When Ole Miss runs the ball well, it wins. This proved itself yet again in the Rebels’ 29-19 win over Texas A&M on Saturday night.

It will also be an impactful indicator as to whether the Rebels can win their final 2 games and complete the first 10-win regular season in program history. Ole Miss, barring some sort of catastrophe, will beat Vanderbilt soundly this week. The challenge in completing this season with 2 wins will be the short turnaround after this game in preparation for a Thanksgiving night Egg Bowl in Starkville.

If Ole Miss is going to beat Mississippi State, it is going to have to continue to run the football well. The Rebels led the SEC in rushing last year and are on top again this year, averaging 240 yards rushing per game.

In their 8 wins, the Rebels have run for 320 yards or more 3 times, 250 yards or more 6 times and 185 yards or more 7 times. The lone exception was the 142 yards the Rebels ran for in a win over Liberty. When Ole Miss runs with consistent success, it wins the game. It’s really that simple and you saw it on display Saturday night.

Jerrion Ealy carried 24 times for 152 yards in what was arguably his best game in an Ole Miss uniform. Ealy was physical and explosive and seemed to get better as the game wore on. All 3 running backs made an impact. Snoop Conner had 11 carries and the biggest run of the game via his 4th quarter touchdown that sealed the win, and Henry Parrish had 9 carries for 55 yards.

Saturday’s win was the best Ole Miss has used its trio all season and Ealy is the key to that optimal combination. He’s a home run hitter of sorts and needs the bulk of the carries. Saturday was almost a 50-25-25 split between Ealy, Parrish and Conner and I think that is what Ole Miss needs to stick to. The more times Ealy touches the football, the better the odds are he breaks a long run. This was on full display in the first half of Saturday’s game as Ealy broke a couple of runs early on in drives that got the offense out of its own territory and sparked the drive. Ole Miss needs to mirror this strategy in its final two games.

“Henry and I left some yards out there,” Conner said. “But Ealy had a really good game and I salute him for that. It helps us stay healthier and fresher throughout a game. That’s a good thing.”

Ealy isn’t necessarily a bell cow, but he is the most explosive back. Parrish and Conner offer a nice change of pace. Parrish is as quick as anyone in the country off his first cut and Conner excels between the tackles.

All 3 have at least 500 yards rushing this season and their carries are basically equal. Ealy has 96 for 588 yards, Parrish has 98 carries for 529 yards and Conner has 95 for 509. Only Ealy has missed a game. He was sidelined against Arkansas with a concussion and wasn’t at 100% the next week against Tennessee. So, with that considered, the carries dispersion on the season makes sense, but Ole Miss would do well to favor more of the load toward a healthy Ealy in the final 2 games.

Ole Miss ran for 257 yards last week, and if it can do that in the final 2 games, it will likely win both. The formula that you saw on Saturday night in terms of how this trio of running backs was used is the easiest path to run the football with optimal success.