Ole Miss looks to finish final home game of 2023 strong, continue quest for record-breaking season
OXFORD, Miss. — Ole Miss will take on the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (ULM) this Saturday after coming off of the Rebels’ toughest, most emotional loss of the year, a 52-17 defeat in Athens. Similar to last season, the Rebels are 8-2 heading into their second-to-last, regular-season game, but as has been noted by head coach Lane Kiffin and several players, this is a much-improved team with a very different schedule.
Instead of traveling to Fayetteville to play Arkansas, the Rebs this year host ULM, who is 2-8 on the season, including a 47-3 loss against Texas A&M. Unfortunately for the Warhawks, when Ole Miss plays after games they have struggled in, they tend to be a much better team — especially at home.
Offensively, after losing to Alabama 24-10 earlier this season and scoring the fewest amount of points the Rebs have tallied all season long, they responded the following week by putting 55 points on the board against LSU.
Rebels win!! Rebels win!!!
Final score: Ole Miss 55, LSU 49 pic.twitter.com/55aZxbewln
— The Rebel Walk (@TheRebelWalk) October 1, 2023
Jaxson Dart was 26-39 for 389 yards — 145 yards and three touchdowns more than he did against Alabama. Collectively, Ole Miss jumped from 301 total offense yards against the Tide to 706 total yards. After only scoring 17 points against Georgia last week, I would expect a similar reaction from Dart and the offense.
Unlike the offensive dominance against LSU, the defense actually had its worst game of the year statistically. The next week against Arkansas, the boys made some big plays, including catching two interceptions and holding the Razorbacks to just 36 rushing yards total after allowing 223 the week prior. While they did allow 311 passing yards and 300 rushing yards versus Georgia, it is safe to say that Pete Golding and this defense will be playing with a chip on their shoulder come game time.
Despite Ole Miss playing an out-of-conference game, the stats along with the final score of this matchup still remain of high importance. The Rebs are currently ranked as the No. 13 team in the country in the College Football Playoff rankings, and with a blowout win and a potential loss from Penn State (12), Oregon State (11), or Louisville (10), Ole Miss would regain its spot as a top 12 team and put themselves in position to play in a New Year’s 6 bowl game. If the Rebs were to earn the chance to do so, it would bring more attention to the program.
Ole Miss Falls Four Spots in the College Football Playoff Rankings. https://t.co/CtUggEnRJG
— The Rebel Walk (@TheRebelWalk) November 15, 2023
An even bigger reason why it is crucial for Coach Kiffin and the team to take care of business is that for the first time in the history of Ole Miss football, the Rebs have a chance to win 11 games in a single season.
To witness potentially their ninth win of the season and the last home game of 2023, come show your support at 11 a.m. this Saturday. Hotty Toddy!