It wasn’t THAT Ole Miss lost to Memphis, as they were the underdog, but it was THE WAY in which the Rebels’ offense staggered around like something cooked up in Ed Orgeron’s USC offense deep fryer. Outside of the third quarter and early fourth quarter, it was a performance that checked all the boxes for ways to score zero points.
The offensive disaster started up front, as the offensive line, particularly the left side and center, was destroyed by a defensive line that will be, AT BEST, a middle-of-the-pack group. While there is wailing and gnashing of teeth about Rich Rodriguez, I do not care who is the offensive coordinator, the system being run, or what plays are being called, if you can’t block, your offense is dead and will feature the punt.
The troubling part is that there are not many options available to serve as fixes for the offensive line. And in more good news, there’s no pressing pause while trying to make repairs.
This jalopy has to patched up while rolling down the interstate at 70 miles an hour. Oh, and did I mention the tools we have to do the repairs include a broken screwdriver, a three-piece from Popeye’s, and a few Solo cups?
SAVE US, MACGRUBER.
(1) Mike MacIntyre
The defense worked? The defense worked!
10th in S&P+ defense how you like me now!!!,,, https://t.co/y8jYGng1MG— 30-50 FERAL HOGS REBELLION (@RedCupRebellion) September 3, 2019
If you’re scoring at home, and who would not, that’s 80 spots higher than where the Ole Miss defense finished in 2018 under Wesley McGriff. Seems good? Yes, it is maybe good.
Obviously, they’ll start to fall once they get into the tougher part of the schedule (OR WILL THEY?!?), but, friends, it was a joy to watch a defense that knew what to do and — very NFL coach voice — did their jobs. MacIntyre won’t be able to make them a great defense due to talent issues, but turning them into a group that makes their opponent actually put in work is acceptable.
(2) Sam Williams
(2) Jon Haynes
(2) Lakia Henry
If you’ve followed Ole Miss football for a significant length of time (bless our hearts), you know that saying, “We really need JUCO Player A to contribute” is usually the kiss of death. Sometimes it works out, but there are enough examples to assume we’ve awarded a scholarship to a third-string player.
So asking three JUCO players to contribute immediately? Given that history, SURELY YOU JEST.
No idea if these three esteemed gentlemen can contribute all year, but they looked like they belonged on Saturday. Let us hope they continue to do so because their services are needed.
(5) Ole Miss Fans Who Left at Halftime
The pro move would’ve been to not go to the game. However, even pros make mistakes sometimes.
But if you are an experienced Ole Miss fan and found yourself in the Liberty Bowl on Saturday, you knew it was time to walk away at halftime. They weren’t winning that game, you could beat traffic, and you taking down a late lunch at Central BBQ in the air conditioning would bring infinite more joy than watching the last 30 minutes of that game.
(6) Medications Given to Alex Givens
I don’t want to know what they are because I’m sure it would make me deep sigh at college football even more, but those miracles of modern medicine allowed him to take almost 40 snaps. Had he not been able to play, we’d be talking about a shutout loss to Memphis.
(7) Ben Brown
Teamed with Alex Givens on the right side of the offensive line, Brown supplied a degree of stability to a line that was very much not stable. While not great in Week one, he and Givens are good enough that repairs can focus on the left side of the line.
(8) Rich Rodriguez Taking Names
Given the current state of the offensive line, I’m not sure how much you can blame Rodriguez for his offense not breaking the 200 total yards barrier against Memphis. Although, he probably had a voice in the best offensive line combination discussion and that decision was wrong to quite wrong.
But, I am very much here for Rich Rod searching Twitter dot com for people who are upset on the net about Ole Miss football and liking the tweet.
Who knows if his offense can ever get in gear, but I am on full alert for Rich Rod potentially dunking on the haters.
(9) People of Oxford
I assume a Mad Max: Fury Road fight-for-water situation will break out from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The good news is that Arkansas is probably terrible. The bad news is that Ole Miss likely is as well. BUT, when you’re struggling with terribleness, there’s no greater gift than a team that might be more terrible than you are.