Mississippi put together a complete game this past Saturday against Louisiana-Monroe for the first time this season. The Rebel offense broke the all-time school record for yards with 826 behind the right arms of quarterbacks Jordan Ta’amu and Matt Corral. The duo combined for an incredible day, completing 31-of-34 passes for 517 yards, en-route to the 70-21 win.
Most importantly, the Rebel defense – inept for the better part of the season – held the Warhawks to 14 points and appeared vastly improved. Many have pointed to the move of running back Armani Linton to the defensive side of the ball giving a jolt of energy to a defense in need of that.
“Overall, our execution was better, but there are still some things we have to work on. What I was pleased with is that the guys came out early and set their cleats, set their eyes and played forward, aggressive, the whole game,” defensive coordinator Wesley McGriff said.
For Ole Miss fans, the question remains whether the Rebels can put up those offensive numbers against an SEC team and compound that with a quality defensive performance. This Saturday, we’ll find out.
For the Rebels (3-2, 0-2 SEC), Saturday will be their best chance at a SEC win this season. Western division foe Arkansas (1-5, 0-3 SEC) has had an even rougher go in 2018 the Ole Miss.
“Arkansas (is) a big road game for us,” Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke said. “They’re very good up front (and) have a very good front seven. We’ll have to play well to win.”
With games against Vanderbilt, LSU, Mississippi State and Missouri upcoming, the Razorbacks will be itching for a chance to try their hand against a Rebel defense currently ranked 123rd out of 129 teams in total defense.
“It’s the third week in a row we’re playing one of the top offenses in the country, as Ole Miss is extremely explosive,” Arkansas head coach Chad Morris said. “They do a lot of things to challenge you offensively and you can see why they are one of the top offenses in the country.”
Saturday’s game will be played in Little Rock. The Hogs have played inside War Memorial Stadium since the venue opened in 1948, marking the 71st season of Razorback Football in the capital city. During that time, the Razorbacks are 151-60-4 (.712). The university recently signed an agreement to continue playing one game a year there through the 2024 season.
Ole Miss fans have enjoyed the trip to Little Rock. Many remember the game in which Ole Miss stopped the Hogs on a goal-line stand when Chris Mitchell hit Arkansas running back Ron Dickerson, stopping him just outside the goal-line on fourth down to secure a 21-17 win in 1990. Most recently, Ole Miss beat Arkansas on a last second field goal in 2012 when Bryson Rose led Ole Miss to the 30-27 win in the waning moments.
(You can follow Brad Logan on Twitter @BradLoganCOTE)
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