Scouting report: Handling expectations at Ole Miss

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM Hugh Freeze (AP photo)
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
Hugh Freeze (AP photo)
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

July 16, 2013

By Charles Goldberg
AuburnTigers.com

HOOVER, Ala. — Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze captured the fancy of Rebel fans with a come-back 7-6 record last season, and a big recruiting season had people talking again this year. 

Alas, Freeze tried to dial things back a touch at SEC Media Days on Tuesday. 

"The expectations that are coming now with our program — I'm very careful," Freeze said. "I told every group that I went to this spring that unrealistic expectations, they always produce frustration. I don't care in what area of life that you're in, if you have an unreal expectation and it does not come to pass, you get very frustrated. 

"Our task in Year Two is to maintain the enthusiasm and energy from both our fans and our players and everyone that is involved in our program, as we continue to strive to be relevant in the SEC West." 

He'll strive to do it with quarterback Bo Wallace, who passed for almost 3,000 yards last season, which wasn't bad for a guy who played "nine games last year with that torn-up shoulder." 

That medical assessment by Freeze was a salute to Wallace's toughness in 2012, and a concession that the quarterback is bouncing back from offseason shoulder surgery. 

Wallace says he's already returning, and figures he'll be ready for the season-opener. That gives him plenty of time for the Rebels' visit to Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium on Oct. 5. 

"I'm in the last two weeks of rehab. I'm throwing every day," Wallace reported. 

Freeze said, Wallace "feels very good about where he's at in his progress. Last week he started throwing full go. Everything seems to be moving along very nicely." 

Wallace threw 22 touchdown passes — and a league-high 17 interceptions. 

Freeze says the Rebels were otherwise lucky with injuries last season. 

"We had some fortune go our way," Freeze said. 

Mostly, Freeze said, the Rebels played the same five offensive linemen and the same receivers all year. He said his defensive line stayed healthy, too.

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: