Just like we did (at times) last season, we'll be breaking down three plays that made a difference in each game. They could be good for Ole Miss, or they could be bad. I have no qualms about including saddening plays. I will say however that the Alabama game pretty much broke this segment last season. There just wasn't really anything about which to get excited.
in this particular game, there were a lot of plays from which to choose. It's fitting that two of the three plays I chose to talk about would be intercep-... strike that. I don't even want to say the word any more than I have to. PTSD will do that to a man.
1. Bo Wallace's First Interception
Situation: Ole Miss and Boise have been feeling each other out. No one has scored, and there's 7:38 left in the first quarter. Ole Miss gets the ball after a punt by Boise and is lined up at its own 27 yard line. Wallace is in the shotgun with Mathers lined up next to him. There are two tight ends on the field, though Evan Engram is lined up in the slot.
What happened: As soon as the ball is snapped, Evan Engram runs a go route. He appears to be uncovered, and Bo sees that. However, Wallace places the ball a little too close to the middle of the field, and the Boise safety who was drifting into coverage capitalizes. Had Bo placed the ball over Engram's other shoulder, or just further out in front of him, it's a potential 73 yard touchdown pass, giving Ole Miss a very early 7-0 lead.
2. Senquez Golson's Interception
Situation: Boise State has the ball, having just intercepted Bo on the aforementioned play. They have driven down the field, and it's third and goal from the Ole Miss 3 after two great plays at the goal line to prevent scores. Ole Miss is playing close to the line of scrimmage but is still in its 4-2-5 defense.
What happened: After the snap, CJ Johnson forces the right tackle back a lot. Like... a lot. On the other side of the line, defensive end John Youngblood is essentially unblocked. He maintains gap integrity but then runs into the backfield, chasing Boise QB Grant Hedrick towards Johnson and the right tackle. Hedrick, seeing he has no room and feeling Youngblood about to tackle him, throws a fluttery pass to the right half of the end zone. Safeties Trae Elston and Tony Conner are joined there by Senquez Golson. Conner and Elston man up against the two receivers in the area, and Golson gets an opportunity to make a play for the ball. He does, leaping up and catching it with one hand. Boise has officially not capitalized on the first of three interceptions by Ole Miss.
Note: The Clarion Ledger's Hugh Kellenberger does a more detailed breakdown of this play here.
3. Laquon Treadwell's Touchdown
Situation: The Rebels are clinging to a 7-6 lead, having struggled all through the first half. They've moved the ball a little through the air, but three interceptions from Bo Wallace and a total lack of a running game have kept them from pulling away. Laquon Treadwell has accounted for gains of nine, twelve, and twenty-nine yards already on this drive. The coaching staff has pretty much decided just to go to him over and over again. Ole Miss is on Boise's 14 yard line, and it's 2nd and 10. Boise has been inexplicably defending Treadwell with one-on-one coverage for the drive. For this play, he is lined up as the only receiver on the left side of the line.
What happened: Bo Wallace sees no safety shading in Treadwell's direction. As soon as he gets the snap, he throws a fade stop to Treadwell, who breaks a tackle as he is falling into the end zone. The Rebels take the lead at 14-6 after the extra point, and that is the game. From that moment on, Wallace shreds the Boise defense, dominating through the air.