With help from supporting cast, Ole Miss offense one of SEC’s best

NCAA Football: Mississippi at Alabama

Major personnel upgrades on National Signing Day generated the buzz around Oxford, Miss. this season, but it’s been Bo Wallace and the rocket-fast Ole Miss offense continuing to impress that’s kept the Rebels in the spotlight under second-year coach Hugh Freeze.

Focusing on tempo, Ole Miss provided glimpses of what could be late last season, but this year’s wins over Texas and LSU were the necessary stamps of approval the program needed to divert the rest of college football’s up-and-comers to a unit worth watching in the SEC West.

Ole Miss leads what used to be a defense-driven league in total plays with 784 and over the last month, has been the SEC’s most productive spread attack with 500-plus yard outings each contest.

During Saturday’s 30-point win over Troy, Ole Miss averaged just over 8 yards per play and fired off 93 snaps in complete domination of the Trojans, compiling the school’s most yards from scrimmage — 751 — in a single game since 1951. The key during this stretch has been the Rebels’ ability to find rhythmic fluidity in the first half. They’ve outscored opponents 81-27 before intermission and have only trailed once after halftime.

Wallace’s play has risen from the pocket with two of his three career-high passing performances coming over the last four games including a personal-best 416-yard, three-touchdown day against Arkansas. But production from the offense’s collection of fast-twitch backs has made Wallace’s job, especially on play-action calls that bring linebackers toward the line of scrimmage, much easier.

All of Ole Miss’ top three rushers are under 6-foot, 200 pounds and fit nicely into Freeze’s philosophy of getting the football in the hands of his fastest players in space. For the season, the Rebels have five players with at least 200 yards rushing and all have scored two or more touchdowns on the ground.

Jeff Scott’s the household name, a senior from Miami with 18 career offensive touchdowns but Jaylen Walton and I’Tavius Mathers have given the Rebels additional home run threats in the backfield. Big plays haven’t been limited to running backs either as four different Ole Miss receivers have touchdown receptions of at least 64 yards this season.

Laquon Treadwell’s one of those aforementioned fab freshmen and he’s made his presence felt with at least two receptions in every game. Treadwell’s five touchdown receptions is tied for the team-lead at five with junior Donte Moncrief.

If Johnny Manziel declares after Texas A&M’s bowl game, you’re looking at the West’s most dynamic offense in 2014.

COMMENTS

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  • Because they have played well against the likes of Idaho, Arkansas, and Troy they are now one of the SEC’s best offenses? 7th in scoring offense in the SEC and mediocre showings against the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Atm, and Vanderbilt (granted they won), tell a story of a middle of the pack offense.

  • wow! . . we played our patsies too. hey, ole mess is for real. but we’re on a mission and webels provde the toughest road test for us this year. . . but they’re webels. they do have an overall better offense. . barely. and an overall better defense. but they pass a lot and that plays right into our wheell house for our defense. it’s the passing teams that make us number one in turnover margin and number one in sacks. Plus are rushing game will not be stopped by them. and while their pass defense is good they couldn’t hardly stop Jordan Matthews. well we got more than just one Jordan.

    • The SEC East is a lot different from the West. This will be your hardest game besides A&M. If you win these last two, you deserve your shot at Bama. This is going to be a very interesting game. You may be good against the pass, but you are not good against the bubble screen which is probably about 15% of our passes. I imagine that this will be ramped up a bit. Everyone thinks this will be a shootout, I’m thinking the score stays in the 20s. Good luck to your ball club. Should be a good one.

    • Your right about Ole Miss being the toughest team Mizzou will play this year. Plus, Ole Miss runs the ball more than it passes and as for as the Vandy game. It was Ole Miss first game of the year and was at Vandy. Ole Miss was starting a ton of freshmen on defense. I’m sure Mizzou isn’t the same team it was when it played it first game of the year. I’m thinking that you are underestimating Ole Miss’ defense a lot. Now that the defense is mostly healthy, they will be tough to run on. Mizzou and Ole Miss are just about evenly matched. I would give the offensive edge to Ole Miss and defensive edge to MIzzou. But both are very close. I do think Mizzou will beat A&M because A&M can’t play defense at all. So Mizzou should have no problem scoring at all and Mizzou’s defense should give Manziel a lot of trouble.

    • Judging by your grammar issues & misspellings, I can see you’re not a graduate of Missouri.