Well that was fun. For a second straight weekend, the Rebs ran roughshod over a severely overmatched opponent, curb stomping Fresno State, 73-21, on the back of a brilliant outing from ya boy Swag Kelly. Ole Miss piled up 28 points in the first quarter -- the highest such output since at least 1962, breaking last week's record of 27 -- and pushed back a brief Fresno rally to cruise to another easy W.
This game was fun to watch. The passing game (under Kelly at least) was damn near unstoppable. The defense had a bit of that bend-but-don't-break thing going on, but they made big plays when they needed to. And for a second straight week, we didn't have to worry about the outcome of the game pretty much as soon as the ball kicked off.
The only real negative was that Tunsil watched from the sideline again. As good as Kelly and the receivers have looked, it won't mean much next week in Tuscaloosa if the backfield is being ransacked. As long as the Rebs can get their anchor back at left tackle, this offense has a real chance to make a statement next Saturday.
Here are three observations from the game.
1. Chad Kelly is quite adept at this whole 'throwing a football' thing
Swag absolutely scorched it for a second straight week, going 20-of-25 for 346 yards and five total touchdowns (one rushing touchdown). I know, I know, he's faced UT Martin and Fresno State, but his ability to put a ball wherever he wants it -- and however far he wants it -- is damn impressive. Not only did he show off the long ball again on Saturday, but he seems to be developing a connection with Quincy Adeboyejo, who we've been waiting to break out as a deep threat for a couple years now.
Chad showed off some wheels too, running four times for 32 yards and another TD. We won't know anything for sure until he gets to Tuscaloosa, but the Swag hype appears to be legit.
2. The other QBs didn't look so hot.
On the four first-half drives that Swag led, the offense piled up 299 yards and 28 points. On the three drives that DeVante Kincade and Ryan Buchanan led, the offense had just 116 yards and seven points. And then there was this god-awful interception by Buchanan:
Expect Freeze to finally commit to Kelly as his starter in the Monday presser.
3. C.J. Johnson killed the rally.
After the first-team guys racked up 28 points in the first quarter, the backups started to give ground. Buchanan's pick was paired with a late touchdown pass to cut it to 35-14 at halftime. Then, a muffed punt early in the third set Fresno up with a chance to cut the lead to two scores. And then C.J. -- who spent his first three years as a defensive end, mind you -- showed off his hands.
Six plays later, Robert Nkemdiche scored his second offensive TD of the season (he's going to start getting legit Heisman buzz at this point) to put it away.