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In this week’s installment, The Daily Mississippian football beat writer Bennett Hipp gives his keys to this week’s matchup.

Bennett Hipp

 et al.

In this week’s edition of Four Downs, The Daily Mississippian football beat writers Bennett Hipp and Matt Sigler, sports editor David Collier and managing editor Austin Miller answer four questions regarding the week’s matchup.

Ole Miss athletics director Ross Bjork announced Tuesday that Brett Frank, who was previously listed as the associate head coach, will serve as the acting head coach of the Ole Miss women’s basketball program for the upcoming season.

Ole Miss enters Saturday’s showdown against Arkansas with the potential of having one of their biggest offensive games of the season. The Rebels (4-3, 1-2 SEC) will take on a Razorback defense that is ranked 13th in the SEC in total defense, 12th in scoring defense, last in pass defense and fifth in rush defense. 

A quarterback is looked at to command the offense and establish himself as a leader both in the huddle and in the locker room. Sophomore Bo Wallace has done just that in his first season at Ole Miss. The Pulaski, Tenn., native has been welcomed with open arms to the football team and has taken over as the Rebel’s leader under center.

In this week’s installment, The Daily Mississippian’s sports editor David Collier will rank the 14 Southeastern Conference teams. Opponents, game times and television networks are also included for each team.

The Ole Miss women’s soccer team (12-7, 5-7 SEC) will wrap up its 2012 regular season against Mississippi State (8-10-1, 1-10-1 SEC) tonight in Starkville. The two teams will be competing for the Magnolia Cup, which Ole Miss won last season with a 2-0 win against the Lady Bulldogs in Oxford. The Lady Rebels lead the overall series 10-5-3 and has won four of the last five meetings between the two teams.

After snapping a four-game losing streak with an upset win over Missouri and a sweep of South Carolina last weekend, the Ole Miss volleyball team (10-10, 4-7 Southeastern Conference) will host one match this weekend against the Auburn Tigers (13-8, 4-7) on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. 

Ole Miss will be facing off with one of the Southeastern Conference’s most powerful offenses in Arkansas this weekend. The Rebels (4-3, 1-2 SEC) will be forced to stop senior quarterback Tyler Wilson, who leads the SEC in passing yards per game (326.2 ypg), and senior receiver Cobi Hamilton, who leads the SEC in receiving yards per game (107.7 ypg).

Double teams are usually reserved for veteran defensive linemen who have both the physical presence and a multitude of pass-rushing moves to beat an offensive lineman in different ways. 
With that said, you can imagine Issac Gross’ surprise when Auburn came out and put double teams on the undersized but quick freshman defensive tackle. 

The Southeastern Conference rolled out its 2013 football schedule this past Thursday. And upon first glance, it appears SEC commissioner Mike Slive had it out for the Rebels when he and his minions pieced together Ole Miss’ ’13 schedule.

When junior outside hitter Kara Morgan sat out the loss to Alabama last month with an ankle injury, it was apparent that the success of the Lady Rebels volleyball team depended on Morgan’s successes on the court. 

As the Ole Miss women’s soccer regular season comes to an end, it’s also nearing the end for the three Lady Rebel seniors, midfielders Alix Hildal and Meghan O’Rourke and defender Emily Sinovich.

Ole Miss announced on Saturday that women’s basketball head coach Adrian Wiggins was placed on administrative leave and two of his staff members, Kenya and Michael Landers, were terminated, in light of an ongoing joint investigation between Ole Miss and the NCAA over “impermissible recruiting contacts and academic misconduct.”

Fresh off an open week, Ole Miss is now focused on preparing for Saturday’s game against Arkansas in Little Rock. 
The Razorbacks faced some early season struggles, but the Rebels will face a different, more confident team on Saturday, according to Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze. 

Ole Miss announced on Saturday that first-year women’s basketball head coach Adrian Wiggins will no longer serve as head coach and has been placed on administrative leave as the university and NCAA continue their joint investigation of “impermissible recruiting contacts and academic misconduct committed by members of his staff.”

The Ole Miss volleyball team (10-10, 4-7 Southeastern Conference) snapped a four-game losing streak with a home weekend sweep against Missouri and South Carolina.

The Ole Miss women’s soccer team (12-6, 5-6 SEC) took a hit in its bid for a higher seed in the Southeastern Conference Tournament with a 3-2 overtime loss to LSU (7-7-4, 3-6-2) on Friday night. It was a night of recognition as the team honored Breast Cancer Awareness Month with its annual Pink Out game. The team wore pink jerseys, and the crowd released pink balloons into the air during halftime.

Whitehaven senior running back Mark Dodson Jr. verbally committed to Ole Miss on May 14, and he remains solid in his commitment, as he plans to graduate in December so he can enroll in classes in January and participate in spring practice. Dodson said he currently has straight A’s this semester, which would put him on the path to graduate early. 

Most people have their attention on the Ole Miss football team right now, which is steadily improving its play on the gridiron, but the Rebel basketball squad is quietly preparing for the season with a lot of expectations.

With a bye week on hand, Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze stressed his excitement to be able to focus heavily on recruiting. After coming off the first conference win of the season, Freeze knows that now is the ideal time to recruit.

Sophomore quarterback Bo Wallace faced an unimaginably traumatic circumstance going into this past Saturday’s game against Auburn, and he emerged from it with a win and peace of mind. 

Ole Miss basketball will have six new faces this season who will try to help the Rebels reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2002. 

When the season began, junior Jeff Scott was the only Ole Miss running back with Southeastern Conference experience. There were several other guys that could help fill in at the position, but Scott had seen what it takes firsthand to be successful in arguably the nation’s strongest conference.