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The 4-2-5 Report: Ole Miss opens the season in emphatic fashion

Rebs on pace to score a billion points this season

Mercer v Ole Miss Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

This season, following each game the 4-2-5 report will give an in depth look at the game, laying out the 4 best plays, the 2 players of the game and 5 interesting stats.

New defensive coordinator Pete Golding runs a hybrid 3-4/4-2-5 defense based primarily on how the Rebels use Cedric Johnson on the edge.

Golding was also the butt of a joke by head coach Lane Kiffin over the headset Saturday afternoon:

Perhaps the only blemish on the day for the Rebs as they turn their attention to Tulane.

4 Plays of the Day

70 yard punt return by Jordan Watkins (45-7)

The Mercer Bears won the opening coin toss and chose to receive the ball at the half. After gaining a first down, the Bears were forced to punt and were probably better off going for it on fourth down instead.

After a low line drive punt, Jordan Watkins caught the ball moving forward and did not stop moving forward until he crossed the goal line for a 70 yard score.

16 yard touchdown pass from Jaxson Dart to Tre Harris

There was nothing impressive about the play itself. It was truly the story of the entire game. No one on Mercer could cover nor tackle Tre Harris. This makes the cut because this was the play that broke an Ole Miss record. Transfer Tre Harris from Louisiana Tech, in his first game as a Rebel, now holds the solo record for most receiving touchdowns in a game with four. It looks like the duo of Dart-Harris are going to put up big numbers this season.

A perfectly executed tee retrieval by Juice Kiffin

Even the Ole Miss athletics depart thinks that this was the play of the day after an afternoon full of scoring on some pretty vanilla play calling.

28 yard touchdown pass from Jaxson Dart to Tre Harris

Of the four touchdown catches for Harris in the contest, this was the most impressive play of the bunch. Jaxson Dart throws a beautiful back shoulder ball to Harris and the big bodied receiver comes down with it, maintains his balance and makes his way to the endzone for touchdown number two in the game.

2 Players of the Game

Tre Harris

Mercer v Ole Miss Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

This one is a no-brainer. So often last year, this section dominated by newcomer Quinshon Judkins. After his record-setting performance Saturday, newcomer Tre Harris could be a regular this season.

The 6’2 Senior finished the day with 6 catches for 133 yards and 4 touchdowns. Harris is now on pace to finish the season with 48 receiving touchdowns which is not bad in my opinion.

Suntarine Perkins

NCAA Football: Mercer at Mississippi Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The true freshman linebacker made his presence known in a big way. Perkins led the way with 9 total tackles, 4 solo, a sack and a pass deflection. His 9 tackles were 3 more than the next closest Rebel on the day. The last player to wear #4 and have a major impact on the defensive side of the ball was Denzel Nkemdiche, however Perkins is likely to have a far better career and it is off to a fast start.

5 Interesting Stats

73- 73 points is absurd. It is also the most points scored in the Lane Kiffin era. When the Rebels hit 66 points, you could see Kiffin jokingly telling the coaching box to run the ball, but Coach had every intention of lighting up the scoreboard.

524- Ole Miss set a new school record for passing yards in a game with 524 combined yards between Jaxson Dart, Spencer Sanders and Walker Howard. The previous record was 517, set in 2018.

12 - Judkins, just a sophomore, is now 12th all time in Rebel history with 18 rushing touchdowns. Something tells me that he could end his career as the record holder

18- Speaking of the number 18, after Mercer ripped off a 75-yard touchdown run on the first play, the Rebel defense held the Bears to 18 rushing yards the rest of the way.

2013- That was the last time Ole Miss had a punt return touchdown. Before Watkins’ 70 yard score, Jeff Scott had a 73 yard return against Texas.