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Rebels travel to Athens to take on No. 6 Georgia

The Ole Miss Rebels will travel to Athens, Ga., this Saturday to take on the sixth-ranked Georgia Bulldogs. The Rebels are on a two-game conference winning streak, while the Bulldogs are coming off a big win over previously second-ranked Florida last weekend.
Austin McAfee/The Daily Mississippian

 
Just one win away from gaining bowl eligibility, the Ole Miss Rebels (5-3, 2-2 Southeastern Conference) will travel to Athens, Ga., on Saturday to play “Between the Hedges” against the No. 6 team in the country, Georgia (7-1, 5-1 SEC).
 
Both the Rebels and Bulldogs are coming off conference victories this past Saturday. The Rebels most recently defeated Arkansas, while Georgia took down then second-ranked Florida.
 
“It’s an exciting one, and our kids and coaching staff will be excited to go play a fine Georgia program there in their home field on CBS,” Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said during a press conference Monday. “Growing up in the South, that was always a tradition. That 2:30 p.m. game is a special time slot for SEC football. To be playing in that Saturday against Coach (Mark) Richt’s team is quite exciting for us.
 
"It will be another step to kind of see how we’re maturing. It’s a tall task. They’re an excellent football team. I don’t see many weaknesses at all, if any. Coach Richt is a fine coach, and he’s one of the good guys in this business. You kind of find yourself pulling for them when you’re not playing them. We’ve got a great challenge. Hopefully, we can get a few kids healthy and at full strength going over to Athens on Saturday.” 
 
On defense, Georgia will be led by junior linebacker Jarvis Jones, who is coming off a 13-tackle game against Florida. Jones also leads the SEC in sacks with seven and is tied for 12th in the conference with 8.2 tackles per game.
 
“He’s a great player, give credit to him,” Ole Miss junior offensive tackle Pierce Burton said. “He is really fast. It looks like he has added some muscle from last year, and their defensive scheme really allows him to get loose, and I think the coaches are giving us a really good game plan on how to deal with him.”
 
Georgia’s defense enters the game ranked sixth in the conference in scoring defense (22.5 ppg), seventh in total defense (362.2 ypg), seventh in rush defense (152.7 ypg) and ninth in pass defense (209.5 ypg). The Rebels hope to counter that with their own offensive weapons in sophomore quarterback Bo Wallace, junior running back Jeff Scott and a well-rounded receiving core.
 
On the year, Wallace ranks sixth in the SEC in passing yards per game (233 ypg), Scott is fourth in the conference in rushing yards per game (86 ypg) and three Rebel receivers rank in the top 15 in the conference in receptions per game.
 
Freeze and his staff have installed their high-tempo offense this year, which has brought success on the offensive side of the ball for the Rebels, and he said it is tempting to run it more than he already is.
 
“It is very tempting,” he said. “These games are so long. When you’re playing teams like Georgia, who has those receivers and running backs, every time they touch it you hold your breath thinking they could score. Certainly, Georgia has the type of players and coaches that are going to make it unsuccessful at times. It’s a guessing game, and I’m not saying I have all of the answers. 
 
"I’m not confident that we’re deep enough to go score 60 against Georgia to win a game. You kind of have to feel that way if you’re going to sell out and do that all of the time. You better be thinking you’re going to score a lot of points to win a game like this against the players they have.”
 
Georgia will bring quite a few weapons to the game on Saturday, including junior quarterback Aaron Murray, freshman running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall and senior receiver Tavarres King. Murray ranks fourth in the SEC in passing yards per game (244 ypg) and third in passing efficiency (148.1) on the year.
 
Kickoff Saturday is set for 2:30 p.m. and will be televised nationally by CBS. 
 
For continuing coverage of Ole Miss football, follow @thedmsports and @SigNewton_2 on Twitter.