Last Saturday, Ole Miss choked away a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter against South Carolina, squandering one of the last winnable opportunities left on the schedule. With quarterback Jordan Ta’amu limping on an injured ankle, a Rebel offense that had previously roared up and down the field punted or turned the ball over on downs on its final four possessions, paving the way for the Gamecock comeback.
But the real story was a defense that gave up 48 points and 510 yards to an average South Carolina offense. The Ole Miss defense, which was historically bad the previous two seasons, has found a new low in 2018. Crippled by years of recruiting misses, a string of devastating injuries and a seemingly overwhelmed coaching staff, this group is in serious trouble.
Here are eight stats that show just how bad things have gotten.
- Ole Miss has allowed opposing rushers to pick up at least five yards on 51.1 percent of their carries. That’s ranks 115th out of 130 FBS teams.
- Opposing quarterbacks have found the going just as easy—the Rebels have allowed them to complete 63.1 percent of their passes (108th) while averaging 8.3 yards per attempt (107th).
- That might have something to do with a Rebel pass rush that ranks 104th in sack rate—Ole Miss gets to the quarterback on just 4.7 percent of plays.
- A poor pass rush and injuries in the secondary mean big plays: Ole Miss has given up gains of 20 or more yards on 9.9 percent of its defensive snaps, ranking 113th in the country.
- The Rebels allow offenses to convert third downs 44.9 percent of the time, ranking 110th in the country.
- Not that they face many third downs—Ole Miss gives up first downs on first or second down 72 percent of the time (103rd).
- Ole Miss has given up 7.23 yards per play against SEC offenses. Only nine teams in the country have given up more yards per play against conference opponents.
- The Rebels have surrendered an incredible 43.8 points per game. The next worst SEC team is Arkansas at 41.