Each week, The Rebel Walk’s Jeff Tetrick takes a look at the Ole Miss Postgame Points, examining five takeaways from the Rebels’ most recent football game. Here are his Postgame Points from the Homecoming win over Louisiana-Monroe.
1. Offensive Win
Ole Miss got offensive in its huge homecoming win over the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks on Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Ole Miss improves to 4-2 on the year and finishes the non-conference portion of the schedule at 4-0.
The Rebels racked up a school record 826 yards of offense on the way to a 70-21 victory. Ole Miss ran 72 plays in the game and averaged 11.5 yards per play. Wow! The 826 yards are the most by an FBS team in college football this season.
Ole Miss established a new school record with 517 passing yards against the Warhawks. The aerial attack generated 5 touchdowns and 22 first downs on the afternoon. The 5 touchdown passes are more impressive when considering that Ole Miss quarterbacks only threw 3 incomplete passes in the game.
The Ole Miss running game was nearly as good as the passing attack by producing a season-best 309 yards against Louisiana-Monroe. It is the most yards the Rebels have run for in a game since going for 338 yards against Tennessee-Martin in 2015. The rushing attack yielded 5 touchdowns and 12 first downs for the Rebels.
After scoring 76 points against Southern Illinois, this marks the second time the Rebels have put up 70 or more points this season. The only other time in school history in which the Rebels scored 70 or more points twice in one season was at the start of the 2015 season against Tennessee-Martin and Fresno State. That season ended with the Rebels winning 10 games and the Sugar Bowl.
2. Triple Threat
Ole Miss’ top three receivers had a field day against Louisiana-Monroe. The triple threat of DaMarkus Lodge, A. J. Brown, and D. K. Metcalf each accumulated more than 100 yards receiving and a touchdown against the Warhawks.
Lodge led the way with 9 receptions and 179 yards on Saturday. Brown grabbed 9 passes for 133 yards, and Metcalf caught 4 balls for 115 yards.
Saturday’s effort was the first time since the Auburn game in 2014 that Ole Miss had 3 receivers surpass the 100-yard mark in receiving yards in the same game. In that thriller in Oxford, #3 Auburn edged #4 Ole Miss 35-31 in a classic that came down to the wire.
On that night, Rebel greats Evan Engram (118), Vince Sanders (106), and Laquon Treadwell (103) each topped the 100-yard mark while catching passes from senior quarterback Bo Wallace.
3. Five Straight
While the Ole Miss offense was electrifying against Louisiana-Monroe, the defense had a very productive afternoon. The Landsharks recorded 4 pass break-ups, 5 sacks, 6 quarterback hurries, and 11 tackles for loss against the Warhawks. More importantly, the Rebels allowed ULM to score just 7 points over the game’s first forty minutes. By that time, Ole Miss led the game 63-7.
The Rebel defense created at least 2 turnovers for the fifth straight game. Ryder Anderson, Myles Hartsfield, and Qaadir Sheppard forced fumbles against the Warhawks. The Rebels secured 2 of those fumbles, with Donta Evans and Kevontae’ Ruggs coming up with recoveries. As mentioned a few weeks ago, this is the longest stretch of games in which the Rebels have forced 2 or more turnovers since doing so in 6 consecutive games in 2014.
Ole Miss was very efficient in two key areas in the big homecoming win over Louisiana-Monroe. First, the Rebels converted on 6 of 9 third-down attempts in the game. The offense was so good against the Warhawks that it did not face as many third-down situations as in most games. Yet, anytime the offense converts on two-thirds of its third-down attempts it is a great day!
The second area where Ole Miss played at its best was in the red zone. The Rebels scored on all 6 trips into the red zone. Even better, the Rebels got touchdowns on all 6 of those drives into the red zone.
5. Bright Future
Both Ole Miss signal-callers turned in outstanding performances against ULM on Saturday. The play of senior Jordan Ta’amu and freshman Matt Corral assures Rebel fans that the future is bright at the quarterback position.
Ta’amu completed 21 of 24 passing attempts for 374 yards and 3 touchdowns. Ta’amu added 63 yards and 2 touchdowns as a runner. He is having a great senior season, and fans should appreciate that Jordan gets to lead this team 6 more times in a Rebel uniform.
Corral gave Rebel fans a glimpse of the future with his electrifying second-half performance. The freshman from California was the game’s leading runner with 78 yards and 1 touchdown, and he used his arm to complete all 10 of his pass attempts for 143 yards and 2 scores.
Ole Miss travels to Little Rock to face Arkansas at 6:30 p.m. (CT) Saturday. The game will be televised on SEC Network.