All puns and wordplay aside, those of you in the path of Hurricane Ian, including my own parents in Tampa, be smart and be safe.
Now, if there is anything I have learned when it comes to Ole Miss football; if I think they will cover, they don’t and if I think they won’t cover, they do. I am in degenerate hell.
Anyways, we also learned a little more about the Rebels from their one possession victory over the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes — kind of odd a team in Tornado Alley is named after an oceanic phenomenon.
As always, it’s the three best plays, the two players of the game, and six important things from Week 4.
3 Plays of the Game
Dart-to-Heath seems to be quite the connection in Oxford. I will say it again, crazy what an actual quarterback can do for a talented receiver. This is the kind of throw we have been waiting to see Dart have some touch on. Often times this pass has been at least three yards too deep for the receiver, but this was a ball dropped in the bucket to give Ole Miss the lead 21-14.
This play is important because Dart made the correct read and took what the defense gave him. Now, why did Tulsa give Mingo 10 yards of separation at the line? Good luck to anyone trying to tackle Mingo in the open field as he easily scampered in for another touchdown, living off the YAC.
After Ole Miss went up 28-14 in the second quarter, the Tulsa Golden Hurricane were threatening again. With three minutes left in the half, Tulsa worked their way to the Ole Miss 39 before AJ Finley picked off Braylon Braxton and returned it 19 yards. When defensive coordinators talk about creating chaos, this is what they are talking about from a pass rush to a heady play from the secondary. The interception allowed the Rebs to go up 35-14 two players later.
2 Players of the Game
Quinshon Judkins is the best running back in the SEC. You heard me. The true freshman out of Alabama is the class of the conference. It’s nuts when you lose someone like Zach Evans to injury mid game and you don’t skip a beat.
Judkins had 27 carries for 140 yards and two touchdowns. I cannot wait for the new NCAA football game to come out and play with this kid, truly unstoppable. Think about this, Judkins trails only Rocket Sanders from Arkansas in rushing this season in the SEC, by 79 yards on 13 less carries. Beast mode.
The law firm of Tennison and Brown specialize in collision claims. The two transfers combined for 22 of the teams 81 tackles on Saturday. Seven of those 22 were solo and Brown had two QB hurries himself. While the defense underperformed on the day, giving up 21 points to Tulsa, these two were on top of their individual games, doing their jobs.
6 Important Things
- Otis Reese will miss the first half of the Kentucky game in Week 5 due to a targeting penalty. A game in which the Wildcats see its star running back return to action. Hopefully his absence will not prove detrimental early.
- Ole Miss ran 75 total plays in the game. 67% of them were on the ground with Dart only attempting 24 passes. This is a running team. Officially.
- Jaxson Dart had 13 carries for 113 yards. His ability to run the ball and merely his threat of running are important for the Rebel offense as they continue to build trust in the passing game.
- Both Zac Evans and Ulysses Bentley IV are dealing with injuries heading into Week 5. Evans is expected to be available but Judkins held down the fort in their absence. JJ Pegues and Khari Coleman are both expected back against Kentucky as well.
- This is now Jaxson Dart’s team. This is the first game this season that Luke Altmyer did not see any action. Dart’s running ability and higher ceiling are clear reasons he should be the starter. It only took 4 weeks to fully confirm what we kinda already knew.
- It was no encouraging to see the Rebs almost get outgained yardage wise, giving up 457 yards the week before a big time matchup. The run defense was especially bad as they gave up 6.1 yards per rush, something that cannot continue into next week if Ole Miss wants to jump into the Top 10.