– Thumbs up: No interceptions for quarterback Jevan Snead, the first time he’s been able to say that since the UAB game three weeks ago.
Snead was 16-for-29 for 235 yards and two touchdowns. He also had two short rushing touchdowns and spread the ball around to different receivers. Tailback Brandon Bolden rushed for 85 yards on 10 carries, his best game in a month.
– Thumbs down: Snead faced more pressure than he should have from a I-AA defensive front.
Northern Arizona receivers were able to gain separation and get open against the Ole Miss secondary.
Keys to Victory
Reviewing the three keys to victory in Saturday’s GameDay section:
Well done. With two starting offensive tackles suspended, some different guys got playing time. Though some drives stalled near mid-field, the Rebels were able to put up 425 yards with two first-time starters up front, rushing for 161 and passing for 264.
– Don’t buy what they’re selling
Defensive players read their keys, stayed home and made plays, starting with Marcus Tillman’s interception on Northern Arizona’s first offensive play.
– Just win (turnover margin), baby
The Rebels were even in turnover margin, gaining an interception and losing a fumble. This is practically a win for a team that was minus-7 on the year, minus-5 for the last two weeks and ranked 102 out of 120 Division 1 teams.
– Jevan Snead. Did not throw picks in the face of pressure and didn’t have the “near picks” that he has had before when defenders dropped potential interceptions. If Snead can turn a corner in this department in the last three games it will enhance the Rebels’ bowl chances.
– Ole Miss is at home against Tennessee, which has won three of its last four games and has scored 45, 31 and 56 points in those wins.
– It’s hard to gauge improvement when playing against a lower-level opponent. The Rebels will have to defend better in the secondary and keep the heat off Snead to beat the Vols.
Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal