Love This Offense
Ole Miss Rebels Football
First, I realize I was critical of offensive coordinator and his offense a few times last season. However, you can’t argue with the numbers this offense can put up. Of course, you have to look forward to having Jordan Ta’amu back on the field at quarterback.
There is excitement surrounding who could be the most physically talented quarterback returning in the SEC in 2018. In 2017 Ta’amu put up great numbers after Shea Patterson went down. Jordan completed 115 of 173 attempts for 1682 yards and 11 TDs while only throwing 4 INTs. Ta’amu also had 4 rushing TDs.
This is the best group of returning receivers in the SEC and quite possibly the nation. With Conerly Trophy winner AJ Brown, DK Metcalf and DaMarkus Lodge you will be hard pressed to find a better set of wide-outs anywhere.
Add to that corp the size and speed of Braylon Sanders and Kam White and it is very dangerous. Once again, with Ta’amu at quarterback in this Longo offense you can expect big numbers. I believe after his performance this season we know he is capable of setting records and this WR corp will help get it done. I fully expect AJ Brown to have another 1000+ yard season in 2018. There could be one or two more receivers in this corp flirting with the 1000 yard mark in 2018.
When you factor the role of the tight-end into this offense you have Dawson Knox, Octavious Cooley and Jacob Mathis to consider. Dawson Knox will be the probable starter and continue where he left off last season. Add 2018 signees Elijah Moore and Demarkus Gregory to the mix and this group of receivers will be special once again.
After seeing Jordan Wilkins rush for 1000+ yards I believe the sky is the limit for this group of returning running backs. As a whole the Rebels netted only 1607 yards on the ground but did have a 4.3 ypc average. There were moments last season when we saw a few glimpses of some of the younger backs in games. And even though losing Wilkins may be a stumble there will be somebody else to step up and take charge as the feature back in the 2018 season.
When we look at the roster and who the Rebels have coming in there is room to get excited. D’Vaughn Pennamon, Eric Swinney and DK Buford are all returning with game experience. KeShun Wells is the only other running back on the Rebels roster. Of course, the Rebels do have juco transfer Scottie Phillips coming in and I have a feeling he will be a good one.
In The Trenches
This was one of the weak links in the Ole Miss offense last week because of depth issues due to injuries. The Rebels brought in Jack Bicknell, Jr prior to the 2017 season and the catch-up phase for Bicknell showed in the line through the early part of the season. Seniors Sean Rawlings, Javon Patterson and Jordan Sims are all returning as well as juniors Alex Givens and Greg Little.
There is obvious experience on this younger yet huge offensive line. With coach Bicknell having more time with this group during the spring I expect to see our line play much improved from last season. The one thing which would make things better is to see one or two good offensive linemen on National Signing Day.
2018 will be another fun season for Ole Miss football going forward and it will all start on the offensive side of the ball. We can expect to see coach Phil Longo to utilize the weapons he has and this offense will have success. Expect to see a much faster and more explosive offense in 2018.