September 7, 2007
Rebel playmakers ready to impact
They're the players that make things happen in the blink of an eye.
It's a blocked kick, a dazzling return, a timely turnover or an impossible throw. These are big plays, and big players make them. They're called playmakers.
When Missouri and Ole Miss take the field at 5 p.m. Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, there will be plenty of game-changers ready to make an impact.
Missouri's quarterback Chase Daniel could make a big play with his arm or his feet. Tight end Martin Rucker's size is a match-up problem for any defense, and running back Tony Temple is focused on proving he's a better runner than he showed in the Tigers' opener.
But Missouri isn't the only team playing Saturday with some bullets in its gun.
Here are three players on the Rebel sideline who could make the big play the gives Ole Miss the win.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Ole Miss RB
If there's one player in a Rebel uniform who can best slow down the Tigers' high-octane offense, it's Green-Ellis.
The returning 1,000-yard rusher ran the ball effectively in the first half of the Rebels' 23-21 win at Memphis. But when the running game stalled with just 15 rushing yards in the second half, Memphis got back into the game.
It's not exactly news that Green-Ellis is a big factor in Ole Miss' success, and Missouri knows this too. By placing eight or nine guys in the box, things should open up for Seth Adams in his second start.
To be successful Saturday, Green-Ellis and the Rebel ground game has to be a factor for all four quarters.
Marshay Green, Ole Miss WR
While BJGE is grinding out yards, Green is a powder keg of excitement waiting to explode.
Coming off his most productive game as a receiver with five catches and 59 yards, Green looks like he's ready to be Adams' top target. The Rebels' short passing game gets the ball to Green in space, giving him room to use his superior speed and elusiveness.
Green's also a factor in the return game and could bring a punt or kickoff back for a score sometime soon.
Greg Hardy, Ole Miss DE/WR
Having a player as versatile as Hardy has to be a coach's dream. Deciding how to use him without tiring him out has to be a nightmare.
Hardy terrorized Memphis quarterback Martin Hankins, forcing him into bad throws under immense pressure. Hardy will need to get into the Missouri backfield as often, keeping Chase Daniel out of rhythm.
And if Hardy lines up at receiver with Adams' and the rest of the Ole Miss offense, expect him to make a play. Using a combination of size, speed, agility and hands, Hardy is the Rebels' best red zone target.
If Ole Miss threatens near the Missouri goal, look for the Rebels to throw at least one ball Hardy's way. If history is any indication, the sophomore will pull it down for a score.
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