Long before the days of All-SEC quarterbacks tearing their ACLs and missing the remainder of the season. Long before getting blown out at home by your in-state rival 55-20. Long before the NCAA setting up shop in your living room to wag their finger at you. And long before your head coach resigned amidst allegations of hitting up Tampa’s finest escort services via their university-issued cell phone. Long before all this, there was a football game on September 24th, 2016.
After losing their opener in gut-wrenching fashion to the eventual Orange Bowl champion Florida State Seminoles, the Ole Miss Rebels played host to the 12th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs. Some might have anticipated a high-scoring affair because just a few weeks earlier, Chad Kelly and the Ole Miss offense lit up those same Seminoles for 34 points and 380 yards. But, if you predicted a blowout win against a top 15 team that has been a perennial power in the SEC East for years, you’re probably telling tales out of school.
How it all started
Early on, the Rebels were moving the ball with relative ease but came up short after a seven play, 69-yard drive and kicked a 24-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead. Seems normal, right? Well, after Georgia was mustering up something that seemed like a real offensive drive, in steps Derrick Jones.
The costly mistake by Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason put the bulldogs behind early, 10-0. The former five-star freshman appeared to be a tad bit shaken by the early pressure by the Landshark defense and Jones made him pay by floating one out into the ether.
But, Ole Miss wasn’t done, they then went on a methodical 10-play, 84-yard drive that was capped off by true freshman D’Vaughn Pennamon’s one-yard plunge to make it 17-0, good guys.
Close up of Ole Miss D'Vaughn Pennamon @mavnation_blu dashing up the middle for the TD today vs. Georgia pic.twitter.com/AK49Sl2DSW— Bryan Fenley (@BryanFenley) September 24, 2016
Wait what? What the hell has happened to Georgia and why are they looking like a Sun Belt team right now?
Now it’s getting silly
The second quarter comes and GUESS WHAT more of the same. Georgia is floundering on offense at this point, not managing much of anything and Ole Miss continues to thrive. And by thrive I mean Chad Kelly rolls out of the pocket, dodges a defender by shaking him off like the daggum haters who say you won’t and launching a dime to Damarkus Lodge who turns and makes the catch on the poor defender en route to six more points.
I mean, that might as well have been “DA BOMB” from NFL Blitz. That would make it 24-0 Rebs and we’re not even six minutes into the second quarter. And if you thought that was bad, watch how Evan Engram embarrassed this poor kid on a nine-yard score a mere 10 minutes later.
It’s now 31-0 Ole Miss and we are FINALLY at halftime. Just 30 minutes in and Chad Kelly and Co. have cooked up 31 points against the Georgia Bulldogs during an 11am kickoff snoozer game in September. Lol.
The second half full of lulz
First-year Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, a former disciple of Nick Saban, seemingly prides himself on defense. After all, he was the defensive coordinator for Nick at Alabama from 2008-2015, winning four SEC and national titles. But, this was not his day, to say the least. Minutes into the third quarter, Ole Miss just starts toying with Smart and his Bulldog defense. Not only is Chad Kelly ripping them to shreds, but now they’re mocking them with the backup quarterback and running back.
ICYMI: Ole Miss RB Eugene Brazley, on the sweep, darts into the endzone vs. Georgia pic.twitter.com/1D3sBdoMha— Bryan Fenley (@BryanFenley) September 25, 2016
Eugene Brazley took the “pass” from Jason Pellerin and scooted around the edge for six more and the Rebels were practically laughing at UGA and the entire city of Athens. The score stood 38-0 and you, much like me, were trying to figure out what the hell was happening and trying to pinch yourself. But, that wasn’t even the funniest thing that happened in the second half.
With eight and a half minutes left in the third, Ole Miss was just cranking up ANOTHER drive to try and extend their humongous lead against Georgia. After two plays, the offense called for a zone read and Chad Kelly kept it through the mesh and scooted for a 41-yard score. Untouched.
This has to be some sort of glitch, right? Not even touched until he got in the end zone?! What the hell, Georgia, hahahahaha.
Georgia eventually got on the board late in the third quarter and then one more time in the fourth but, by God, the damage was already done. I mean, Hugh Freeze and Ole Miss straight up set the phasers to kill that day.
Regardless of this hilarious blow out victory for the Rebels, we all know how the season ended. They limped to the finish line with no Chad Kelly and no bowl game, then were crushed in even more hilarious fashion by Houston Nutt when he revealed that Freeze was booty calling ladies of the evening. So it goes, huh?
But let’s not forget that on this September afternoon, an Ole Miss team, who is mostly back for the 2017 season, absolutely man-handled a talented Georgia bunch that some think might challenge for the SEC title and possible the playoff this year. Remember that while we wait for the season to start. Yes, there may not be a potential bowl game to look forward to, but this team showed flashes of brilliance last year and could be even better this year. With an offense that has the potential to be EVEN MORE explosive.