Two “ranked” teams (those sarcastiquotes are for you, Georgia) met in Oxford last weekend, and one of them got boat raced in front of a bored crowd. And, outside of the “oh no what if Ole Miss blows a big lead for a third time crowd,” none of that should really be surprising. Ole Miss has two close losses on its resume to a good Florida State team and an Alabama team that’s, again, the best team in college football. Ole Miss, like every team, is flawed, and those flaws were exposed, but they have huge advantages over Georgia where it matters most: line play and quarterback.
The Rebels kept Chad Kelly on his feet and kept Eason off his. The SEC’s best signal caller was able to stand tall, move about, and connect with his tall receiver corps. The SEC’s most celebrated freshman quarterback wasn’t able to play a confident, strong game, and didn’t have a group of receivers capable of bailing him out. That’s about how we figured this would play out.
And we heard y’all’s concerns about getting out to a 21-point lead, so Ole Miss built it up to two 21-point leads (the game was 45-0 halfway through the third) just to be sure. That’s the kind of learning from mistakes and week-by-week improvement we expect out of a Hugh Freeze-coached team.
Here’s one of a few reasons why we wanted this win pretty damn bad.
Georgia fans stay mad at Ole Miss for recruiting well (which is bogus because Georgia, on average, still recruits better than Ole Miss), which makes their losing to Ole Miss all the more amusing. This Schadenfreude is delicious, y’all.
“That Didn’t Sit Well”
Let’s see, on Saturday Ole Miss beat a team that it hadn’t beaten in two decades by a bazillion points and looked more than capable while doing so. That team, by the way, is breaking in a new head coach because their fan base was getting tired of winning ten games a year, to give you a relative idea of the delta that once separated the Rebels from the OG Bulldogs. Ole Miss used good defensive line play to force Georgia into bad down-and-distance situations and fluster freshman quarterback Jacob Eason, and good offensive line and receiver play to build a thirty eight point lead before popping the whip into neutral and costing downhill into a very easy win.
Nah, the fans weren’t that engaged (blame the early kickoff and scorching heat for that)and the game was not particularly entertaining on the back end, but after you-know-what happened to our Rebs twice last month, a convincing clobbering of Georgia sits pretty damn well with us.
“Going Back for Seconds”
This right here. This is the good stuff.
Chad Kelly shaking off a defensive lineman, crowhopping into the pocket, flinging a ball 55-yards in the air, and Demarkus Lodge somehow coming down with it despite being interfered with? And then he does the shrug emoji touchdown celebration?! This play is my manna.
We’ve already digested and [REDACTED] the Georgia win out, so let’s use this section of our digestive to offer up a pre-aperitif-aperitif. And let’s make this one a particularly bitter one, shall we?
Back to back against Kansas... Back to back against Bowling Green... Sensing a pattern here? #GTG— MemphisTigerFootball (@FootballMemphis) September 25, 2016
Memphis outchea talmbout beatin’ Kansas and Bowling Green? And that’s got them confident for this Saturday against Ole Miss? The fuck outta here with that.
To their credit, Memphis isn’t a bad team even in their first post-Jason-Fuente-and-Paxton-Lynch iteration. They are up to No. 25 in S/P+ due to low preseason expectations (yes, they could be ranked even higher right now) and being the most efficient football team in the country. The problem? The same numbers have their strength of schedule at 124 out of 128. When you add in all Division 1 programs, you get a Memphis program that boasts a Sagarin ranking of 32 and a strength-of-schedule of 178, which means that there are literally dozens of FCS programs that have faced tougher competition than Memphis thus far. So, yeah, a battle-tested team that could, with a few bounces, be 4-0 against a grueling schedule going up against a Memphis team that beat the snot out of Kansas? K! A school whose mascot’s big ol’ dumb shoes are there to symbolize their propensity for tripping over their own dicks?
Consider us unimpressed, Memphis. See y’all on Saturday.