Postgame Points: Tennessee Game
Point No.1: Undefeated
The first postgame point this week is that Ole Miss remains undefeated on the season. The Rebels turned in another superb performance on Saturday night, as #3 Ole Miss cruised past Tennessee 34-3 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
The Rebels played well in all phases of the game. The defense stymied Tennessee all night long, while the offense showed balance and made big plays. The special teams units were highly successful, as well.
With the victory, Ole Miss improves to 7-0 on the year, 4-0 in SEC play, and 4-0 at The Vaught. Ole Miss remains in first place in the SEC West. The Rebels look to stay undefeated when they travel to Baton Rouge for a Saturday night showdown with #24 LSU.
Point No.2: Defense Dominates
The Ole Miss defense put on another dazzling display against Tennessee on Saturday night. Like they have done all season, the Landshark defense dominated and harassed the Volunteers throughout the game. The defense was stout, strong, and stingy, and the Landsharks held Tennessee to just a field goal on the night. It marks the third time this season that the defense has held an opponent to a field goal in a game, with 2 of those performances coming against SEC foes and all 3 efforts coming against teams from the state of Tennessee.
The Rebel defense shut down the Volunteers running game completely, allowing zero rushing yards in the game. Further, the Landsharks held Tennessee to just 191 total yards.
The opportunistic Rebels recovered a fumble and picked off 3 Volunteers passes. The 15 interceptions on the season by Ole Miss is the top mark in the SEC and in all of college football.
The Landsharks continue to play like the best defense in the SEC and in the nation. As noted several times this season, the dominating play of the Rebel defense is the biggest reason that Ole Miss is undefeated and sitting atop the SEC standings in late October.
Point No.3: Effective Offense
The Ole Miss offense needed a quarter to get going, but once the Rebels got on track they were very effective in running and passing on the Volunteers. Ole Miss racked up 383 yards of total offense in putting 34 points up against Tennessee. The ground game featured 180 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jaylen Walton was the top rusher with 60 yards and a touchdown on the night. Jordan Wilkins had 45 rushing yards for the Rebels, while Mark Dodson contributed the other touchdown on the ground.
In the passing game, Bo Wallace completed 13 of his 28 passes for 199 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions. In the 4 SEC games this season, Wallace has passed for 7 touchdowns, ran for 2 scores, and has 0 turnovers. Wallace is showing great poise and decision-making in the most important games, which is exactly what the Rebels need from their veteran quarterback to win the SEC West.
As for the receivers, Vince Sanders had a big night against Tennessee, catching 4 balls for 108 yards and a touchdown. Laquon Treadwell grabbed 4 receptions for 43 yards, while Evan Engram accounted for a 28-yard touchdown reception that put the game out of reach in the third quarter.
Point No.4: Specialists
Will Gleeson had a big night punting for Ole Miss. Gleeson pinned Tennessee inside their own 20-yard-line on 4 occasions, and he averaged more than 48 yards per punt for the game. Gary Wunderlich made 2 of 3 field goal attempts, with his only miss coming from 52 yards out. As well, Wunderlich made all 4 PAT kicks and averaged more than 59 yards per kickoff with 2 touchbacks against the Volunteers. Special teams coordinator Tom Allen has to feel good about his young specialists.
Point No.5: Feeding Frenzy
As the Ole Miss defense dominated Tennessee on Saturday night, there were a number of Landsharks who got in on the feeding frenzy with big plays and performances. Senquez Golson continues to shine brightly, as he picked off 2 Volunteers passes. Golson now has 7 interceptions on the season.Marquis Haynes stood out with 5 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and he forced and recovered a fumble. Deterrian Shackelford contributed 8 tackles and a sack, while Tony Conner was in on 6 tackles. Mike Hilton recorded 3 tackles and an interception. Trae Elston and Issac Gross each had 2 tackles-for-loss against the Volunteers. Robert Nkemdiche, Denzel Nkemdiche, C.J. Johnson, and Channing Ward all got in on a sack, as well.
As is the case each week, the list of defensive players making a big contribution could go on and on. Simply put, the Landshark defense is playing at an extremely high level as a unit and is arguably the best in the country. The defense is making plays every game that has the Rebels undefeated, sitting in first place in the SEC West, and in contention for the SEC championship.
Jeff is a college sports fanatic who was able to recognize many D1 team logos by kindergarten. Growing up, Jeff played football, baseball, basketball, and ran track/cross country. Jeff’s love for college sports was expanded while running track/cross country at Indiana University, where he earned a General Education degree and attended every sporting event possible when not running for the Hoosiers. A proud parent and husband, Jeff resides in Oxford. His wife is an Ole Miss graduate, and Jeff has a year of post-graduate studies at Ole Miss under his belt. Jeff and his family can be found at just about any Ole Miss sporting event throughout the year. Jeff follows the idea of God, Family/Friends, and Football as a way of life. Writing about Ole Miss sports plays to Jeff’s love affair with collegiate athletics perfectly!