The Ole Miss football spring season culminated this past Saturday with the annual Grove Bowl, a contest that the Red squad won in a wild shootout 53-52.
After weeks of practice, Ole Miss football wrapped up their spring season this past weekend. The day was dominated by offense with 105 points scored between the two squads and a 1-point win by the Red team after a last-minute touchdown and an ensuing two-point conversion.
With one of the most intriguing and competitive quarterback battles in all of college football, all eyes were on the three men of the hour Jaxson Dart, Spencer Sanders, and Walker Howard, and with over 100 points combined the three competitors all did their part to keep the battle tight.
Jaxson Dart was the starting quarterback for Team Red while Spencer Sanders got starting duty for Team Navy. Walker Howard got the number two reps for both sides. Dart went 18 for 37 for 302 yards and a touchdown on the Day for Team Red.
Sanders also impressed completing 19 of 27 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns. He also showed off his running ability adding an additional 72 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown.
While Walker Howard seems to be trailing in the competition at this stage, he did his best to keep his hopes alive to win the job. Playing for both teams, the LSU transfer went a combined 11 for 12 passing for 185 yards and three touchdowns. He also tacked on a rushing touchdown of his own.
Currently it’s hard to say who may be the frontrunner for the starting quarterback job but many believe Dart is still leading as the favorite.
A pair of running backs also went over 80 yards each on the day. For the Red team, sophomore Fred McAfee had 15 carries for 80 yards and a score. Senior Ulysses Bentley went for 83 yards on 10 attempts with a score of his own for the Navy team. Star running back Quinshon Judkins played sparingly, likely in an attempt to make sure he stays healthy, only getting 11 total touches for 43 yards.
In the receiving department second-year tight end Michael Trigg led in catches with nine for 138 yards and a touchdown. This is good news for Rebel fans after a disappointing first year in Oxford this past season.
Senior Jordan Watkins was the yardage leader for receiving on the day with 149 yards on eight catches and a score. Sophomore JJ Henry also went over 100 receiving yards nabbing seven catches for 108 total.
Overall Ole Miss football fans may be able to relax now with those kinds of performances from the pass catchers after losing their top two receiving threats from a year ago.
While a starting quarterback has not and likely will not be named until week one of the fall season, or even later if this past year is any indication, Ole Miss seems to be in good hands with any of the options and the offense shouldn’t miss a beat going into 2023-24.