The Ole Miss Rebels cracked the top 10 of this week’s Associated Press Poll after winning their first three games of 2014 by an average of more than 33 points per game. The Rebels have dominated their opponents on both sides of the ball, and were rewarded with a week off this week before reigniting a regional rivalry with the Memphis Tigers next week in Oxford.

Here are Ole Miss’ five greatest impact players from the first three weeks of the season:

  1. Bo Wallace: Wallace’s impact on this team can be seen in both his good moments and his bad moments, as he’s proven in 2014. When Wallace threw three picks in the first half of the season opener against Boise State, Ole Miss looked to be in big trouble. However, he’s played nearly mistake-free football since that disastrous half, and Ole Miss has risen to the top 10 in the nation. Wallace may not be the most talented member of the Ole Miss offense, but he plays the most important position and has led the offense to huge totals in most offensive categories, including an average of 44 points per contest. But Wallace ought not be slighted, as he’s completed 75 percent of his passes and thrown for 300 yards in three straight weeks. The Rebels offense can only go as far as Wallace takes it, and so far he’s taken it to new heights in the SEC West.
  2. Cody Core: Core has stepped up and asserted himself as Ole Miss’ No. 2 wideout following the departure of Donte Moncrief, leading the team with 236 yards so far this season. He’s averaging nearly 20 yards per reception on his 12 catches through three weeks, and has scored at least one touchdown in each of Ole Miss’ first three games, leading the team with four on the year. As defenses focus their attention on No. 1 wideout Laquon Treadwell, Core will have plenty of opportunities to keep making plays in the passing game down the stretch. He and Wallace clearly have a healthy connection, and unless opposing secondaries go out of their way to slow down Core, which would then open Treadwell back up, there’s no reason to believe Core won’t continue to shine in the Rebels’ final nine games.
  3. Jaylen Walton: Walton has proven himself to be Ole Miss’ most versatile weapon on offense, and the Rebels have used him in a number of different ways to keep defenses off-balance. Walton, a tailback who is also capable of lining up at receiver, has rushed 19 times for 121 yards and two touchdowns in three weeks, all team highs during that time. He’s also caught five passes for 99 yards and a touchdown, an average of 20 yards per reception. Walton has run between the tackles and on the perimeter, and has caught passes out of the backfield and as a traditional wideout to make an impact in all areas of the offense. He is a true wild-card when he steps on the field, and the more ways Hugh Freeze finds to utilize him, the more unsettled opposing defenses will be when facing Ole Miss this year.
  4. Senquez Golson: Golson is far and away Ole Miss’ top cover corner, and he may be one of the top cornerbacks in the entire SEC. He leads the SEC with three interceptions in three weeks, including a 59-yard pick-six against UL Lafayette last week. He’s also tied for first in the SEC with five passes defended, taking on all challengers through the air. Golson is capable of eliminating top-flight wideouts from the action for an entire game, and normally makes quarterbacks pay when they try and test him. As a result, the Ole Miss defense has allowed just 10.3 points per game through three weeks and ranks second in the SEC in pass defense, allowing just over 150 yards per game through the air. As Golson goes so does the Ole Miss secondary, and he’ll be the man called upon when the Rebels face star wideouts in SEC play, including Alabama’s Amari Cooper and LSU’s Travin Dural.
  5. Mike Hilton: Hilton plays a unique position as the Huskie linebacker on the Ole Miss defense. Hilton sometimes plays in the box as a linebacker, and other times lines up in the secondary when opposing offenses line up in a spread formation. His versatility is crucial when opposing offenses run hurry-up systems, keeping Ole Miss from substituting between plays during a given drive. With Hilton on the field, Ole Miss can always find a way to match itself up with whatever the opposing offense is aiming to do, which is huge in today’s fast-paced football world. He leads the team with 16 tackles, and is tied with Golson for the conference lead with five pass breakups in three weeks. Hilton is the glue that holds the Ole Miss defense together, and his play down the stretch will be key as the Rebels pursue an SEC West title and a potential berth in the College Football Playoff.