OXFORD, Miss. — Ole Miss will be looking for its first conference win of the 2018 season when the Rebels take the field against Arkansas in Little Rock this Saturday. Head coach Matt Luke’s squad will do so with an experienced offense anchored by senior center Sean Rawlings.
After practice Wednesday, Rawlings spoke on the importance of the game. “We see this as a great opportunity; we’ve just got to take advantage of it,” he said.
“We’ve got to execute. That’s what we’re looking forward to doing, and that’s what we’ve kind of transitioned to in practice. Everyone’s been locked in, been focused, so I do believe this is a big opportunity to kind of turn that corner.“
Ole Miss center Sean Rawlings
The offense enters the game against Arkansas fresh off a record-breaking, 826-yard performance last week in the 70-21 win over Louisiana-Monroe. After losses to Alabama and LSU in the team’s first two league games, Rawlings says the contest with Arkansas offers the Rebels an opportunity for a good start to the 6-game SEC gauntlet Ole Miss is about to begin.
“The first two games did not go as planned,” Rawlings said. “That is one of the things we are looking forward to about Saturday. We want to bounce back and get the ball rolling.”
With playmakers at every position on the offense, it’s no wonder the Rebels are notching some league and nationally-leading numbers.
- Jordan Ta’amu leads the SEC in passing yards per game (318.5) and total passing yards (1,911).
- Running back Scottie Phillips leads the SEC in rushing TDs (8) and is 3rd in the conference with 637 yards on 90 attempts.
- The Nasty Wide Outs (NWO) continue to wreak havoc on opponents. A.J. Brown (586 yards), DaMarkus Lodge (386 yards), and D.K Metcalf (520 yards) each average at least 75 yards per game—the only trio in the country to do so. The NWO have also combined for a total of 10 touchdowns in 2018. Sophomore receiver Braylon Sanders continues a brilliant second year with 9 catches for 212 yards and one touchdown, while talented route-runner Elijah Moore has caught 11 passes for 157 yards and 2 touchdowns in his freshman campaign.
Big men up front lead the way for Ole Miss offense
It’s important to point out the successes of the Ole Miss offensive line. Pro Football Focus recently ranked the group the number one pass-blocking unit in the country.
The Ole Miss o-line has allowed just 1️⃣ sack on 221 pass plays this season en route to becoming the nation's top pass blocking line. 👀💪
— Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) October 10, 2018
After practice Wednesday, Rawlings was asked about the accolades from Pro Football Focus. “That’s always something that we take pride in—protecting the quarterback and protecting Jordan and making sure nobody touches him.”
Ole Miss and Arkansas kick off at 6:30 p.m. (CT) in Little Rock. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.