10 takeaways after 10 games: Ole Miss
Before each team in the SEC reaches its 11th game of the season, we’ll take a look at 10 takeaways up to this point.
OLE MISS REBELS (8-2, 4-2)
10. Vince Sanders explodes in final campaign: Four 100-yard games along with career-best touchdown (6) and yardage totals (646) for the Macon, Miss. native has helped the Rebels find a second reliable option in the passing game behind Laquon Treadwell.
9. Running game’s been a season-long issue
8. Laquon Treadwell injury, Auburn loss a low point
7. Cody Core’s been an unexpected surprise: The offseason focus centered around Evan Engram at the tight end hybrid position and rightfully so considering the sophomore’s stellar rookie season, but Core’s been this offense’s breakout player down the seam with 32 catches for 437 yards. He may have peaked too early with four of his five touchdowns this season over the Rebels’ first three games.
6. Offensive line has underperformed: Led by Laremy Tunsil, most expected the Rebels’ offensive line to be a team strength this season, but it has struggled throughout, leading the SEC West in sacks and tackles allowed.
5. Elite defense has been as good as advertised, especially the secondary
4. Bo Wallace has improved as a quarterback: Through 10 games, only two quarterbacks in the SEC have a better passer rating and Wallace’s touchdown total of 26 (22 pass, 4 rush) is second only to Heisman candidate Dak Prescott. He’s made better decisions with the football and been an excellent leader as a senior for the Rebels.
3. Egg Bowl holds national impact thanks to Magnolia State’s success
2. Best start since 1962 was impressive: Ole Miss climbed to No. 3 in the nation and into the first-ever College Football Playoff ranking with a 7-0 start featuring wins over top-ranked Alabama and No. 14 Texas A&M.
1. Hugh Freeze is building the next Western Division power: Backed by the strength of a program-changing 2013 signing class, Ole Miss is heading to its third bowl game in three seasons under Freeze, an innovative and energetic coach who has altered the perception of the Rebels on a national scale. It would be in the Rebels’ best interest to do everything in their power to keep the Mississippi native long term.