The season is officially underway and the Ole Miss are unsurprisingly 1-0 after its home victory over the Troy Trojans. It is, however, a little surprising that the Rebels did not cover the spread, but the reality is that there is a slight rebuild happening in Oxford.
Each week we will recap the game with a 3-2-6 report.
- 3 best plays from the game
- 2 players of the game
- 6 important things
3 Best Plays
HOLY HELL WHAT JUST HAPPENED.— Red Cup Rebellion (@RedCupRebellion) September 3, 2022
What a first touchdown of the season
This tweet sums it up best (yes, it was I that tweeted it). The redzone struggles from last year were frustrating and it seemed to be headed that way again early against Troy until SMU transfer Ulysses Bentley IV put the Rebels on the board with a remarkable display of balance and awareness.
JJ hit this man so hard, the referees assumed it had to be targeting. It wasn’t, it was textbook. Maybe lil buddy should tighten that chin strap next time so his helmet doesn’t fly into last week. JJ almost caught charges here and we are all hoping to see a lot of that this season.
Touchdowns are an easy “play of the game” candidate, but this one is a little deeper. Sure, it was Heath’s first touchdown playing at a legit football school, but the set up is what is important here. The Troy safety was cheating towards the line of scrimmage due to the insane success of the running game. The run fake froze the safety long enough for Heath to easily win his one on one matchup on the outside.
2 Players of the Game
The TCU transfer was an absolute menace for the landshark defense Saturday. He led the team with 7 tackles and 2 sacks. It seemed like every big play, Coleman was in on. Perhaps an overlooked transfer, Coleman quickly made a name for himself in a position group looking for playmakers.
Granted it was against Troy but Zac Evans looked every bit as advertised. The electric back had 20 carries for 130 yards and 2 catches for 22 yards. 6.5 yards per attempt probably won’t be sustainable in SEC play, but he did what he should have against an inferior opponent. Judkins is absolutely going to demand carries, but Evans looks capable of being a three down back. Although he was the only one of the three running backs to not find the endzone, Evans was the offensive MVP.
6 Important Things
- The Rebel defense had 4 sacks on the game. All four were from transfers. Khari Coleman (2) Jared Ivey and JJ Pegues.
- The Quarterback battle is still wide open. Jaxson Dart showed some “stuff” that can make anyone a believer in him, but that “stuff” has to click if Ole Miss is going to do anything beyond 6-7 wins this season.
- Quinshon Judkins is a juggernaut. The freshman had 18 carries for 87 yards and touchdown. Like Evans he was 6+ yards per carry and was extremely difficult to bring down. The duo reminds me a little bit of the Reggie Bush - LenDale White, thunder and lightning combo back in the day. The kid is for real.
- Whether it was Dart or the receivers, the outside game was underwhelming. The coaching staff raved about Jaylon Robinson who only hauled in 1 ball for 9 yards. This will be a position group to watch develop during these next few contests to see who steps up.
- Davison Igbinosun, whom I shall refer to as “Iggy”, is going to be an immediate impact player. Too often on third down, in space, it feels as if defensive backs want to lay the wood rather than wrap up and make the sure tackle, giving up a first down. Troy only converted 35% of the Third Down attempts and on two of those failed attempts, Davison made a huge open field tackle.
- The Rebels are 1-0. It wasn’t pretty and coach Lane Kiffin wasn’t particularly thrilled, But a win is a win is a win and Ole Miss will look to clean things up with Luke Altmyer getting his shot under center against Central Arkansas this weekend.