It was a call that has gotten us all up-in-arms: “shotgun draw on 4th-and-an-inch?” It was a call that divided the stands into two sections: those who thought Ole Miss should have punted and those who thought it should have been a quarterback sneak. Unfortunately for Hugh Freeze, nobody in the stadium thought that the right call was made. That call aside, Freeze and the rest of the Rebels had a pretty good offensive day.
Quarterback: Bo Wallace made a lot of good decisions on Saturday. He spread the ball around and had three receivers with at least five catches: Dante Moncrief, Ja-Mes Logan, and Vincent Sanders. He, for the most part, made the right read and he ended up with over 300 yards. The problem is a different number, two. Two as in the number of interceptions Wallace threw. One was a fluke behind the line that ended up being returned for a touchdown. The other was one that ended the game as the Rebels were driving into Aggie territory. Stop me if you have heard this before, Wallace made a lot of great plays, but needs to stop turning the ball over.
Running Backs: Besides the run on fourth down, Jeff Scott had a great ball game, and no one can fault him for not gaining that first down anyway. Ever since he returned against UTEP, Scott has been a menacing figure to stop. The speed and low center of gravity makes him so hard to stop when he breaks contain. The junior had 108 yards on 21 touches, including a 1-yard-run for a touchdown.
Randall Mackey added 23 yards on 7 carries, and did not lose yards on any of his carries. The surprise was that Jaylen Walton did not receiver a carry or a target on offense after being a game-changer in the beginning of the season. What is exciting about this running back unit is that on top of their explosiveness, they are beginning to limit turnovers, zero fumbles against the Aggies.
Tight Ends/Receivers: Jamal Mosley and Ferbia Allen have continued to see reductions in playing time. Against Alabama and Texas A&M’s linebackers, it is understandable. The truth will be told when the Rebels face off against defenses like Auburn and Arkansas.
Moncrief, Logan, and Sanders combined for 17 catches and 207 yards. Moncrief rebounded off having his only touchdownless game of the year against Alabama by scoring from four yards out. Sanders played his smartest game of the season, he also burned De-Vontae Harris, garnering a pass interference that adhered a certain touchdown. If the two and three receivers can keep playing at or around this level, they can be a dangerous unit.
Offensive Line: The offensive line played their best game as a group on Saturday. Allowing five tackles for loss, including just one sack, is a successful day against Texas A&M’s blitz-happy scheme. Earlier in the year it was great games by individuals, but on Saturday the line meshed well. The coaches deserve a lot of credit for bringing this group together as soon as they did. With every extra second Wallace gets in the pocket, the offense gets deadlier and deadlier.
Every week it seemed to be the line was underperforming, or the receivers were, or Wallace was, but this week seemed to be a solid collective game. The Rebels were able to keep up with one of the premier offenses in the nation, an impressive feat in its own right. If it were not for a few mistakes, two by Wallace and one by Freeze, Ole Miss would have won this game. The last two games , while losses, have shown the SEC that Ole Miss is a team to be reckoned with. It is still to be seen whether or not they can bring that reckoning to the Tigers of Auburn this Saturday.