For the second week in a row Ole Miss will play at home, this time against Arkansas. In the reverse fixture last season, the Razorbacks swept aside the Rebels. What will be the keys towards a victory this time around?
Caution with the QB
Arkansas QB Jefferson can be a big problem when on top form. At 6’3” and 247 lbs, Jefferson is a hard man to stop when running the ball. However, he hasn’t done it as well this season.
Jefferson is averaging a very low 1.9 yards per carry from 65 rushing attempts. This is way down on the previous two seasons. Although, this could be down to not having his top running back Raheim Sanders available in a handful of games.
Something that opponents would do, was put the ball in Jefferson’s hand to try to win games. Knowing there was a good chance the QB would struggle.
Jefferson has turned the ball over 4 times already, only one behind his full 2021 season tally and the same as last seasons. However, the Rebels must be wary, as he does have the capabilities of having a good all round game. Don’t presume they can relax against the pass.
KJ Jefferson has been up and down this season, but we saw in the close loss to LSU, he can put it all together. The Ole Miss defense needs to be prepared for the best version of KJ Jefferson.
We have seen it many times under HC Lane Kiffin, up-tempo offense works. It was seen in full effect in key situations against LSU last weekend.
Nobody likes to play against it, especially when it’s Ole Miss, with the personnel they have. It keeps the tired defense on the field, preventing substitutions.
On top of that, the scheme they run are the types that tire a defense. Lots of movement at the line of scrimmage, RPO plays and other subtle schemes.
The Razorbacks defense is still learning, with new DC Travis Williams 5 games into his new job. They have just given up over 900 offensive yards in their two SEC conference games.
Keeping up the tempo on offense is going to stop the opposition defense settling into a rhythm.
Get the ball out quick
One of the big parts of the win against LSU last weekend was Jaxson Dart getting the ball out quickly.
The offensive line has had questions thrown at them in the first 4 weeks. However, they were significantly better against LSU, helped by having less time to block on passing plays.
The LSU defense didn’t record a single sack, something that hasn’t been common in the first 4 weeks. As mentioned, getting the ball out quickly helped combat a usually dominant pass rush.
Arkansas also have a pretty good pass rush game, recording 14 sacks already this season. HC Lane Kiffin will need to scheme up some quick pass plays, alongside everything else.