Despite the ninth win of the season for the Rebels, it was their worst performance in a winning game. There was concerns to mull over for Lane Kiffin before the Egg Bowl on Thanksgiving Day. Who came out as winners and losers in Saturday’s game?
The offense was subpar for most of the game on Saturday, with uncharacteristic drops and ball security. It had Lane Kiffin animated on the sideline numerous times. There were plenty of winners and losers on the offensive side of the ball.
One player who stood up when needed in the passing game was tight end Caden Prieskorn. The transfer out of Memphis has been a reliable target for Dart since he got on the field in week 4.
Prieskorn made two big catches on separate third-down plays. Both catches were made at a time when the offense was struggling.
Prieskorn also caught his first touchdown of the season, one of his six receptions in the game. In key situations, he has been one of the main targets this season, with Saturday following suit.
Cedric Johnson Jr.
The defense had a decent day, especially in the 1st and 3rd quarters. Cedric Johnson Jr has been arguably the most disruptive player on the defensive line this season.
Johnson Jr recorded two sacks in Saturday’s game, both early in the first quarter. It took him to joint leader on the season and to 19 all-time college sacks. Johnson had a deflected pass at the line and totalled five tackles against ULM.
The defensive end is on the 2024 Reese’s Senior Bowl watchlist. With his performances this season, it will be a surprise if he doesn’t make it to Mobile in February.
A quick tip of the hat to true freshman Cayden Lee, a player we will see more of next season. The receiver notched his second touchdown of the season on only his second catch.
Lee came in with the back-ups in the 4th quarter, along with QB Spencer Sanders. Sanders found Lee on the boundary, with the speedy receiver dodging a few tackles and racing away down the sideline for the TD.
Cayden Lee looks to be a fun watch and will see more snaps next season in the offense.
Dart had some good plays in the game, but they were splashed around with uncharacteristic mistakes. Dart fumbled the ball twice in the game, having only one all season before the game. Both were recovered by Ole Miss, luckily for Dart.
The Junior also missed throws he should be making. It felt like he was playing in 1st gear, as was most of the offense. However, Dart could have been in the winners and losers column with the performance. With what we have seen from him this season, it was underwhelming.
I’m sure Dart will be focused on Mississippi State on Thanksgiving Day, with one of his better games needed to get the win.
The offensive line has been a question mark for most of the season for the Rebels. It might seem unjustified to have them down here with all the injuries, but they need to be better for the Egg Bowl.
Not only was Jaxson Dart sacked three times, Judkins and Bentley were stopped in the backfield numerous times. Pass protection has been questionable, but they have got after it in run blocking. That wasn’t the case against the Warhawks in week 12.
Yes, there was more movement on the offensive line than in previous games this season. Centre Caleb Warren shifted to right guard, with Reece McIntyre taking the snaps at centre. That meant Quincy McGee moved over to right guard.