Ole Miss now holds a perfect 4-0 record after defeating Tulsa, 35-27, on Saturday afternoon in Oxford, Miss.

This marked the final game before the Rebels open conference play, which will serve as a good measuring stick for where this team really is as it has consistently found a place in the rankings and is also ranked highly in multiple statistical categories as we approach the midway point of the season in less than 2 weeks.

Ole Miss moved up 2 spots to No. 14 in Sunday’s new AP poll.

Here’s a look at 3 takeaways from the victory:

1. Ground game continues to roll

The Rebels haven’t faced any incredibly tough defenses, but one theme that remains the same is the strength of the rushing attack and just how much it powers the offense.

Last year, we got used to watching the “score-from-far” offense with offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby on the sidelines and quarterback Matt Corral taking the snaps. But for now, the Rebels have the top ground game in the SEC, which defenses have struggled to find any type of answer to up to this point. That held true against the Golden Hurricane on Saturday.

Both running back Quinshon Judkins and quarterback Jaxson Dart finished the game over the century-mark on the ground, with Judkins rushing for 140 yards and 2 touchdowns on 27 carries and Dart rushing for 116 yards on 13 carries. The Rebels totaled 304 yards on the ground as a team in the win, nearly double their passing yards total of 154 yards.

Zach Evans is No. 23 in the nation in total rushing yards, and he’s 3rd in the SEC with 317 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground this season. The Rebels’ total rushing offense (815 yards, 12 touchdowns) ranks 1st in the SEC and No. 5 in the nation. It will be interesting to see how that holds up and if a team can find a way to stunt the team’s rushing offense when conference play begins for Ole Miss with Kentucky next up on the schedule.

2. There’s explosiveness, but consistency isn’t quite there

This game ended up being closer than many thought it would be, and it really never had to be that way as the Rebels scored 28 points in the 2nd quarter alone and led 35-17 at halftime. Obviously, the ground game was a large point of success and Dart distributed the ball to 5 different receivers, with former Mississippi State wideout Malik Heath leading the pack with a more-than-respectable 75 receiving yards and 1 of the team’s 2 receiving touchdowns on 4 receptions.

But the Rebels failed to score any points in the second half, although it could be argued that had more to do with the team getting in its own way than the stoutness of the Tulsa defense.

“We’re a talented team, but we’ve got to make the next step in consistency because in the second half we shot ourselves in the foot,” Dart said in the postgame press conference.

Ole Miss has been among the luckier teams in the nation in the sense that it had the opportunity to open the season against 4 nonconference “lesser” opponents before having to face stout SEC competition. Such a thing gave the Rebels the opportunity to find out where their problems lie and gives them some time to make adjustments before the going gets tougher. How everything comes together for this team as the season rolls on will be something to keep an eye on.

3. The quarterback competition is settled

Dart continues to show some room for improvement but also continues to impress at times with his tremendous upside as a dual-threat quarterback who clearly is already in a groove with his legs and seems to be improving by the game as a passer. And it’s a good situation going on for him currently from a development perspective, as Ole Miss only has to throw the ball when it wants to. Dart finished Saturday’s victory 13-of-24 passing for 154 yards with 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions, while also rushing for the aforementioned 116 yards with a long run of 25 yards.

He’s officially won out in a quarterback battle that played out from the time of Corral’s departure to really roughly 1 week ago after head coach Lane Kiffin gave both Dart and Luke Altmyer a chance to start 1 game each. Altmyer was put at a disadvantage because he got injured when he got his chance though it was very minor and he’s at full capacity now.

Kiffin has officially called Altmyer the backup quarterback and said there is a plan in place for the quarterback and his family but hasn’t elaborated much beyond that.