Ole Miss is among the teams that have had the gift of playing multiple out-of-conference opponents before opening SEC play. The Rebels have 1 more on the docket as they prepare to face Tulsa on Saturday before playing their 1st conference opponent in the Kentucky Wildcats on Oct. 1.

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Watch out for the Air Show

That’s right — Tulsa has the No. 1 passing attack in the country, and it recently blew out Jacksonville State, 54-17, as quarterback Davis Brin completed 27 of 35 passes for 424 yards with 4 touchdowns. He distributed the ball to 8 different targets, 2 of whom crossed the century mark as Keylon Stokes reeled in 9 passes for 153 yards with 1 touchdown, and J.C. Santana caught 3 balls for 137 yards (that’s some average of 45.7 yards per catch) and 1 score.

Brin sits atop the charts, having completed 76 of 119 attempts for 1,206 yards with 11 touchdowns and 1 interception.

But about the ground game …

Ole Miss is on the other side of the spectrum with a great offensive attack as well, but the strength lies far more on the ground than it did last season with star quarterback Matt Corral throwing the rock around.

The Rebels once again statistically are the best on the rush in the SEC. Three games in, they rank No. 5 in rushing offense across the nation with 815 yards (5.7 yards per carry) and 12 rushing touchdowns. Lead running back Zach Evans is the conference’s 3rd-leading rusher, behind only Arkansas’ Raheim Sanders and Vanderbilt’s Ray Davis, and he is No. 20 in the nation at running back according to NCAA.com. Evans has 48 carries for 317 yards with 3 touchdowns.

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Bottom line

Ole Miss is going to finish this game 4-0 because of a higher level of talent and a team that is beginning to click on all cylinders right before the going starts to get rough. Quarterback Jaxson Dart still isn’t quite there yet, but he’s getting better by the game. So is the offensive line, which will help open up the pass some in addition to the outstanding run game it has been able to support.

However, this game will serve as a measuring stick as to just how strong Tulsa’s passing game really is, how well Ole Miss’ pass defense works this season against a more formidable offensive opponent than it has faced this season and how much continuity there really is in the ground game. Ole Miss has the No. 39-ranked passing defense in the nation, while Tulsa has the No. 84-ranked run defense. So it’s clear who is the stronger opponent against the opposing team’s best quality.

The Rebels win this one, 48-23.