Ole Miss football: Stock report after Week 12
Ole Miss cruised to a win over UL Monroe Saturday behind a big performance from Jaxson Dart, and now the Rebels are headed into the Egg Bowl riding the confidence of a win.
Ole Miss didn’t put up the offensive numbers one might have suspected against a Sun Belt opponent, but it was a win nonetheless.
The Rebels are now looking for a win over their in-state rival Mississippi State to secure their second 10-win season of the Lane Kiffin era.
Player of the Week: Jaxson Dart
Jaxson Dart once again showed off his offensive abilities and proved why he could play at the next level next year, if he chooses to do so.
The quarterback had 310 yards and 3 touchdowns, completing an efficient 24 of 31 of his passes. Dart has been extremely consistent this season, which is not the case for many quarterbacks in the SEC.
Dart now has a chance to put up a big performance against Mississippi State in what could potentially be his final Egg Bowl of his career.
Newcomer of the Week: Tre Harris
Ole Miss’ passing game was win by committee on Saturday, with plenty of receivers getting in on the action.
One of the receivers leading the offense was Louisiana Tech transfer Tre Harris, who has emerged as one of the Rebels’ best offensive weapons. Harris had 63 yards and a touchdown, averaging 15.8 yards per reception. The touchdown was his 8th of the season, which leads Ole Miss’ receiving group.
Harris has continually proved that he was a gem in the transfer portal, and he’s had an outstanding season for the Rebels.
Biggest Surprise: Slow run game
Ole Miss didn’t need its run game to have an outstanding game, but it was somewhat surprising to see the Rebels have a slow game on the ground.
Quinshon Judkins, who had 3 consecutive 100+ rushing yard games before the Georgia game, was held to just 65 yards and 3.6 yards per carry. Ole Miss had just 127 rushing yards on the game and averaged just over 3 yards per carry.
It ultimately doesn’t matter too much, as the Rebels made up for it in the passing game and won the game, but it was surprising to see UL Monroe slow Ole Miss’ run game down.
Biggest concern: Negative plays
Once again, Ole Miss did everything it needed to do get an easy win, but there were some a few weak spots.
The Rebels’ defensive line struggled to win the line of scrimmage battle, and it led to plenty of negative yardage plays. UL Monroe 3 sacks and 11 tackles for loss, leading to 34 negative yards for Ole Miss. Protecting the quarterback was a point of emphasis for the Rebels this week after Jaxson Dart was shaken up against Georgia, and unfortunately Ole Miss surrendered a few blows.
Ole Miss will need to step up a little bit more next week to make sure it wins the line of scrimmage battle and avoids an upset against Mississippi State.
Key Stat: 81 penalty yards
Ole Miss lacked discipline on Saturday against UL Monroe, and it cost them a significant chunk of yards. The Rebels had 8 penalties for a total of 81 yards, something that shouldn’t happen at all, but especially not in front of a home crowd. If Mississippi State’s fans bring the noise next week, it could lead to more penalty struggles for Ole Miss, so this week needs to see those errors get cleaned up.
First Impression about Week 13: Egg Bowl
One of the most fun rivalries in the SEC, the Egg Bowl almost always provides a fun game. Last season, Mississippi State won the game as the Rebels’ season was collapsing, but the rivalry has been fairly evenly split over the past decade.
Mississippi State has had a disappointing season, leading to Zach Arnett’s firing last week. But the Bulldogs seem to have new life under interim head coach Greg Knox, who rode a 4-wheeler into the locker room ahead of Saturday’s game against Southern Miss.
?GREG KNOX ON A FOUR WHEELER PREGAME? pic.twitter.com/siTeHs3wDF
— Robbie Faulk (@robbiefaulk247) November 19, 2023
Perhaps the energy that Knox is bringing is exactly what Mississippi State needs for a late-season push and an upset over Ole Miss to reach bowl eligibility.
Ole Miss can’t overlook this game as it prepares for bowl season. The Rebels have been great this year, but this rivalry doesn’t care what your record is. Ole Miss should handle the game fairly easy, but it will need to be locked in for the matchup.