Postgame Points: Ole Miss 50, Louisiana 22
Each week, The Rebel Walk’s Jeff Tetrick takes a look at the Ole Miss Postgame Points, examining the top five, positive takeaways from the Rebels’ most recent football game. Here are the Postgame Points from the win over Louisiana.
After hitting a couple of rough patches in both September and October, Ole Miss seems to be hitting its stride in November! The Rebels racked up 641 yards of total offense in blasting Louisiana 55-20 on Saturday afternoon. Ole Miss won its second consecutive game to begin the month of November. The Rebels now stand 5-5 on the season and have a chance to finish with a .500 or better record with 2 games left on the schedule.
While many outsiders expected this team to quit after a tough loss to Arkansas, the Rebels have proved the naysayers wrong. Ole Miss has found another gear on the field as of late, and the coaches and players deserve a ton of credit for fighting to the finish this year. Few people outside of Oxford thought this team could come close to 5 wins in 2017. Yet, the Rebels head into the homestretch with a shot at finishing 7-5 if they can take down Texas A&M and Mississippi State in the next 2 weeks.
Junior quarterback Jordan Ta’amu and sophomore wide receiver A. J. Brown were two of the stars in Ole Miss’ big 55-20 win over Louisiana at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
Ta’amu was brilliant in his third start for the Rebels, while Brown showed everyone why he is one of the top receivers in the nation.
The Ta’amu-to-Brown connection was a winning combination for Ole Miss against the Ragin’ Cajuns. The junior signal-caller found Brown twice in the first half for touchdown strikes that helped the Rebels race out to a large lead en route to a thirty-five point victory.
For the game, Ta’amu completed 28 of 36 passes for 418 yards and 3 touchdowns. Brown caught half of Ta’amu completions, as he finished with 14 receptions for 185 yards and 2 scores.
3. Featured Back
Senior Jordan Wilkins is having a super season in his final campaign wearing the red and blue for Ole Miss. Wilkins has been the featured back for the Rebels this year, and he has delivered time after time for his team. Against Louisiana, the Memphis native carried the ball 14 times for 124 yards and a score. It is the fourth time this year that Wilkins has topped 100 rushing yards in a game.
For the season, Wilkins leads the Rebels in rushing with 754 yards and 6 touchdowns. As a receiver out of the backfield, the versatile senior has caught 24 passes for 235 yards and a score. Wilkins ranks second on the team in all-purpose yards with 988 through 10 games.
Ole Miss won the day on third-down conversions on both sides of the ball in Saturday’s win over Louisiana. I preach the importance of this statistic all the time, and success/failure in this category is often reflected in the final score of a game.
Offensively, the Rebels were successful on an amazing 10 of 13 third-down attempts. Ole Miss kept drives alive with these conversions and allowed the offense more chances to score points. The conversions were a big reason the Rebels ran 79 plays and possessed the ball for more than 29 minutes on Saturday. Likewise, Ole Miss had to punt just 3 times in the game.
Defensively, the Rebels allowed the Ragin’ Cajuns to convert just 3 of 13 third-down attempts. Ole Miss was able to get off the field and get the ball back into the hands of the high-octane offense. The Rebels forced Louisiana to punt 7 times on Saturday. These stops enabled the defense to get some rest, which resulted in the defense being on the field for just 30 minutes and facing just 66 snaps.
5. The Red-Zone
Readers know another statistic that I stress the importance of is producing points in the red-zone. Against Louisiana on Saturday, the Rebels owned this stat on both sides of the ball. Ole Miss was a perfect 4 for 4 in the red-zone with 4 touchdowns. The 28 red-zone points were more than the Ragin’ Cajuns scored in the game. The Rebel defense surrendered just 1 score in 2 red-zone trips for Louisiana.
Next up, Ole Miss plays its final home game of the season at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium when the Rebels host Texas A&M on Senior Night. Ole Miss has beaten Texas A&M each of the past three seasons. The Rebels rallied past the Aggies 29-28 last year in College Station. In the last meeting between these teams in Oxford in 2015, Ole Miss rolled to a 23-3 victory.
Texas A&M leads the all-time series with Ole Miss by a count of 6-3. Since the Aggies joined the SEC in 2012, Ole Miss owns a 3-2 advantage in the series!