Rebels prepared for the unexpected when facing Seminoles’ talented QB Francois
OXFORD, MS – As Ole Miss Football head coach Hugh Freeze and his staff prepare to stop Florida State’s Dalvin Cook, the Rebels also have to prepare for someone they haven’t seen before—Seminoles’ redshirt freshman quarterback Deondre Francois.
Ole Miss doesn’t have a lot of info to go on when it comes to Francois, who on August 27 was named the starting quarterback for fourth-ranked FSU. A little over two weeks ago, redshirt senior quarterback Sean Maguire, who many thought had the inside track on the starting job, suffered a stress fracture in his right foot during fall camp. That injury opened up Francois’ big opportunity in Monday’s top-25 game against the 11th-ranked Rebels.
Francois, who went to Orlando Olympia High and finished his high school career at Bradenton’s IMG Academy, will lead a Seminoles’ offense that averaged 31.7 points, 168.2 rushing yards and 255.8 passing yards per game in 2015. His performance in FSU’s spring game – completing 20 of 33 passes for 246 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions – gave Seminoles’ head coach Jimbo Fisher the utmost confidence in the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Florida native.
During Francois’ recruitment, Freeze recalls Francois being “a tremendous athlete with a big arm.”
“I think he’s got the skill set to be very talented,” Freeze said during Wednesday’s SEC’s Football Coaches Weekly Teleconference.
Hugh Freeze on FSU QB Deondre Francois
Update on DE Fadol Brown
Ole Miss senior defensive end Fadol Brown, who practiced with the team last Thursday after receiving treatment on his foot last week, should get 20-30 snaps against FSU.
Brown, who made eight starts at defensive end, played in 11 of the Rebels’ 13 games last season (missing the LSU and Sugar Bowl games) but still managed to finish the 2015 season with 32 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss and one sack.
“He looked good today,” Freeze said after last week’s practice. “I’m pretty confident he’ll give it a go.”
Other than Brown, Freeze has been impressed with senior defensive end John Youngblood, Marquis Haynes and Victor Evans and is confident with each guy at the position. “I think we will be fine there,” Freeze said at Monday’s press conference.
Ole Miss is 90-26-5 in season openers and has taken 17 of the last 20. The Rebels are 4-0 in season openers under Freeze. This is the second meeting between Ole Miss and the Seminoles. The Rebels won 33-0 in Oxford, Mississippi in 1961.
Ole Miss has a 10-12 record against top-25 teams under Freeze, including a 3-3 mark against top-five opponents. The Rebels are playing a football game in Orlando, Florida for the first time in program history.
CAMPING WORLD KICKOFF INFO
Date: Monday, Sept. 5, 2016
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Orlando, Fla.
Venue: Camping World Stadium (70,000)
Live Stats: OleMissSports.com
Live Audio: OleMissSports.com