QB Film Room: On the ground or in the air, Ole Miss offense can do it all
OXFORD, Miss. — What an entertaining game it was between Auburn and Ole Miss. If you love offense, there was plenty to be had. If you like comebacks, there was a bit of that, too.
The Ole Miss offense is just so balanced, and not necessarily in yards gained. An offense is balanced when it can move the ball with equal efficacy on the ground and in the air.
For a team to score 48 points and its top two receivers (Jonathan Mingo and Malik Heath) not even touch the ball, folks, the Rebs are 100% dangerous. Ole Miss has a mission this week at LSU to become only the second Rebel team in history to start a season 8-0.
The Rebs ARE HOT! Let’s keep this free-birding going!
First up, Lane Kiffin. He gets his GameDay wish and now Ole Miss sits atop the SEC West.
After an AJ Finley interception, Jaxson Dart gets to play eenie-meenie-miney-mo with his receivers.
Here, we have two deep crossing patterns, a back bluffing a block and slipping into the flat, and lo and behold, a fourth wide-open receiver on the deep post. That would be the transfer-portal-
The Rebs have such a well-schemed play here, it should be enshrined in Atlanta.
Let’s say we put the tight end on the right for some pass protection, cover him up with a wide receiver (it’s hard for defenders to see the TE is actually an ineligible receiver), put Watkins in the backfield Elijah-style, put our Freshman All-American running back out wide to the left, motion him in for a fake handoff, and then slip Watkins out on a wheel route down the right sideline while the defenders are all flocking to the decoys. Sound good?
This play contains some wonderful basketball principles.
Remember when Michael Jordon would send all his teammates off to the left so he could one-on-one the poor sucker guarding him? It’s the same thing here.
The Rebels go unbalanced with the second receiver up top actually ineligible because of alignment. Jaxson has a back to his right who bluffs the cornerback before scooting down the sideline. The left guard and H-Back pull playside while the right tackle goes for the inside linebacker, a perfect 3 yards downfield. If he goes any further, it’s an ineligible receiver penalty.
This play resembles a speed option except the “pitchback” is already 15 yards downfield when the option occurs. Watch Auburn’s poor No. 4 get caught in no man’s land.
On this play, Ole Miss lines up in a tight “Trips” formation to the right, all bunched up, and Judkins goes in motion behind the quarterback for another wheel route. The throw is spot-on for another six.
Do they have scout teams at Auburn?
As a former convert myself to the triple option in college, I get a kick out of watching the handoff reads now taking place from 5 yards back. Here, Jaxson does an outstanding job of reading the DE’s reaction to take the RB, and then sweeping around the edge.
Announcer: “The best team in the SEC on third down.” Yeah, buddy. Not everyone can run the counter-trey with their QB but it’s hardly the case with this offense.
Watch the left guard and tackle pull to their right and slam into the two playside defenders, and the down-blocks by the playside linemen open a huge hole for Jaxson.
Onside kicks, touchdown dives, fist pumps, and leg kicks. Now that’s quality football.
(Feature image credit: Kiana Dale, Ole Miss Athletics)
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!