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Compass Bowl win caps great first year for Hugh Freeze at Ole Miss

Vince Sanders,  Anthony Gonzalez AP

Kansas State’s Bill Snyder, Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly, Penn State’s Bill O’Brien and Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin are just some of the names college football fans may think of when the term “coach of the year” is used. First year coach for Ole Miss, Hugh Freeze, has earned the right to be in that discussion as well.

The Rebels capped a five-game turnaround from 2011 to 2012 with a 38-17 win over Pitt in the BBVA Compass Bowl to finish the season 7-6. Ole Miss got out to a quick 14-0 start in the first quarter with the help of an interception from Panthers quarterback Tino Sunseri, who played his final game with the program today.

Running back Ray Graham, Pitt’s leading rusher, missed the game because of an injury and freshman Rushel Shell filled in with 79 yards. Not that Graham would have changed the outcome of the game necessarily, but his absence represents what has helped Ole Miss over the past few months: catching a break or two.

The Rebels got some winnable early nonconference games while benefiting from bad years at Arkansas and Auburn. Ole Miss got close to few upsets against Texas A&M, Vanderbilt and LSU, but weren’t able to pull them off. If Freeze can recruit well — No.1 overall Robert Nkemdiche would be a nice start — the Rebels will start winning a few of those close games.

Based on the job he did in 2012, Freeze will be successful in Oxford.

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12 Responses to “Compass Bowl win caps great first year for Hugh Freeze at Ole Miss”
  1. zurnvs says: Jan 5, 2013 5:00 PM

    Good job of coaching at Old Miss and SEC, but not coach of the year.

  2. scalpemseminoles says: Jan 5, 2013 5:06 PM

    Good job beating a team who lost to an bcs school. I hop you feel so proud

  3. scalpemseminoles says: Jan 5, 2013 5:07 PM

    Fcs* damn autocorrect

  4. floridacock says: Jan 5, 2013 5:17 PM

    Congrats to Ole Miss and Coach Freeze

  5. amosalanzostagg says: Jan 5, 2013 5:37 PM

    Thanks Ole Miss!

  6. p4ckeller says: Jan 5, 2013 5:59 PM

    Way to go Rebs! While I am a die hard Mississippi State Bulldog, still glad to see the Rebels get back to being competitive. Now if we can just get Southern Miss back on track…

  7. foreverlsu says: Jan 5, 2013 7:42 PM

    Congrats, Rebels! What a great turnaround for Ole Miss. Looks like Hugh Freeze is the real deal.

    Where are the SEC haters today? That makes a 5-3 record for the league in bowl season with a Bama blowout coming on Monday.

    S-E-C! S-E-C! S-E-C! S-E-C!

  8. foreverlsu says: Jan 5, 2013 7:51 PM

    scalpemseminoles says:
    Jan 5, 2013 5:06 PM
    Good job beating a team who lost to an bcs school. I hop you feel so proud

    Way to get the most out of that quality degree you must have from FSU.

  9. manik56 says: Jan 5, 2013 7:56 PM

    So not only are Ohio State head coaches not allowed to win coach of the year awards, but now the new rule is we cannot even consider them for coach of the year awards. Understood.

  10. louhudson23 says: Jan 6, 2013 6:07 AM

    5-3 in Bowl Games and the big one coming up…..oh how folks must long for those wonderful times just a few short days ago when the SEC was a mere .500 with three to go. Congrats to all the young men across the country who played hard and with pride to finish strong and take home a Bowl victory for their schools,coaches and teammates. Roll Tide.

  11. thegamecocker says: Jan 6, 2013 10:55 AM

    If Coach Freeze successfully recruits Kminiche, than Ole Miss will continue to be relevant. IMO he deserves strong consideration for Nat’l. Coach of the Year consideration.

  12. alligatorsnapper says: Jan 6, 2013 11:35 PM

    Congrats to Archie Who? as southernpatriots’ family calls Papa Manning who recruited Hugh to Ole Miss and to Coach Freeze, the Ole Miss team, and its many die-hard fans.

    Getting Ole Miss relevant again may be going against my best interest and that of my favorite team LSU, but I do wish them continued success (with one major exception) to build upon their success of this season. A couple of friends who tailgate there want to take me to the black tie event there next season and I think I will take them up on it.

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