QB Film Room: No. 9 Ole Miss defeats Vandy, 52-28
OXFORD, Miss. — Here we are, headed to the seventh week of the 2022 college football season with an undefeated and No. 9-ranked Ole Miss team — for just the second time in six decades.
The much-ballyhooed quarterback battle between USC transfer Jaxson Dart and returnee Luke Altmyer resolved itself after Altmyer injured his throwing shoulder in the first half of the second game.
Dart has taken up where Matt Corral left off as far as winning football games. Dating back to the 2020 season, Ole Miss has yet to lose a game when it’s had a lead — a streak of 17 straight. The combination of great defense and superb offensive execution has prevented any team from coming back to beat the Rebels for quite some time.
It’s uncannily eerie to me that the national championship Ole Miss baseball team, during its historic road trip to Omaha, never trailed after gaining the lead in nine of its ten wins. Both programs have demonstrated a bit of a killer instinct about them.
And as the talented Dart grows into the position he has now inherited from the QB who owns the program’s only 10-win regular season, the Ole Miss fan base can continue to expect more excellence exuding from this program under head coach Lane Kiffin’s guidance.
The first half of the season brought us some tremendous highlights, so let’s kick in with the very impressive comeback win at Vandy. Only three times has an opponent taken a lead after trailing the Rebs during this 17-game win streak, and Vandy was one of them.
Let’s take a look at a few plays that were instrumental in attaining this sixth victory.
Clip No. 1: Dart to Watkins on the square-in
How about on our first play we “throw a dart over the middle?” You got it.
Here we have the Run-Pass-Option look and an outstanding block on the outside blitz by freshman running back Quinshon Judkins. Jordan Watkins weaves in and out of traffic to find open space behind the linebacker and Jaxson cuts it loose to the perfect spot.
Clip No. 2: Dart to Watkins for Six!
What a play we have right here. There’s no true running back in the game. Watkins lines up in the backfield and will run an arrow route, breaking back inside for an easy throw and a long run, untouched.
The Vandy defense is in Man coverage but the linebacker normally assigned to covering the back is blitzing. This offensive tactic looks very similar to how Elijah Moore was used in 2020.
Watch as right tackle Micah Pettus uses outstanding footwork to shadow box both defenders, providing just enough time for Jaxson to hit the hot route for the score.
Clip No. 3: Dart to Mingo to the one
Here’s the spot where fans are a bit nervous and then begin to exhale. It’s also when, if you’re day-trading, Ole Miss stock is as inexpensive as it gets in this one.
Vandy apparently has seen enough of Watkins running his square-in, so they go Man on him with their safety up top. Bad move. It leaves the deep middle vacant for a fast move-in by Jonathan Mingo. The throw isn’t perfect but Mingo makes a beautiful sliding catch, and the rout is on.
Clip No. 4: The Power I
And what do we have here? It’s the Power I, my goal-line go-to set when I was coaching. What will Lane do next, the Wishbone? This is punching it in at its finest. I know of another SEC coach this past Saturday night who probably wishes he’d done the same. (Looking at you, Jimbo.)
Clip No. 5: Zach Evans for Six
Here’s the point of the game where the Rebels get back on top for keeps. They had run this play two plays earlier and Jaxson had kept it on the handoff read, leaving Zach Evans running free with a lead blocker, but no football. They came right back with the same play once and then again for this big go-ahead touchdown run.
Clip No. 6: Dart to Mingo for the TD
Here’s what happens when your safety takes two steps up, thinking he’s going to jump the slant route. Silly boy. See ya on the other side, Jonathan Mingo!
Clip No. 7: Dart to Mingo for 6 — Part 2
I’m seeing a tendency here with the Rebels and you will, too. It’s becoming apparent that every time the quarterback goes under center, the Rebs score. Somebody just yelled, “Bingo!”
Clip No. 8: Mingo for the Record
“There’s Mingo, and there’s the record!”
Jonathan Mingo broke the Ole Miss single-game record for receiving yards after tallying 247 yards on nine catches with two receiving touchdowns, and here’s the play where he broke it. He breaks Elijah Moore’s 2020 record of 238 yards on his school-record 14 receptions at Vanderbilt on Oct. 31, 2020.
After six games this season, the top four SEC quarterbacks in Total QBR also lead the remaining undefeated teams in the league.
The four top SEC quarterbacks in QBR are leading the four remaining undefeated SEC teams after Week 6. pic.twitter.com/IvMOpDnj09
— David Walker (@DavidWalkerQB) October 9, 2022
That’s it for this week’s QB Film Room. We’ll be back next week to take a look at the game against Auburn. That contest kicks off at 11:00 a.m. this Saturday in Vaught-Hemingway.
David is the consummate true-freshman quarterback, first pioneering the position only a year after college freshmen were given varsity eligibility by the NCAA in 1972. In 1973, the left-handed all-state gunslinger from Sulphur, Louisiana started for the Texas A&M Aggies and earned the All-Southwest Conference Freshman of the Year award as selected by the league’s coaches. David is the first college quarterback ever awarded Freshman of the Year in the NCAA. He was only 17, and still holds the NCAA record as the youngest starting quarterback in college football history. He wore No. 8 at A&M in honor of one of his football heroes, Archie Manning.
In becoming the winningest quarterback ever at A&M, David was converted from a dual-threat QB to a triple option trailblazer. The two-time team captain led three record-breaking offenses that changed the direction of football at A&M forever, establishing once and for all the winning tradition that the Aggies had so-long desired.
As a high school head coach in Houston in the late ‘80s, David stationed his quarterback in the shotgun formation, having him reading defenses and throwing hot routes at a time when such offensive schemes were frowned upon by traditional fans and coaches. One of his quarterbacks tossed 57 passes in a single game, which stood as the all-time Greater Houston Area record for many years.
As you can tell from his bona fides, David is extremely qualified as our expert on all things Quarterback at Ole Miss. Enjoy his exclusive analysis only here at The Rebel Walk!