We enter week 5 of the college football season, with another huge game for the Rebels. LSU are in town, with a win here, helping heal the wounds from the loss to Alabama. however, Ole Miss will need to play high level football to take down the Tigers. What are the 3 keys to victory for Lane Kiffin’s team?
Solid Offensive Line
Yes, we can all see that the offensive line has struggled early on. Jaxson Dart is the 3rd most sacked QB in the SEC, 5 sacks coming against Alabama last weekend. One of the best running backs from 2022 is not getting the time and space to make plays. It’s clearly the achilles heel of this team.
The Rebels lost experienced guys after the 2022 season and have not addressed the positions well enough. However, these are the cards that have been dealt and offensive line coach John Garrison needs to make it work. When it’s failing this bad, what can be done to help the QB and running game?
In pass protection, you don’t want to see Dart holding the ball for too long. Even more so against an LSU defensive front with players like Harold Perkins Jr, Mason Smith as well as others.
One of the keys to help this offensive line is getting the ball out quickly. Giving them less time holding off the players mentioned, while also gaining a little confidence, especially if they can see their QB upright most of the game.
The run game is a problem, with Quinshon Judkins being stopped more times in the backfield than we have seen positive runs. It’s simple, each individual needs to do their job on the line. Create those running lanes, seal the sides, let Judkins get to work.
The Rebels OL vs the Tigers DL is likely the most important mini match-up on Saturday. Whoever gets the best of it, will very likely take a huge step to victory.
Ole Miss hasn’t had much luck in the ways of a healthy receiver room in 2023. Lane Kiffin brought in two talented transfers in Tre Harris and Zakhari Franklin. However, both have missed significant time in the opening 4 games.
The buzz was high around Harris, even more so after his 4 touchdown performance in week 1. He also grabbed another the following week, before he left the game with an injury, resulting in missing the week 3 game. He managed to make the field against Bama, but Kiffin said he was only at 70%. While Franklin missed the first 3 games, before suiting up at the weekend.
Fellow receivers Jordan Watkins and Dayton Wade have stepped up and helped out massively. Both are key players, but Harris and Franklin have the x factor that can change the momentum of a game.
If both these guys are near full go on Saturday, then it’s a massive boost for Jaxson Dart and an even bigger problem for a struggling LSU secondary.
Dart has been holding onto the ball a little too long at times this season. Both Harris and Franklin are damn good at getting open quickly. This is something Dart hasn’t seen a lot of. It will be huge for the offense if they both see a high snap count.
In most big games like this one, one of the keys is having a clean game across the board. That means no silly penalties, no giving the opposition extra chances to make plays.
We have mentioned the offensive line needing to play well against a tough LSU defensive front. They can’t shoot themselves in the foot with holding calls against them. Putting the team in long play situations is a recipe for disaster.
Same again on the defensive side, it needs to be a near perfect performance. No offsides, no holding in the secondary. Make Jayden Daniels and the offense work for every yard. Giving a team like LSU extra chances to move the ball isn’t going to end well.
I know it’s one of the obvious keys to winning any game, but you can get away with high penalty counts in games against lesser opponents. Not in Saturday’s game, so discipline is something that needs to be right from the get go.