Postgame Points: Presbyterian Game
Point No.1: Rebels Win
With Ole Miss shutting out Presbyterian by a count of 48-0 on Saturday, the first postgame point this week is that the Rebels win. After two tight losses to LSU and Auburn, Ole Miss was able to take out some frustration on the Blue Hose at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. The Rebels were impressive on both sides of the ball in overwhelming Presbyterian all afternoon.
The victory improves the Rebels’ record to 8-2 on the season, 5-1 at home, and 4-2 in SEC play. Ole Miss moved up a spot in both major polls this week. The Rebels are now #10 in the AP Top 25 Poll and the USA Today Coaches Poll. The College Football Playoff rankings will be released on Tuesday night.
Ole Miss gets a bye this week before visiting Arkansas and hosting Mississippi State to conclude the regular season. With 2 games left, the Rebels remain in a position to claim a share of the SEC West title and reach the SEC Championship game in Atlanta. Ole Miss needs to win its final 2 games and receive some help from other SEC teams like Alabama, Georgia, and Auburn. In any case, the Rebels are still in the hunt for a lofty bowl game and potentially the College Football Playoff.
Point No.2: Defense
As has been the case throughout the season, the Landshark defense treated Rebel fans to another dominant performance on Saturday. Ole Miss recorded its first shutout of the year and never allowed the Blue Hose to even enter the red zone once on the day.
The Rebels held Presbyterian to just 10 first downs. The Landsharks were so good that the Blue Hose converted just 2 of 12 third down attempts in the game. Ole Miss gave up only 156 total yards, with 89 yards coming on the ground and 67 yards through the air.
As well, the Rebels created 2 turnovers against Presbyterian, making it 33 straight games in which the Rebels have created a turnover, the longest active streak in the nation. Serderius Bryant had the interception for Ole Miss, while Channing Ward forced a fumble that was recovered by Tayler Polk. The Landsharks have played as good as any defense in the country and continue to give the Rebels a chance to win an SEC championship.
Point No.3: Run, Rebels, Run
The Ole Miss running game was the best it has been all season on Saturday against Presbyterian. The Rebels ran the ball for a season-high 402 yards and 4 touchdowns. The offensive line was strong and opened massive holes for the running backs, enabling the Rebel backs to run at will all afternoon.
Jordan Wilkins and Mark Dodson were the main beneficiaries of the great line play. Wilkins exploded for 171 yards and a touchdown against the Blue Hose, while Dodson accounted for 128 yards and 2 touchdowns on a mere 3 carries. Eugene Brazley got 10 rushes for 45 yards, and DeVante Kincade ran the ball 7 times for 34 yards. As a team, Ole Miss averaged more than 11 yards per carry. If the Rebels can replicate that success on the ground in the last 2 games, it will go a long way toward getting 2 more victories.
Point No.4: Passing Game
The Ole Miss passing game was accurate and effective in defeating the Blue Hose. The Rebel quarterbacks combined to go 24 out of 30 passing for 238 yards and 3 touchdowns on the day. Bo Wallace played in just the first half and finished by completing 11 of 15 passes for 140 yards and 2 touchdowns.
It was nice to see Ryan Buchanan and DeVante Kincade get some significant playing time in the second half. Kincade completed 7 of 8 passes for 70 yards and his first passing touchdown in a Rebel uniform. Buchanan connected on 6 of his 7 passes for 28 yards.
As for the wide receivers, senior Vince Sanders had a monster game by grabbing 4 passes for 110 yards and 2 touchdowns. Derrick Jones had a career day, as he caught 5 balls for 55 yards and a touchdown. Quincy Adeboyejo contributed to the effort with 5 receptions for 21 yards. Further, some Rebels who do not see a lot of playing time were able to record a catch on Saturday. John Ratliff, Taz Zettergren, and Trey Bledsoe each had a reception against Presbyterian.
Point No.5: Playing Time
During the shutout of Presbyterian, Coach Hugh Freeze was able to rest his starters early and give playing time to several Rebels who work hard in practice to help this team be a successful unit. The result was a stat sheet filled with contributions from a number of starters and from guys whose names may not be so familiar to Rebel fans.
For example, senior Carlos Thompson was the team leader with 7 tackles on Saturday. Fadol Brown and Keith Lewis each recorded 4 tackles. Billy Busch was a part of 3 tackles, as were twins A.J. Moore and C.J. Moore. Those who pitched in with 2 tackles versus Presbyterian included Chief Brown, Kailo Moore, Herbert Moore, John Youngblood, Kendarius Webster, Bryon Bennett, Tayler Polk, Channing Ward, and C.J. Hampton. Lavon Hooks added to the defensive effort with a sack.
Along with the quarterbacks, running backs, and receivers mentioned earlier, these defensive players made the most of their playing time and had a big impact in this team victory.