We continue with our weekly series that assesses my confidence, using a scale of one to five Cowboy Hat-Wearing Matt Lukes, in Ole Miss’ ability to win the remaining games on its schedule. For a refresher on how this works or if you want to remember a time before cold reality washed over us, click here.
If you spend enough time invested in Ole Miss football, you get the privilege of experiencing low points at the same rate David Cutcliffe collected Independence Bowl trophies. The first half last Saturday against a bad Kent State team marked yet another addition to that low point trophy case, though not on a prominent shelf (SILVER LININGS AND SUCH).
The energy from the team and crowd was non-existent, the offense was locked into pure poot noises mode, and the defense, while getting not terrible results, benefited greatly from the Golden Flashes’ inaccurate quarterback and an offensive line that was very good at not blocking pass rushers. You blend those things together, and you get a 7-7 why-am-I-watching-this-and-not-valuing-my-time score at halftime.
The second half saw things develop into what should’ve happened out of the gate, but it wasn’t enough to wash away the stink of those agonizing first 30 minutes. And there’s where the source of unrest among Ole Miss fans lives.
There have been periods of high-level play this season, virtually all from the offense, but the extended stretches of wailing and gnashing of teeth are what stick out the most and probably define this team. With the schedule getting tougher, it’s likely those stretches of despair become longer and more frequent, which is writing on the wall most Ole Miss fans can see.
Given that it is LSU week, we should take time to note that in 16 games as Ole Miss head coach, Matt Luke is one win away from tying Ed Orgeron’s 10 wins as the Rebels’ head coach in 35 games. If you do the math, that means Luke will lead USC to a national title in like five years.
You know Ole Miss’ offense has reached an obnoxious level when they run up 651 total yards, Jordan Ta’amu goes 28-of-38 for 442 yards, and you (LEGITIMATELY, I BELIEVE) can say, “PRETTY BLAH.”
While not as impressive as 10 wins in 35 attempts (and don’t forget three SEC wins in 24 attempts), Arkansas managed to outgain Auburn with 290 total yards and lose 34-3. Which reminds me, the Ole Miss-Arkansas score will be either 9-6 or 145-141.
Maybe Auburn isn’t very good? While it matters not in relation to this game, our senior meteorologist is at least downgrading the Category 4 This Is Fine Houston Nutt storm to a solo Cowboy Hat-Wearing Matt Luke.
Because I am stubborn and refuse to admit Ole Miss is probably in trouble against the Gamecocks, the confidence level DOESN’T BUDGE this week. That’s right, even though Ole Miss’ home SEC record is 2-7 since 2016, I shall not yield.
So Kellen Mond has become a pretty solid quarterback, yes? If you’re scoring at home, that means the Aggies have a running game and the threat of a pass, along with a quarterback who can run. SURELY CRIME DOG HAS A SOLUTION FOR THAT.
I am very confident this game will end with me wearing a sackcloth and rubbing ashes in my hair.
It turns out that if your quarterback and offense are one dimensional against a solid front seven, it’s hard to offense! To give you an idea of how mad State fans were over the loss to Kentucky, the 27 Mississippi State message board threads about Ole Miss and Kent State moved off the front page early Monday morning.