Though it seemed Saturday’s game would be just another exercise in confirming that the talent gap between Ole Miss and Alabama is about as wide as Matt Luke’s love of Ole Miss, there were a few things we learned about this year’s team. Might I add, respectfully learned, as Alabama is such a generous teacher.
One, with a one-dimensional offense, Ole Miss was able to run 88 plays and average 5.4 yards per play, which is not great, but not terrible! Alabama came into the game only giving up 4.2 yards per play, and the offense topped that with a true freshman quarterback and without an effective passing game. So perhaps that side of the ball is picking up some steam?
Two, while John Rhys Plumlee is quite fast, he’s limited in the passing game. If he doesn’t become more of a passing threat, he’ll become less and less effective, as the defenses remaining on Ole Miss’ schedule have film on him now and are capable of taking away the one thing he does really well.
Finally, we learned that a 10-7 first-quarter lead in Tuscaloosa is the most dangerous lead in all of college football. Can’t let the Tide hang around like that, Rebels.
(1) Coy Rich Rod Szn
"We hope Matt can get healthy, but I was pleased with the way John Rhys played Saturday as a true freshman. Beyond that, I'll see you Saturday." - @RealCoachRod on the QB situation— Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) September 30, 2019
While Matt Corral is the better passer and prevents the offense from being one-dimensional, Rodriguez believes Plumlee should get some playing time. Whether that’s with Corral on the sideline or on the field with Corral, who knows!
If Corral isn’t fully healthy and sits out this weekend or is limited, you can make an argument that Grant Tisdale should take some snaps. Granted the sample size is a few plays in a 35-point game, but he could offer something in the passing game Plumlee does not.
We could also see ALL THREE on the field at once, like Hugh Freeze once suggested he might do with SWAG Kelly, Ryan Buchanan, and DeVante Kincade. Had he actually done that, it 100 percent would’ve been a more elaborate way to run the Treadwell Pass Play.
(2) Rich Rod Coaching Booth Life
Rich Rodriguez: Animated pic.twitter.com/bzu6IQUoDw— Yahoo Sports College Football (@YahooSportsCFB) September 28, 2019
I had the same reaction when some turds in Red Dead Redemption 2 ambushed me and killed my horse. RIP, Mister Ed.
On the other end of the emotional spectrum:
You’ve probably seen the other video but don’t forget this moment. @RealCoachRod is passionate about football and what he does! Excited for this Ole Miss team! #HottyToddy pic.twitter.com/MXAoBsrVxY— Raquel Rodriguez (@raquelrod_23) September 29, 2019
HOLLERIN’ WITH THE SHIRT UNTUCKED.
Celebs: They’re just like us!
(3) Rich Rod In France
Ole Miss est toujours dans le coup à Alabama (les Rebels sont menés 17-10) mais OC Rich Rodriguez pète les plombs dans la loge des coachs. pic.twitter.com/hqN6d4GpOW— TBP College Football (@thebluepennant) September 28, 2019
According to Google Translate, which is obviously the only good source for translating things, the last half of that sentence translates to: “but OC Rich Rodriguez fizzes in the coaches’ lodge.”
RICH ROD FIZZIN’.
Also, I shall now only refer to the coaching booth as the coaches’ lodge.
(4) Explosive Running Plays
Generally referred to as any run of 12 yards or more, these plays are the keeping the Ole Miss running game alive. Out of Ole Miss’ 58 rushing attempts on Saturday, seven were explosive and collected 135 yards.
Outside of those explosive runs, Ole Miss had 51 carries for 144 yards (2.8 yards/carry). That’s been the story for the running game all season, as the offensive line isn’t good enough to help generate more successful running plays.
However, in every game, they’ve done just enough to create a crease or space on the outside on a handful of attempts to get explosive plays that can lead to points. It also helps that the running backs are somewhat pretty good.
(5) Grant Tisdale
DROP IT IN A BUCKET, FAM.
LOL at the Alabama fan who has no interest in the two large human beings who just crashed into the padding two feet away from her.
“PAWWWL, IF I AIN’T SEEN IT, THEY DIDN’T SCORE.”
(6) Backdoor Covers
Special shout-out to the people out there who had Alabama at -35 or under. As a reminder for you, Ole Miss, trailing by 35, had the ball on Alabama’s 44-yard line with 30 seconds left and the third string quarterback in the game. Two plays and 25 seconds later, your money was gone.
Some people would say the lesson here is to never gamble, but that is dumb because THERE’S MONEY TO BE MADE. The lesson here is never bet on anything involving Ole Miss, unless Houston Nutt is coaching because then it rains free money.
(7) John Rhys Plumlee
Our fleet-footed son ran for 109 yards on 25 carries and added a rushing touchdown and two passing touchdowns. His 109 rushing yards are the most by an Ole Miss player against Alabama since 2007 when BenJarvis Green-Ellis ran for 131.
Green-Ellis’ performance came in Nick Saban’s first year at Alabama. After nine years of not allowing Ole Miss to have a 100-yard rusher, Saban’s team has given up two 100-yard performances (2017 Jordan Wilkins, 101) in the last three years.
Could this be the beginning of the end for Saban? A lot of people are talking. Some are saying yes. I’ve heard the talk. More and more people are saying it. Could be big. Very beautiful and big. Also tough. But people are talking. We’ll see what happens.
(8) Matt Corral’s rib(s)
HEAL, YOU STUBBORN BONES AND/OR CARTILAGE. WE NEED OUR EYE-BLACK-SMEARING SON READY TO GO.
(9) A.J. Brown
Obviously, the route and catch are perfect, but I am here for the unlocking of the safe and throwing that well-earned paper into the air.
Toe-Drag TD Swag @Brown1arthur scores again! #TENvsATL pic.twitter.com/ggzIek6pwn— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) September 29, 2019
(10) Matt Luke meme
It was quite warm in Tuscaloosa on Saturday, especially on the field. CBS showed a thermometer that was north of 110 degrees, which checks all the boxes for UNPLEASANT.
Early in the game, Matt Luke, already a tan individual, was using a lot of energy to fire up team during the competitive portion of the game, which made him look like he was cooked well done. I estimated his core temperature was somewhere around 218 degrees, yet he kept on cookin’ and was fine.