Well, I certainly didn't expect that.
The Rebels dominated in pretty much every facet of the game. Oklahoma State couldn't run, and their defense couldn't stop Ole Miss. Mason Rudolph started, and it didn't matter.
Chad Kelly was exceptional, finishing with 302 yards through the air and 73 rushing yards. He regularly moved outside of the pocket and found players past the first down marker when it didn't seem like the called play would be successful.
Laquon Treadwell was sent off with a three touchdown performance, his likely final game as a Rebel being a very special one. Treadwell constantly broke through coverage and was regularly singled early for some odd reason. It was, of course, bittersweet to see him play so well on such a big stage. It's always a joy to watch him play, but the thought that we've likely seen his last performance in an Ole Miss jersey is, in some ways, sad. In other ways, it's a joy. I can't wait to see Laquon get paid, and I'll definitely cheer for whoever drafts him.
Speaking of players who had a big game, Laremy Tunsil was his typical exceptional self. The few times that Oklahoma State defensive end Emanuel Ogbah was matched up against him yielded absolutely nothing from Ogbah. He was just silly. Oh yeah... he also caught a lateral and ran it in for a touchdown. Yeah. Laremy Tunsil.
Laremy Tunsil TD? Laremy Tunsil TD! pic.twitter.com/5OWIJtxmsP— The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) January 2, 2016
But I also wonder whether we just saw Chad Kelly's final game at Ole Miss. He's just such a great quarterback. I don't know that sticking around for another year makes a lot of sense for him. If NFL teams worry about his character, he should stick around. If not, he should probably go. His physical tools are exceptional, and I don't know what he's likely to improve in sticking around. I hope he does stay, obviously. He's a fantastic quarterback.
The most surprising performance though was probably from the defensive line. Without Robert Nkemdiche or Fadol Brown, they dominated the line of scrimmage until the game was way out of hand. Oklahoma State had -1 rushing yards (yard?) at the half. They regularly got pressure on Rudolph and sacked him several times. Just a great performance all around from that group.
More than anything, this game was about all the players who won't ever don an Ole Miss jersey again. It was about Mike Hilton, Trae Elston, CJ Johnson, and so many other great players. They deserved a game like this. Those seniors, especially the ones who were around for Houston Nutt's final year, deserved to get a huge win like this on a national stage. Four years ago, the program was a laughing stock. Now, it's elite. That's thanks in no small part to those players. The choices they made to sign with Ole Miss when they did helped turn everything around.