The dust has settled on a fantastic Saturday night in Oxford. The Rebels took down rivals LSU to keep their chances of an SEC West title alive. In a momentous win, who were the winners and losers for Ole Miss?
Running back Quinshon Judkins had himself a day on Saturday against LSU and was one of the big winners on the team. The sophomore RB carried the ball 33 times for 177 yards and a TD. He also started the scoring on the night with a 4 yard receiving TD.
One of the main talking points through the first 4 weeks was the usage of Judkins. His highest rushing game was 60 yards in week 1, with the most carries being just 18 in week 2.
Judkins had come out and said he had been suffering with a slight niggle, picked up in the Tulane game in week 2. This weekend he looked like his old self, being used as the workhorse out of the backfield.
It will be a massive boost going forward for Ole Miss this season if Judkins can keep up this pace. The injuries he has had hanging over him look to have been holding him back, if Saturday is anything to go by.
What a performance. QB Jaxson Dart was a man possessed against LSU. Dart threw the ball 39 times, completing 26 of his passes for 389 yards and 4 TDs. He also rushed for 50 yards and 1 TD.
The pressure was constantly thrust upon Dart and the offense, as free scoring LSU racked up the points. The 3rd year QB delivered every time, marching Ole Miss down the field with help from the RBs.
We know Dart can make plays with his feet, but some of his throws were top tier. Also, in clutch moments like 3rd and long situations and even 4th down. The TD pass to Jordan Watkins was a beauty, dropping it over the top of the linebackers and in the bucket for Watkins.
This was a signature performance for Dart, one that now comes with expectations. Fans don’t want to see this as a flash in the pan game from him. If Dart can repeat the performance, or get close to it regularly, anything is possible for the Rebels.
I could have stayed with the offense and picked Tre Harris, Caden Prieskorn, the offensive line and a few others. Instead, I’m selecting linebacker Jeremiah Jean-Baptiste.
JJB had a steady game, making 4 tackles and again showing leadership skills on the field. The UCF transfer has been an excellent addition to Pete Golding’s defense.
JJB has had better games in college, however, he came up clutch near the end of the game. First he was close to being the villain, gifting LSU yards for a personal foul on the LSU QB. However, Jean-Baptiste came up with a huge play, breaking up what looked like a guaranteed TD pass on the second to last play.
A massive play that help ensure a victory for Ole Miss in the Magnolia Bowl. JJB was one of the winners on that pass break-up alone.
Despite a fabulous win for the Rebels, there were some concerns in the game. One of the main ones being the secondary.
It’s always going to be a struggle when you come up against a quality QB in Jayden Daniels. However, the secondary struggled to get close to receivers Nabers and Thomas Jr for 90% of the game.
The same routes were being run, but the DBs were burnt time and time again with the speed over the top. The secondary couldn’t get their heads switched around or time a breakup on the receivers.
Lane Kiffin came out and said he was disappointed with how the defense performed. Shipping 414 passing yards to Daniels and 4 passing TDs, all 4 of them in the corners of the end zone, over the top of the DBs heads.
Pete Golding will need to get the group together with Keynodo Hudson the cornerbacks coach and resolve the issues before the Arkansas game.