"Hey, isn't this that thing that you used to do on Sunday? And haven't you skipped doing these for, like, a month now? What gives?"
Those are questions you'd probably ask if this were a regular feature of this website that anyone cared about. And knowing that you didn't mean those to be hypothetical, here are my answers: the Memphis loss sucked ass and I was, I dunno, busy and tired and stuff after the Texas A&M win. Your refund check is in the mail.
But while I may be grossly tardy with this installment of Postgame Digestion, it's one that I'm excited to have quickly cobbled together because it's rare that Ole Miss beats Auburn in Alabama, especially a month-and-a-half removed from doing the same to Alabama in Tuscaloosa. It's also rare that Ole Miss can successfully take advantage of a "revenge game" narrative in SEC play and, whaddaya know, this team could still win the conference's Western division somehow! Yes, Ole Miss lost two games that it could have won, but this team ain't dead yet.
Let's see what happens when you put a guy on Robert Nkemdiche one-on-one:
No, that wasn't Austin Golson that got shoved into his quarterback. Yes, you can pretend that it was, if it makes you happy.
"That Didn't Sit Well"
Over the past two weeks, the Rebs have tallied up 148 yards on 17 penalties. Their opponents haven't been immune to drawing the attention of the officials either, with Texas A&M and Auburn combining for 120 yards on 16 calls of their own. A lot of this is poor execution, but a lot of this is college football officiating being bad. For every good call made, there are a handful of obvious missed calls, and every week it seems that we see a close game decided by questionable calls (even after nine minutes of replays are reviewed!). With games against Arkansas, LSU, and Mississippi State coming up, it's not unreasonable to worry that Ole Miss could come up short against poor officiating particularly given what we've seen thus far in 2015.
Ole Miss lives and dies by big plays. Part of that is what you get when you combine Chad Kelly with the receivers he has, and another part of that is our offense's tendency to oddly mix drives of conservative playcalling with those of highly aggressive playcalling. It's telling then that Ole Miss could rack up over 550 yards of total offense on an SEC opponent and only score 27 points. When the big plays happen, they really happen. When they don't, Ole Miss winds up giving the opponent the ball on their 40-ish yard line.
The Rebels have also struggled on defense against more explosive plays this season than they did last season. The one play that demonstrates this better than any thus far came when Auburn managed to score on a fake Statue of Liberty play. That probably doesn't work against this defense last year, and we're not quite sure how it managed to this year.
Just in general, y'know?
"Going Back for Seconds"
Raise your hand if you thought Akeem Judd would come off of his redshirt year and play SEC football at a more-than-capable level? Shut up and put your hand down, you liar. Judd doesn't have the most elusive first step, nor does he have the top-end speed of an elite back, but he's got enough wiggle 'n' go to keep defenses honest, which is a nice thing to have in a guy who is 220 pounds. He's also great at catching passes out of the backfield, which is nice.
Marquis Haynes Showing Up
He had a pedestrian first half of the season, but Marquis Haynes is now showing why we were so excited about him this offseason. He comes off of the edge so damn quickly and puts excellent pressure on the quarterback. He also had a scoop-n-score that the refs wouldn't give him because they blew the play dead, but that's trivial at this point. What isn't trivial is how he's now second in the SEC in sacks with 7.5 on the year.
No commentary required: