Rapid reaction: Ole Miss can't handle Memphis
What it means: Not only was this bad for Ole Miss, but potentially it is bad for the conference. Suppose Ole Miss goes on to run the table in the conference? Then, what if the Rebels win the SEC title game in Atlanta? Would the playoff committee put a two-loss Ole Miss in the final four with a loss to Memphis on its resume?
What I liked: The passing game. By the way, where did it go during the game? Chad Kelly hit his first seven passes and even tied a school record with his fifth 300-yard game. Not bad considering he has only played seven games and sat out the second half in a couple. If Ole Miss had stayed with the plan to fill the air with footballs, it may have been a different outcome.
What I didn’t like: The second quarter and penalties. Ole Miss allowed Memphis to score 24-unanswered points to seize momentum. In the second, the Tigers were allowed to start three drives in Rebels territory. And again, the Ole Miss defense has allowed too many third-down conversions, and many of them are third-and-longs. It did not help Robert Nkemdiche left the game with a concussion while playing offense. The Rebels committed 8 penalties for 90 yards in the game.
Who’s the man?: Laquon Treadwell. The junior grabbed 13 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown. He was clearly Chad Kelly’s go-to man. But Ole Miss went away from the passing game and it suffered for it.
Key play: In the second quarter, Markell Pack allowed a Kelly pass to go through his hands and into Dion Witty’s hands for the Memphis interception with 3:40 left in the half. Less than a minute later, the Tigers were in the end zone to take their first lead of the game. Memphis would ride that momentum to the win.
Who’s next?: Ole Miss returns to Oxford to take on Texas A&M in a SEC West battle.