Ole Miss 48, UAB 13
Thumbs up: The offense won’t get much credit for its 501-yard performance, because it came against a mid-level Conference USA team.
So be it, the Rebels did what they needed to do in this game. The offensive line protected Jevan Snead, receivers ran better routes, and the running game showed a pulse.
Freshman Rodney Scott got meaningful carries and produced. Special teams was strong, and the defense, like the offense, overcame a slow start but got better as the game progressed.
The Rebels had no turnovers for the first time this year.
Thumbs down: Run blocking was inconsistent, and the Rebels were unable to power it into the end zone on a first-and-goal from the 1, finally scoring on a pitch wide to Scott. Production from Dexter McCluster was again minimal with just 1 rushing yard and 21 receiving yards.
The defense pressured an athletic quarterback but was at times rushed out of control and allowed Joe Webb to escape and make a big play.
3 Keys Review
1.Play mistake free
Do you ever really play mistake free? The Rebels were close here once they got their feet under them. There were some missed assignments, but penalties were few and turnovers were none. That’s a winning recipe.
2.Make the catch and run
There was some of this by the Ole Miss receivers, the best example being Lionel Breaux’s dash to the end zone after a catch in the middle of the field. By and large there weren’t many yards after contact for the little speed guys. Instead, the downfield routes were open, and Snead made the throws to make those plays.
The second quarter isn’t exactly early, but you take domination when you can get it. The Rebels had three touchdown drives in the quarter. One of them covered only 16 yards, the product of a good defensive series, a punt and a punt return. The other drives were for 87 and 81 yards. The defense forced another red zone turnover and would hold the Blazers scoreless for three quarters.
Freshman running back Rodney Scott carried nine times for 57 yards and two touchdowns.
Jeremy McGee played well at cornerback in the absence of injured starter Marshay Green, but UAB didn’t have much of a passing game. That will change this week against Arkansas.
Half-way through the season it’s clear the Rebels don’t have a powerful offensive line. It’s also clear what Snead can do when given time, as he was against UAB and two weeks ago against Vanderbilt.
If the Rebels are to have success in the SEC they have to pass block consistently.
Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal