The pandemonium from the LSU victory is starting to simmer down. Now, the focus is on week 6 at home to a tough opponent in Arkansas. Which 3 players should we be watching out for on Saturday?
The shouts of “ohhhh” were heard loudly around Vaught-Hemingway Stadium 10 minutes into the first quarter on Saturday. Ole Miss safety Daijahn Anthony had just clattered into LSU QB Jayden Daniels, causing a fumble, recovered by the defense. Anthony turned into a human missile to deliver the hit, which had Daniels wincing heading over to the sideline.
As mentioned, it caused a turnover, resulting in Ole Miss going 2 scores up quickly, after Quinshon Judkins had given the Rebels a 7-0 lead. Lots of things happened after the incident, however, that did feel like one of the big plays that helped win the game for Ole Miss.
Anthony had 6 total tackles, 1 tackle for loss and a pass break-up. Although the secondary struggled on the whole against LSU, they showed up in key situations. The same will need to happen again, when they come up against Arkansas on Saturday.
The Razorbacks have a big physical QB in KJ Jefferson, who likes to run with the ball. Anthony will be tasked with getting down into the box and causing some big hits on the QB. As well as Jefferson, they also have a 210 pound RB in Raheim Sanders. Anthony will have to stay focused when it comes to deep passes, but also vigilant on run defense. He will need to be everywhere.
Jaxson Dart will always be a player to watch for the fans weekly. However, this week is a really important game for the young QB. Last season consistency was a struggle for Dart. Fans and the media knew he had the skills to be a top tier QB, but putting it all together regularly was an issue.
The non-existent offense in week 4 against Alabama can be put down to coaching, it can also be put down to poor play on the field. Dart bounced back with his performance against LSU, arguably his best performance in his collegiate career. The accolades that came tumbling in this week support that.
Now Dart has to back that up again and put on another top tier performance against Arkansas. If he can drag the team to another impressive win, the confidence will be high and Dart is a player who benefits from high confidence more than others.
I have total faith in another excellent game from Dart on Saturday. He looks like a different player, a QB who has clicked into gear, with everything moving at a slower pace to make the right decisions. It’s a really exciting time to watch Ole Miss with Jaxson Dart as the QB.
Ole Miss have a bunch of top receiving weapons for QB Jaxson Dart. Nearly 6 weeks in to the season, it’s taken some time to get them all on the field at the same time. Tight end Caden Prieskorn made his second appearance on Saturday, while WR Tre Harris had his first start since the first quarter in week 2.
Another top transfer in the off season was Zakhari Franklin, who came in from UTSA. There was a lot of buzz around him, coming off back-to-back 1000+ yard receiving seasons for the Roadrunners. Putting him together with fellow transfer Harris and guys in Jordan Watkins and Dayton Wade had fans licking their lips.
Unfortunately, a knee injury kept him out of most of fall camp and also missed the first 3 weeks of the season. He has been eased back into the side, with Lane Kiffin putting him on a snap count.
Guys around him have been going off on this passing offense, with Franklin wanting a piece of the pie. It’s not clear how much we will see him against Arkansas, but he should be involved more than previously.
He is going to be an important piece for this Ole Miss passing game. There will be games where Harris and others might be matched up with the top corners, resulting in less productivity. This will mean Franklin could see more targets and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see that happen on Saturday.