Yesterday, Ole Miss Rebels opened the season with 76-3 win over the University of Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks. The Rebels are, for sure, a good team. The Warhawks are, for sure, not that. Ole Miss trotted out three quarterbacks, ran a very simple offense, generally stayed in base defense, and was without the services of the best left tackle in college football (eat it, NCAA). Even then, the disparity in talent across the board meant that the Rebels cruise controlled their way through the game and looked damn good doing it.
In these sorts of games, there is not a lot that one can really learn, as even a bad Ole Miss team would likely have walloped UT-Martin. Even then, it's football, we all watched it, and we all want to talk about it.
Y'all looked nice in your whites. The team also looked nice in their white pants. It's good we got that look squared away before Labor Day (just as it's predictable, because the last thing Ole Miss is going to do is commit a gigantic, collective fashion faux pas). I do really admire how Ole Miss fans aren't as stick-up-the-assy as they were when I was an undergrad, and such efforts to coordinate things like attire color actually work. Granted, people will go to greater lengths to show support of a team that actually wins, so maybe Ole Miss fans weren't the problem from 2004 to 2008 so much as Ole Miss football.
Also, white clothing helps to keep the body cool during the heat of the first few weeks of September in Mississippi. Sorority squatting in the door of a freezer aslo helps, as demonstrated by these Ole Miss undergrads:
Stay cool, Ole Miss. [HT: DHAG, the original FotC]
"That Didn't Sit Well"
There were some dropped passes, a few sailed balls, a missed assignment or two, but the team overall looked well-prepared for the season. I am sure that we are all a bit concerned with the defense bending a bit in giving up a few big plays, but that unit never broke. Should I mention again the disparity in talent between the two teams yesterday?
"Going Back for Seconds"
Chad Kelly's skillset
It is likely that there are still many people convinced that there is a quarterback controversy within the Ole Miss football program. I am not one of those people, because I think Chad Kelly proved himself to be the most capable of the Rebel quarterback trio. I'll submit to you two plays as my main argument for Kelly taking control of the offense.
First, his 55-yard touchdown pass to Markell Pack in the first quarter demonstrated that he has the ability to throw deep with good accuracy and drive. In the play, Kelly takes the ball out of the shotgun, fakes a handoff to one of the backs, steps into the pocket and throws from about the Rebel 38 yard line. Pack, who ran a go route right through the seam of the defense, has a safety beat and is able to catch the ball with just a slight interruption in his stride at the opposing 15 yard line. It was an easy touchdown due to Kelly's pass being thrown an impressive 47 yards with almost perfectly accuracy and with enough force to keep Pack moving towards the endzone.
Second, his 20-yard touchdown scamper in the third quarter proved that he's got enough mobility in the read option game to keep opposing defenses honest. He doesn't have to be a burner or particularly elusive to do well in this role, but just mobile enough to ensure that opposing linebackers and safeties must keep an eye on him. This can both open up passing lanes and space for halfbacks to run. Considering this and his deep accuracy, I don't think there's any way he'll take a backseat to DeVante Kincade or Ryan Buchanan (who, to their credit, both played great games yesterday as well).
Special teams are special
Will Gleeson looked capable. Nathan Noble's kickoffs are guaranteeing touchbacks. Carlos Davis looks like a capable enough punt returner. I still don't know who the longsnapper is. All things considered, this is a good group. So long as they can keep looking good, the Rebs should be able to establish good field position for the rest of the season.
Laquon Treadwell, just in general
He's back! He's catching footballs! We all love seeing that! What I find particularly enjoyable about his game is how effortless he makes it look. The way he nonchalantly brushes defenders aside when fighting for a first down is football poetry. He'll be a handful for a lot of SEC cornerbacks this year, which should really help the deep Rebel receiver corps live up to its potential.
The season's only a few days old, but we've already got a solid contender for the play of the year.
Robert Nkemdiche scored a 32-yard TD. On offense. pic.twitter.com/9U2odrV9bR— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) September 5, 2015
This is Robert Nkemdiche's universe; we're just living in it.