College Football News Preview 2020: Ole Miss Rebels Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The Ole Miss Rebels Offense
Quickly pivot to more of a balanced attack. Lane Kiffin’s Florida Atlantic offense led Conference USA with a passing game that averaged 283 yards per game and a ground attack that averaged 166.
At Ole Miss, the running game was too good at running the ball last year under then-offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez, tearing off 400 yards or more in three of the last seven games including 402 against LSU. It was an explosive attack, but it also didn’t lead to wins.
The Rebels only won five of their last six games, and the one win was against New Mexico State when the O hit over 60% of its passes for the only time in a run of eight games. No matter what, the passing game has to be sharper.
On the other side …
Biggest Key To The Ole Miss Rebels Defense
The pass defense has to be far, far stronger. The secondary was able to keep most teams out of the end zone. Joe Burrow threw five touchdown passes in LSU’s win, but Ole Miss only gave up just two touchdowns in six of the other final seven games.
In all, the Rebels allowed 17 of 20 touchdown passes in just four games, but that wasn’t necessarily the issue – it was hardly shocking to be lit up by Alabama and LSU. The problem was the completion percentage allowed.
The last four teams on the slate – Auburn, NMSU, LSU and Mississippi State – combined to complete well over 70% of their passes. On the year, nine teams connected on 64% of their passes or more against the SEC’s worst pass defense.
Key Ole Miss Rebels Player To A Successful Season
QB John Rhys Plumlee, Soph.
No matter how he plays and works, he’s got to be brilliant. This is a good Ole Miss team across the board, but other than Arkansas, the rest of the SEC West is still fantastic. It’s going to take a superstar under center to help the rest of the team rise up, and Plumlee almost did that last season – and the team kept losing.
There’s going to be a transitional period, and there might not be a whole lot of consistency, but a promising receiving corps is in place, there’s enough on both sides of the ball to push for a better season, and the team’s top player of last year is going to have to be even better.
Key Game To The Ole Miss Rebels Season
Baylor (in Houston), Sept 5
Last year, Ole Miss started out the season at Ole Miss, and nothing got going in a 15-10 loss. There wasn’t much luck the rest of the way, with the only four wins coming against the weak and the sad teams on the slate. This year, after starting out against Baylor, there’s a break with SEC Missouri State. And then …
Auburn, at LSU, Alabama.
Lose to Baylor, and a 1-4 start is likely with Florida and at Texas A&M still to deal with.
– Ole Miss Rebels Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2019 Ole Miss Fun Stats
– Rushing Yards: Ole Miss 3,015 – Opponents 1,662
– 4th Quarter Scoring: Ole Miss 108 – Opponents 47
– Time of Possession: Opponents 31:45 – Ole Miss 28.15