Ole Miss Rebels: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats
Ole Miss Rebels: Key To The 2022 Offense
The offense cranked up more yards than anyone in the SEC, and the 34 points per game were hardly bad, it was surprisingly mediocre on third down conversions and was shockingly horrible at scoring in the red zone.
By the way, this was a problem in 2020, too.
The Rebels got inside the 20 69 times – only WKU and Utah got there more – but they only scored 75% of the time. They were tied for third in the nation in red zone trips, but was 115th at putting the biscuit in the basket.
They were 4-for-4 against Tennessee, and they needed every one of those scores. The same went for the 52-51 win over Arkansas, going 3-for-3, and scoring all five times was a big deal in the victory over Mississippi State.
They scored four times in eight chances in the loss to Auburn, and came away empty on both trips inside the 20 in the bowl loss to Baylor.
Ole Miss Rebels: Key To The 2022 Defense
Be better against the run.
To roll off the earlier blurb about the defense, on the plus side, the run defense was far better than it was in 2020.
It was still awful, allowing 191 yards per game and 25 touchdowns, giving up 200 yards or more in seven of the last ten games.
Ole Miss managed to beat Arkansas despite giving up 350 yards on the ground, and Liberty rumbled for 284 yards and only scored 14 points in its loss. However, even though a tight run D hasn’t necessarily correlated to wins under Lane Kiffin, good things happen when allowing teams to run for four yards or fewer. Ole Miss was 5-0 last year when it did that.
Ole Miss Rebels: Key Player To The 2022 Season
DE Cedric Johnson, Jr.
He was a strong playmaker last year with 6.5 sacks, 33 tackles, and seven quarterback hurries, but can he take his game a up a few more notches with leading pass rusher Sam Williams gone?
The transfer portal certainly helped, Khari Coleman from TCU and Jared Ivey of Georgia Tech as veteran edge rushers, but Johnson is the most productive veteran who can make the defense a whole lot nastier if he’s great.
Ole Miss Rebels: Key Transfer
LB Troy Brown, Sr.
QB Jaxson Dart from USC is the most important transfer, and you can point out any one of the gajillion free agents coming in as a key new part. Brown, though, is the most accomplished get and should make a massive impact from his linebacker spot.
He’s not huge – he had to bulk up to get to 220 pounds on his 6-1 frame – but the three-time First Team All-MAC performer at Central Michigan comes in with 212 career tackles, 6.5 sacks, and 32.5 tackles for loss with five picks in his four seasons.
Ole Miss Key Game To The 2022 Season
at LSU, Oct. 22
As long as Ole Miss doesn’t screw up, and if it’s able to dominate in Oxford, there’s a great chance it could and should be 7-0 going into the big stretch of the season.
After dealing with Auburn at home, the Rebels have to make the trip to LSU. That’s followed up by a trip to Texas A&M, and then comes a week off before getting Alabama, and then comes the date at Arkansas, and it’s all closed out with the Egg Bowl against Mississippi State.
So before the LSU game, get ready for the “is Ole Miss for real?” conversation. This game against what should be a jelled team under Brian Kelly will start to give the answer.
Ole Miss Rebels: 2021 Fun Stats
– 2nd Quarter Scoring: Ole Miss 167 – Opponents 79
– 4th Down Conversions: Ole Miss 31-of-49 (63%) – Opponents 17-of-35 (49%)
– Penalties: Ole Miss 117 for 978 yards – Opponents 82 for 692 yards