Postgame Points : Alabama vs. Ole Miss
Each week, The Rebel Walk’s Jeff Tetrick takes a look at the Ole Miss Postgame Points, examining the top five takeaways from the Rebels’ most recent football game. Here are the Postgame Points from the road game at Alabama, a 66-3 loss to the Crimson Tide.
1. One Game
Ole Miss was defeated soundly in all phases of the game by Alabama on Saturday night in Tuscaloosa. It was not the start the Rebels were hoping for in beginning conference action. The good news for Ole Miss is that this was simply one game.
The Rebels must regroup quickly and get set to face Auburn this weekend. Players, coaches, and fans need to move on from this game and look forward to the next contest. Ole Miss sits at 0-1 in the SEC, plain and simple. Saturday is a chance to even the league record and get that first conference victory.
2. Jordan Wilkins
Despite a tough night on the scoreboard, Ole Miss got a solid performance from running back Jordan Wilkins. Wilkins had a pair of carries that went for more than 20 yards (21, 44) against Alabama. For the game, Wilkins finished with 101 yards on 12 rushing attempts. He averaged more than 8 yards per rush. Against SEC opponents, Ole Miss needs this type of production from Wilkins and the running backs to keep drives alive and to win games.
3. Big Plays
On a night in which the offense struggled to move the ball consistently, the Rebels did get some big plays against a very talented, well-coached Alabama defense.
In addition to a pair of big runs by Jordan Wilkins, Shea Patterson and his receivers found some success through the air. DaMarkus Lodge hauled in a pair of passes that went for over 35 yards apiece. Dawson Knox and D. K. Metcalf each caught passes good for more than 20 yards.
The big-play ability of the offense will be helpful in SEC action, especially when an opponent’s strength is stopping the run. Further, those big strikes downfield can be the difference in close ballgames.
4. Gary Wunderlich
It was good to see Gary Wunderlich on the field for the Rebels in Tuscaloosa following his hamstring injury suffered at Cal. While he had just one opportunity to impact the game, he connected on his lone field goal attempt from 26 yards out to put Ole Miss on the scoreboard. Going forward, Wunderlich is an important weapon for the Rebels. As one of the top kickers in the SEC, he can be a difference-maker in tight games.
5. Defensive Standouts
Senior DeMarquis Gates turned in another solid effort with 8 tackles for the Rebels. Gates had 5 solo stops and 3 assists against the Crimson Tide.
Senior A. J. Moore was the other Rebel defender who had a big night against #1 Alabama. Moore had 6 solo tackles amongst his 7 stops on the evening.
Ole Miss faces a challenging road test at #12 Auburn on Saturday. The Rebels defeated the Tigers 27-19 in their last visit to The Plains in October of 2015.
(Feature image credit: Dan Anderson, The Rebel Walk)