This is the Ole Miss offense that fans are used to seeing. The Rebels moved to 2-0 on the season with a 59-3 thumping of Central Arkansas on Saturday and now face a potentially tricky matchup on the road at Georgia Tech.
By Steve Wright
Here are my three keys to a win over the Rebels:
Stay Aggressive on Defense
This is a game Ole Miss should win comfortably. The Yellow Jackets had lost seven in a row before beating Western Carolina last time out, but a win over an FCS school should hardly scare Lane Kiffin and his Rebels.
Big things are Georgia Tech quarterback Jeff Sims, but his 8-of-17 for 100 yards performance against WCU was shaky at best. The Ole Miss defense has turned it up this season, and they average 4.0 sacks per game and have forced six turnovers already in 2022. This unit needs to get after Sims and force him into mistakes.
For Ole Miss, it is not about controlling the clock but about controlling the tempo. Kiffin wants his team to play fast, and they are at their best when they can move up the field at lightning speed. The way to stop this is with a grinding, drawn-out ground game, the type that the Yellow Jackets have on their best day.
They rushed for 243 yards as a team against the Catamounts – lead back Dontae Smith has 102 yards and three touchdowns – so it will be important that Ole Miss makes this a tempo game and not a grind.
Protect the Quarterback
The Yellow Jacket defense might be a match for the Rebels regarding disruptive plays. They have seven sacks and 15 TFLs in two games, and they play with an aggressive defensive style that will cause Ole Miss issues. Protecting Jaxson Dart must be the aim, be it with big protection packages or simply by getting the ball out of his hand and to a wide receiver early with quick hitches and bubble screens.