Record: 3-3, 1-2 in SEC
Note: The official mascots of Old Miss are the Black Bears, which does not sound right. Or, is it the Land Sharks? They are as bad as Auburn with the nicknames. For purposes of this writing, they will still be the Rebels.
Old Miss is not a good defensive football team. In their three SEC contests, they have given up an average of 48 points per game. The defense has allowed 1431 yards on the ground this season. Through six games, it has allowed an average of 244 yards rushing, not good. The Rebels allow 5.5 yards per rush.
The Old Miss defense does have some bright spots. One of them is senior Marquis Haynes, who has 4.5 sacks. Haynes has 29 sacks in his career at Old Miss. Senior linebacker DeMarcus Gates leads the team in tackles with 47, 31 solo. He has five tackles for losses, (tfls).
At this moment, there really is not too much good to say about the Old Miss defense.
Offense is another story.
The Rebels like to pass, and that is an understatement. Sophomore Shea Patterson is the quarterback. He is seventh in the country in passing. Patterson has thrown for 2143 yards this year. He averages 357 yards passing per game, third in the country. Sophomore receiver A.J. Brown is the favorite target of Patterson. Brown is fourth in the nation in receiving yards per game, averaging 113 per contest. Brown has 35 receptions for the season, averaging 19.4 yards per catch. He has 674 yards in receptions. Junior receiver DeMarco Lodge is fourth in the SEC in receiving with 24 catches, averaging 18.3 yards per grab. Freshman D.K. Metcalf has 25 receptions for 357 yards, averaging 14.3 yards per catch.
Senior right tackle Rod Taylor has played both tackle positions and right guard during his career at Old Miss. The interior of the offensive line is experienced with junior guard Javon Patterson, junior center Sean Rawlings and sophomore right guard Alex Givens.
Sophomore left tackle Greg Little protects Patterson's blind side and he does it well. He was an All-SEC coaches selection as a freshman. All of these players are returning starters.
The Rebels have shown little inclination to run the ball this season. Senior Jordan Wilkins has rushed for over 100 yards twice this year. He rushed for 101 yards against Alabama and 113 against Vanderbilt last week.
It is important to remember, in games like these, stats do not always tell the story. The biggest stat between these two teams is they mutually detest each other. Saturday night will be no exception.