Postgame Points: Ole Miss 52, New Mexico State 3
Each week The Rebel Walk brings you Jeff Tetrick’s “Postgame Points,” where Jeff takes a look at the top five takeaways from the most recent Ole Miss football game. Hotty Toddy!
1. Winning Ways
The Ole Miss Rebels got back to their winning ways during homecoming weekend in Oxford. Ole Miss dominated New Mexico State on both sides of the ball in routing the Aggies 52-3 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. After a tough loss to Florida, this was a great game for the Rebels to regain some focus and momentum at the midway point of the season.
The Rebels finish the first half of the season with a 5-1 record. At 2-1 in SEC play, the #12 Rebels trail only #5 LSU and #10 Texas A&M in the SEC West standings. After this week’s challenging road trip to #22 Memphis, Ole Miss plays 5 SEC West foes in 6 weeks to close out the regular season. The schedule is extremely loaded the rest of the way, but the Rebels are in control of their own destiny. If Ole Miss can win out, the Rebels will be playing in Atlanta for the SEC championship and a spot in the College Football Playoff.
The Landshark defense was at its best against the Aggies on Saturday. The Rebels limited New Mexico State to just a field goal, marking the second time this season that the Landsharks have held an opponent to a mere 3 points. Ole Miss posted season-highs in tackles for loss (11) and sacks (4).
Ole Miss held the Aggies to a season-low 141 passing yards, 98 yards on the ground, and 239 yards of total offense for the game. To put that into perspective, the Rebels ran the ball for 265 yards on the day, or 26 more yards than New Mexico State had in total offense.
The Landsharks held the Aggies to just 3.2 yards per play for 74 offensive snaps on Saturday. As well, Ole Miss allowed the Aggies to reach the red zone only twice, surrending just 1 of 2 field goal attempts. Further, the Rebels picked off 2 New Mexico State passes in the game. With 9 interceptions on the season, Ole Miss leads the SEC in that key defensive statistic.
3. Running Attack
Ole Miss put up some huge numbers on the ground against New Mexico State. The Rebels ran the ball for 265 yards on 34 attempts for an eye-popping average of 7.8 yards per rush.
Brazley was the leader of the Rebel running attack with 98 yards on 6 carries, averaging a sensational 16.3 yards per carry. Judd added 76 yards, while Wilkins chipped in an additional 42 yards.
The Rebels need to get great production in the running game to be able to throw the ball downfield and to continue winning games as the competition level greatly increases during the next 7 weeks.
4. Passing Production
Chad Kelly and the Rebels got back to throwing the ball downfield against New Mexico State on Saturday. The result was a very productive day passing the ball for Ole Miss. Kelly connected on 24 of his 33 passing attempts for 384 yards and 3 touchdowns.
With his fourth 300-yard passing game, Kelly ties the single-season school record held by Bo Wallace (2013, 2014) and Eli Manning (2002, 2003).
Laquon Treadwell had a superb game, grabbing 8 passes for a career-high 136 yards and 2 touchdowns. His spectacular one-handed touchdown reception late in the third quarter was a highlight-reel catch that made the rounds on ESPN and the SEC Network all weekend.
Treadwell’s big day moved him up the ranks on several school record lists, also. Treadwell now ranks fourth in school history in career receptions (155), fifth in career 100-yard receiving games (5), and sixth in career touchdown receptions (13).
5. Top Performers
In addition to players already mentioned above, there were a host of other Rebels who were top performers against New Mexico State.
- Linebacker Terry Caldwell, making his first start in a Rebel uniform, recorded his first career sack and tied for the team lead with 5 tackles.
- Freshman Cam Ordway matched Caldwell with 5 tackles in his Rebel debut.
- Senior Trae Elston notched his team-leading fourth interception of the year.
- Mike Hilton picked off an Aggies pass, as well.
- Sophomore Marquis Haynes recorded 2 sacks against the Aggies.
- Robert Nkemdiche had 1 sack and 2 quarterback hurries on the day.
On offense, the Rebels racked up the second-most yards of total offense in school history with 665 yards on Saturday. The only time Ole Miss has topped that number came back in 2013 against Troy, when the Rebels put up 751 yards against the Trojans. The Rebels set a single-season school record by topping 600-yards of total offense for the third time this year. Further, the 52 points scored against the Aggies is the third time this season the Rebels have surpassed the 50-point barrier, which is a school single-season record, too. It is safe to say that Ole Miss fans are being treated to a record-setting season by this high-powered Rebel offense.
Check back next week when we bring you the “Postgame Points” following the Memphis game!