Notes from Ole Miss’ 28-10 win over Troy
OXFORD, Miss. – During the spring, most Ole Miss fans wondered who would be the standout quarterback in the season opener.
But the bigger question may have been which running back would be the most productive?
TCU transfer Zach Evans ran for 130 yards, but just as impressive was true freshman Quinshon Johnson. Perhaps the youngster decided this would be a good chance to show his talent against a semi-home team.
Judkins took to the field for his first game in an Ole Miss uniform Saturday. Yet, the team on the other sideline looked quite familiar. Judkins hails from Pike Road, Ala., and that town is about 30 minutes north of Troy on Alabama Highway 231. How close is Pike Road to Troy? Troy is the county seat of Pike County.
SPEAKING OF QBS: Before the game, the announcers relayed a conversation they had with head coach Lane Kiffin, noting the Rebels’ coach indicated while Jaxson Dart would start game one, Luke Altmyer will start game two. Against Troy, Dart was 18-27 for 154 yards, one touchdown and one interception. The USC transfer also tallied 40 yards on four carries.
Altmyer entered late in the game and was 1-2 for 13 yards.
BEATING THAT STATE: Ole Miss had lost its last eight games against teams from the state of Alabama. Granted, each of those losses were to Alabama and Auburn. The last Ole Miss win against a team from the Yellowhammer State came Sept. 2, 2017 when the Rebels beat South Alabama 47-27.
Ole Miss and the Trojans had only met once on the football field prior to Saturday, with the Rebels winning 51-21. However, later, Ole Miss had to vacate that win.
TROY IN MISSISSIPPI: The Trojans are 0-2 now in Oxford historically. But Troy does not mind heading to the Magnolia State. Troy earned its first Division I-A win at Mississippi State and has also won at Southern Miss.
HELMETS: It appears the Ole Miss uniforms had both pros and cons in fans’ eyes. The Rebels donned white helmets with navy blue and red trim and the “Ole Miss” logo. According to The Rebel Walk’s Clint Crockett, several fans liked the change in headgear, but many said they would not like it for the long term. Hey, the Rebels are 1-0 in them.
DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS: Defensively, the Rebels had a lot of new faces and saw very solid performances from them. Ole Miss gave up only 60 yards on the ground to the Trojans, and a big part of that was because of Khari Coleman. He finished with eight tackles, five of which were for losses, and is only the third player since 1999 to notch 5 TFL.
Tysheem Johnson led the Rebs with 12 tackles, followed by Troy Brown with 11. Otis Reese added 6, while Isheem Young, Davison Igbinosun and AJ Finley each added 5.
(Feature image credit: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss)
Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers.
He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio.
A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series.
Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time.
He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk.
Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.