To paraphrase a former Ole Miss head coach who should never get involved in a spelling bee if anything of consequence is on the line, you spell fun “p-l-a-y a b-a-d A-r-k-a-n-s-a-s t-e-a-m”. While the Razorbacks are staring a Houston Nutt/Ed Orgeron Memorial 0-8 SEC Season in the face, Ole Miss eventually did what mediocre-to-bad teams should do to REALLY bad teams as they put Arkansas away in the fourth quarter.
They showed the ability to field a functioning offense, which was in doubt, and continued to let the defense flex. There’s always a tendency to overreact to the most recent game you’ve seen, but I have 10% Matt Corral Confidence* Ole Miss could become a team that loses games because the other team has better players and not because of gross incompetence.
*10% Matt Corral Confidence is roughly 317% confidence for us normal folk.
We won’t learn anything new about the team this week when Southeastern Louisiana comes to Oxford. Well, unless a Jacksonville State-ing happens, in which case we will learn it’s time to burn everything down, collect the insurance money, and hopefully not go to prison when the authorities suspect arson.
(1) Party Deck Catering Tents
ZERO LOSSES IN THE SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE NOT EVEN THE BEAR CAN SAY THAT.
undefeated with these just saying pic.twitter.com/YMicRcszju— Zach* Berry (@Zach_Berry) September 8, 2019
While ridiculous and very much embodying the Ole Miss brand of placing a band-aid on a turd, these must remain in place until Cal slowly clubs us to death, we find a new way to lose to Vanderbilt, or Texas A&M empties the stands in the fourth quarter.
If these things are still standing for the LSU game after one or more losses, I foresee the tents’ demise at some point in the third quarter. A preemptive RIP to you, Party Deck Catering Tents. You flew too close to the sun that is college students looking to take out some frustrations over a blowout loss.
(2) Matt Luke
I have made many a joke about our Ole Miss-loving head coach and will continue to do so, but he deserves praise and respectful clapping for getting a result on Saturday. Yes, Arkansas is terrible, but he kept male college students focused and had them ready to dominate and destroy in the face of wailing and gnashing of teeth.
(3) Mike MacIntyre
Our Bill Parcells descendant has his group up to 8th (!!!!!!) in Bill Connelly’s SP+ rankings and looking like they’re only going to get beat because the opposition has superior talent and makes plays. I can live with that.
Obviously, they’ll start to fall in all statistical categories once the schedule gets tougher, but SWEET MERCY, he already deserves all the awards. They look faster, infinitely more organized, and fundamentally sound. It’s amazing what happens when you hire a proven professional rather than someone who has not been above a position coach since the 1990s.
(4) Rich Rodriguez
31 points, 6.3 yards per play, and 237 rushing yards gets the un-coveted and unheard of Gray Stamp of Approval. My one concern is that, of the 237 rushing yards, 109 came on five carries. While explosive plays are the best, you take those away, and the offense had 128 yards on 48 carries (2.7 yards/carry), which gives you a better sense of what they consistently did against a not great defensive front.
On a positive note, Corral got quite comfortable after Rich Rod spent the early part of the game rolling him out of the pocket. Let us hope that is a thing that continues.
On a second positive note, Rich Rod out here looking like a dad making his first appearance in the Grove during his child’s freshman year.
(5) Scottie Phillips
26 carries for 143 yards and two touchdowns. The reviews are in: LET SCOTTIE COOK.
(5) Elijah Moore
Ole Miss’ leading returning receiver gives the people seven receptions for 130 yards and two touchdowns. It’s early (LIKE VERY EARLY), but he could prove to be a match-up nightmare in the slot. Too quick for nickel corners, safeties, and linebackers, and no one wants to bring its top cover guys inside.
If he keeps doing work, teams will make all efforts to take him away, which means solo coverage for other receivers. So, you know, STEP UP AND STUFF.
(7) Sam Williams
Wildcat in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen. Smh, Chad Morris.
Siri, what does a bullrush and dunking on a quarterback look like?
(8) Matt Corral
Outside of a very dumb turnover, Corral was mostly effective. Perhaps his greatest moment came on the touchdown pass to Elijah Moore, when he recognized Arkansas’ decision to not really guard Ole Miss’ best receiver.
Quick throw and then Moore put everyone on roller skates on his way to the end zone.
(9) Southeastern Louisiana
THE LIBERTY BOWL/BIRMINGHAM BOWL/INDEPENDENCE BOWL FREIGHT TRAIN NEEDS CALORIES.
(10) Ole Miss not playing in Hattiesburg.
Friends, if an Ole Miss administrator (athletic or Lyceum-related) ever agrees to go to the Hub City to play Southern Mississippi, we are within our legal rights* to pull that person from his or her office, drive them to Sardis, put them on a boat, navigate that boat to the middle of Sardis, throw them off the boat (with a lifejacket), and go back to shore without them.
*Probably not, but at the very least, they should be fired within the hour.
Ole Miss is not required nor should feel required to do a solid for other football programs within the state or anywhere else. College football is trash, and everyone should operate out of selfishness.