Ole Miss vs. Cal Game Notes: Offenses hotter than Mother Nature
OXFORD, Miss. – Both the Ole Miss and Cal offenses got off to hot starts Saturday before Cal ultimately defeated the Rebels, 28-20. The pair combined for 267 yards in the opening quarter, and the offensive output turned out to be the hottest thing in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
The game time temperature was a pleasant 83 degrees.
That was only slightly warmer than Cal has been used to this season. In the first three games, the Bears have played in an average temperature of 74 degrees, including a 68-degree start in Seattle where Cal beat Washington 20-19.
The temps were fall-like for the Rebels. Ole Miss has been playing in an average of 89 degrees. If the opener at Memphis is removed from the equation, the Rebs have played their two games in Oxford in an average of 93 degrees.
WELCOME HOME: The Bears brought two Mississippians with them to Oxford. Senior wide receiver Jordan Duncan is from Hattiesburg and senior offensive lineman Gentle Williams hails from Florence.
In their time at Cal, this is the only time they have played in SEC country.
The closest they came to home last year was at Arizona, their sophomore year at North Carolina and their freshman year was Arizona State. Conversely, the duo’s first game as college players came against Hawaii in Sydney, Australia.
WEST COAST REBELS: A lot has been made of Matt Corral being the only Ole Miss player that is from California, but he is not the only connection between the Golden State and Ole Miss.
Defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre is a former head coach at San Jose State and wide receiver coach Jacob Peeler coached at Cal.
But football is not the only Cal connection. The Ole Miss softball roster is filled with Californians.
Head coach Mike Smith is a San Diego native and coached at California Baptist and UC-Riverside. Assistant coach Kim Schuette earned her master’s degree from San Jose State and volunteer assistant coach Caty Reeves played for Smith at California Baptist.
As for players, five hail from Cali: Alyssa Pinto (Lodi), Mikayla Allee (Corona), Autumn Gillespie (Redlands), Savannah Diederich (Hacienda Heights) and Gabby Alvarez (Riverside).
JONES AGAIN ON THE COVERAGE: Jacquez Jones must like being a member of the Ole Miss kickoff team. Last week, he had the biggest hit of the week when he de-cleated a Southeastern Louisiana kick returner. Saturday, Ashlyn Davis tried his luck. The Cal return man made it to the 21-yard line before Jones sent him airborne.
AGAINST THE STATE: Ole Miss is now 0-2 against Cal. The Bears are the only Pac-12 team the Rebels have ever met on the gridiron. The Rebs have played Fresno State and Long Beach State. Cal is now 11-11-1 against the SEC.
FLAG DAY: In its first three games, Ole Miss only committed 11 penalties. The Pac-12 officiating crew was not impressed by that fact. The Rebels were flagged six times for 55 yards with most of the penalties coming a crucial times.
WELCOME BACK: Wide receiver Braylon Sanders saw his first action since injuring his hamstring in the season opener at Memphis. The junior picked up his first reception of the season in the first quarter good for nine yards.
In the third quarter he recorded a 40-yard reception from Corral.
For the game he had five catches for 73 yards.
STREAKS SNAPPED: Scottie Phillips had run for 100 yards in his last two games. Saturday, he could only muster 54. Junior Ryder Anderson had a sack in each of the first three games this season, but he went without one against Cal. Anderson did have Bears’ quarterback Chase Garbers in his grasp once, but Garbers was able to escape.
BEHIND THE LINE: Heading into the game, Ole Miss led the SEC with 27 tackles for loss. Saturday, the Rebels added five more.