Ole Miss absolutely dominated Vanderbilt in week six, mauling them on the ground for 400+ yards and holding star running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn under 70 yards rushing and zero touchdowns. Snoop Conner, Jerrion Ealy, Scottie Phillips, and John Rhys Plumlee all had rushing touchdowns, leading the way offensively and it was a rout and never in doubt.
This weekend, though, it will be a much different story.
The Rebels travel to Columbia, Mo. for the first time since 2006 and will try to poke holes in a Missouri defense that has not been prodded since a week one loss on the road against Wyoming. Kelly Bryant appeared to have suffered a season-ending knee injury last week against Troy, but all signs point to him playing on Saturday.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Cale Garrett, the do-it-all linebacker, who had season-ending surgery on a torn pectoral muscle. But, the rest of Ryan Walters’ defense is salty as hell and will be chomping at the bit to slow down Plumlee and Rich Rodriguez’s Hot Rod offense.
Larry Rountree II and the Missouri ground game (15th rushing SP+) will be tested by Mike MacIntyre’s newly-revamped Landshark rush defense (21st rush defense). But, the real test will come through the air. Bryant and his group of receivers (44th pass offense) will be going up against an Ole Miss secondary that is young and boom or bust (119th pass defense). The Rebels will need to hope their front seven, which is 27th in tackles for loss and 28th in sacks, can get after Bryant and force him into some tough throws.
If not, he will most likely be able to sit back there and pick the Rebs apart.
Alas, this is similar to the Alabama game a few weeks ago. It’s a road game, you’re the underdog, and there’s not much expected from you. Go out there, play loose, have fun, keep it interesting, stay healthy, and get back to Oxford and get ready for a HUGE home game against Texas A&M.
It’s a free shot. Take it.
Bob Lynch — Missouri 41, Ole Miss 20
Missouri should pass with ease on the Ole Miss secondary and the Rebs will find it tough to run into the teeth of the Tigers’ defensive line.
One Man To Beat — Missouri 38, Ole Miss 13
John Rhys Plumlee and the Ole Miss run game gets dissected and shut down, leaving a less than 100 percent Matt Corral to try and bring the Rebels back. Kelly Bryant throws for 350 yards and four touchdowns.
whiskeywednesday — Missouri 45, Ole Miss 21
Missouri’s defense stuffs the Ole Miss offense a couple of times early and we let the wheels fall off. Hope I’m wrong!
TwoYardsandaCloudofEnricky — Missouri 42, Ole Miss 21
We keep it close in the first half but a big third quarter from Bryant pushes them ahead and they adjust to contain our run game.
Ben Woodhouse — Missouri 34, Ole Miss 24
I think Ole Miss comes out hot and keeps it close all the way to the fourth quarter, but Missouri pulls away just enough to win comfortably. But, they don’t cover.
Gray Hardison — Missouri 26, Ole Miss 8
So far this year, Missouri’s defense has shown that it’s tough to run on, and they don’t give up explosive plays. Fortunately for Ole Miss, the offense doesn’t rely on runn — puts hand to ear — I’m now being told these two areas are the oxygen for Ole Miss’ offense. Seems not great. Unless the Tigers provide multiple turnovers for short fields, the Rebs will struggle to generate offense and points.
Zach Berry — Missouri 34, Ole Miss 24
Kelly Bryant playing changes things. Kelly Bryant 100 percent healthy changes everything. Ole Miss’ secondary is the clear weakness and the Tigers are pretty good at receiver and quarterback. I think the Rebels and Rich Rodriguez have found something on offense and, along with an improved defense, they find a way to cover.
Juco All-American — Missouri 35, Ole Miss 28
The Missouri defense holds the Ole Miss running game in check other than a couple of big runs and Kelly Bryant picks apart the secondary.
Michael Borkey — Missouri 38, Ole Miss 35
Missouri is very good against the run but I think that’s more of a product of who they’ve played and not as much how they’ve played. With that being said, Ole Miss is going to have to be multi-dimensional on offense to hang in this one. I suspect they will and as a result will have a real shot.
Christoph Ludwig — Missouri 38, Ole Miss 17
Kelly Bryant finds a lot of success against the Rebs’ bad and inexperienced secondary, and Ole Miss’ run game never gets going.
Nicholas Carr — Missouri 31, Ole Miss 14
The Tiger defense is too good and the Rebels’ inability to throw catches up to them. Fast.
Grayson Weir — Missouri 31, Ole Miss 24
The run game has nowhere to go, and John Rhys Plumlee throws two picks after being forced to the air. Matt Corral leads a late comeback, but can’t quite overcome the secondary giving up a billion yards to Kelly Bryant.
How to watch:
Where: Faurot Field, Columbia, Miss.
When: 6 p.m. CST
Online streaming: WatchESPN