Ole Miss happy to get Laremy Tunsil back against Myles Garrett and A&M
While quarterback Paxton Lynch and his offense certainly did their part to ensure Memphis got the win over Ole Miss last weekend in the Liberty Bowl, the game was ultimately decided by the Tigers' defensive line consistently winning in the trenches in the second half.
With the Rebels getting back their star offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil this week, the battle up front should be significantly aided by the presence of the preseason All-American.
Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze certainly understands the challenge his offense faces is stopping Texas A&M up front, particularly All-American candidate Myles Garrett.
“It’s an SEC defensive line that has a lot of guys that probably get more attention than some others, just like every team does,” Freeze said. “They’re all very talented.”
Garrett leads his team with 8.5 sacks, which ranks third nationally. But it's not just Garrett Ole Miss has to stop, fellow defensive end Daeshon Hall and defensive tackle Daylon Mack can cause just as many issues for opposing offensive lines.
Adding to its woes, the Rebels struggling offensive line lost Robert Conyers to injury this week, leaving depth up front extremely thin. Will Tunsil be able to give his team a full game effort after failing to appear in the first seven games of the season?
Fellow lineman Justin Bell noticed Tunsil's presence alone adds to the team this week in practice.
“He had a lot of energy,” Bell said. “He adds that extra little push, another leader we need up front. He brought a lot of that talkative leadership out of guys.”
Even the best linemen can be made to look foolish against Myles Garrett, but few if any offensive linemen have the quick hands and athleticism of Tunsil. Keep an eye on the battle between these two Saturday, matchups like this are few and far between at the collegiate level.