When Hugh Freeze arrived at Ole Miss in December of 2011, he knew he needed to bring in a quarterback who could run his offense. One similar to his star quarterback at Arkansas State, Ryan Aplin. One who could throw, but also be effective running the ball, especially in the read option.
On the other hand, the second part of the backfield Freeze inherited, running back Jeff Scott, was built for a spread offense.
Once both pieces were in place, the Rebel offense took off, with one of the staple plays of the being the read option. Wallace has improved his ability to read the defensive end and to know when to give it to Scott and when to keep it.
That was proven last season, as the two totaled for 1,236 yards on the ground and 14 touchdowns.
On Saturday night, Texas surrendered over 600 yards of total offense, with 550 coming on the ground to BYU. The Cougars almost exclusively used the read option to run the ball with their quarterback and running back.
“That’s what we do,” Wallace said of rushing the ball, especially using the read option. “I know all week they’re going to be trying to fix that obviously. We have to execute. I feel like if we execute then no matter who we play, we’re going to get some yards.”
In the aftermath of the embarrassing loss for the Longhorns, head coach Mack Brown decided to fire defensive coordinator Manny Diaz and replace him with former Texas and Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Robinson.
Robinson had been fired from his two previous jobs as the head coach at Syracuse and defensive coordinator at Michigan, but that was after a successful one-year stint as defensive coordinator in Austin.
Robinson had been serving as a defensive analyst under Diaz this season.
Wallace is aware of the troubles going on around the Texas program currently, but that hasn’t lightened his focus.
“They beat us by 30 points last year,” he said. “They have better talent, or better depth at least. It’s time to go down there and play.”
With the firing of a coordinator on game week, there could be some confusion for the Rebels. They have to watch more film to get a feel for what the new coordinator will try to do, as well as what Texas has been doing on offense this season.
However, that doesn’t appear to have rattled Scott, as he has full confidence in his coaches.
“That’s very important,” Scott said of the importance to the players of losing a coordinator so close to a game. “We really don’t know what to expect right now, but I have 100 percent faith in our coaches and their game plan.”
Scott is excited about having a chance to face a Longhorn defense that allowed so many yards on the ground last week.
“I was pretty amazed,” Scott said of Texas’ inability to stop the BYU rushing attack. “And we actually didn’t do too bad running the ball. So I think we will be successful in the run game.”
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