefly at Ole Miss. Gainwell then went on to a nine-year NFL career. I can’t count how many high school coaches or reporters from high schools told me Gainwell was the best player in the class of 2018. They were correct. This is similar to what coaches said back in 2013 about Grenada’s Genard. Avery was lightly recruited by Ole Miss, Mississippi State and became one of the most respected defenders in Memphis Tiger history. He now plays for Cleveland Browns. There have been a lot of “steals” in Mississippi recently. The Memphis roster contains 17 Mississippians, which includes several key players who could help Ole Miss State and Southern Miss. * Many of the most intense and coldest football games that I have seen over the years were played at Memphis’ Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. It seems like the place is always either hot or cold. Saturday was both for the Tigers and for them. Memphis “refrigerated” its players using a large shipping container. The Tigers used a huge shipping container to “refrigerate” their players when they came to rest. The shipping container’s temperature was 18 degrees. It quickly rose to above freezing every time a group sweating players entered. It is impossible to determine how much it helped, but the most important numbers were 15, and 10. * It is clear that much of Mississippi State’s failures this season are due to Tommy Stevens, a graduate transfer from Penn State. The first impressions of State’s victory over Louisiana 38-28 are mixed. He is a large, athletic man with a strong arm. As a result, State should be a better passing team. He was a good thrower, but missed some that he should have made. He displayed the poise and presence that you would expect from someone who is a four-year Penn State student. Kylin Hill, State’s running back, is without question the best offensive player. He would also be the best player for many other teams. His speed/agility/strength combination is rare. Hill ran for 197 yards in 27 carries, much of which came after his first hit. He is a great player. State was able to give up 431 yards defensively. Despite this, Louisiana’s quarterback Levi Lewis will be able to score many points and yards against many of his opponents this season. He’s terrific. * Alcorn State’s Noah Johnson is another great quarterback, and presented Southern Miss with an important first-game test. The 38-10 win by USM was a victory for the Golden Eagles’ athletic, fast-moving defensive line. The superior special teams play of Jaylond Adam, especially the kickoff and punt return, helped the Golden Eagles win their State game in Starkville on Saturday. This has been the theme of many SWAC and FBS matchups, going back to 1987’s Jackson State-Southern Miss game. JSU won both the offensive and defensive battles but lost the game on special team play. Alcorn seems like a team that could be crowned champions in SWAC. Southern Miss could challenge in Conference USA if they can improve their offensive line play. Southern Miss’ defense is solid and could be improved upon last season’s unit, which ranked third in the country and was the best in CUSA. This defense should be a tough test for State’s Stevens & Hill. Subpar offensive line play and what appeared to be a serious injury for USM’s best back Trivinskey Moley are problems for the Golden Eagles. * Refrigerating your players is a strange thing. Perhaps this: A head coach speaking from a hospital bed, in the press box. In Saturday’s 24-0 loss at home to Syracuse, Liberty’s Hugh Freeze (formerly of Ole Miss) did exactly that. Freeze remains in recovery from his mid-August back surgery, as well as the dangerous staph infection that ensued. You can say what you like, but Saturday’s bizarre coaching situation earned Liberty much needed national publicity, both in print and on television. Freeze provided pre-, half- and post-game talks via video feed to his locker room. Kent Austin, former Ole Miss quarterback, was his assistant coach. Freeze stated that he hopes to return to the field soon and shared play-calling duties with Kent Austin, former Ole Miss quarterback.