Knowing the Enemy 2016
Record 3-3, SEC 1-2
Old Miss comes to Tiger stadium Saturday, and like LSU, they will be trying to stay alive for the SEC West title. A loss by the Rebels would eliminate them from SEC West contention. A loss by the Purple and Gold would put them on life support in the title chase for the western division.
The Rebels, as has been the case the last few years, do not rely on running the football. They love passing the ball. Senior quarterback Chad Kelly is the focal point of the Old Miss offense. Last season Kelly accounted for 361 yards of total offense for his team in its victory over the Tigers. Eighty one of those yards were on the ground and 280 were through the air.
This season, Kelly has 1849 passing yards, second in the Southeastern Conference. He has 14 touchdowns, five interceptions, and he has been sacked 12 times.
Last season Kelly was the second leading rusher on the team. This year, after six games, he has 213 yards running, second on the squad. This year’s leading rusher is Akeem Judd with 343 yards. Judd has averaged 5.1 yards per carry. He does not run much, but he runs well when he gets the ball.
Last season, the Rebels had 14 receivers who averaged double figures in yards per catch. This campaign, after six games, Old Miss has ten receivers who average double figures in yards per catch. Kelly spreads the ball around in the Old Miss spread offense.
Senior tight end Evan Ingram has averaged 15.9 yards per catch after six games. He has 37 receptions with 590 yards and five touchdowns. He is a favorite target of Kelley, but he is not the only target. Junior receiver Damore’ea Stringfellow has 331 yards on 22 catches with two touchdowns. He averages 15 yards per reception. Freshman Van Jefferson has 22 receptions on the year, averaging 11.8 yards per catch with one touchdown. The Rebels have nine receivers who have caught at least one touchdown pass this season.
The Rebel offensive line is young, with the likes of sophomore left guard Javon Patterson and junior left tackle Rod Taylor, but they have played well against Florida State and Alabama. Old Miss appears to be able to score when they replace good offensive linemen.
The Rebels average 39.6 points per game, and it is no fluke. They scored 43 points on top ranked Alabama this season. Their problem is on defense, where they give up 27 points per contest. They have given up 32 points per game in their three conference contests this year. Alabama pounded the Old Miss defense with 334 rushing yards. Arkansas rushed for 200 yards against the Rebels. In their lone SEC win, Old Miss allowed 246 yards on the ground to Georgia.
Sophomore defensive back Zedric Woods leads the Rebels in tackles with 39, 21 unassisted. Junior linebacker DeMarquis Gates has 37 tackles, 15 solos, and three sacks. Junior defensive end Marquis Haynes has four sacks.
The Rebels are not good on defense. They cannot consistently stop their opponents.
They rely on making plays on offense, and they do it very well, against good defenses.
However, when the Purple and Gold and Old Miss meet, stats can be thrown out of the window, and the team which gets thrown out of the window Saturday night will be in a tough place.
Old Miss mascot: