Our Ole Miss Rebels are off to a tough start sitting at 1-2 as they enter this game against the 12th ranked Georgia Bulldogs. On the other side, Georgia comes into this game at 3-0 with an impressive win against North Carolina, a two point win over Nicholls, and a one point win at Missouri. Even though, Georgia is off to an undefeated start, they have struggled at moments. As for Ole Miss being 1-2, the Rebels have faced undoubtedly the toughest slate in the conference in this young season.
The Rebels are in need of a win against Georgia. The struggles have not come on the offensive side of the ball where Ole Miss has been very efficient averaging 38 points a game. Last week, Chad Kelly threw for 421 yards and three touchdowns against a strong Alabama secondary. Out of the three corners that Georgia will start, their tallest one is just six feet tall. With the size and strength our receivers, we should all be confident that Kelly could even outdo his outstanding performance last week.
Usually, when you find success either running or passing, they both begin to develop in a big way for the offense. This offense has all of the intangibles to succeed at both passing and rushing. Georgia is giving up about four yards a carry and 126 yards a game on the ground. Their front seven, which features Trenton Thompson and Lorenzo Carter, will be one of the toughest we will face all year. Eventually if we have some big plays passing, that defense will begin to guess pass which could open up some big running lanes for Akeem Judd and company.
The Rebel defense has had its issues this season, but it seems we are getting over the hump and gaining our chemistry and identity back on defense. The Landshark defense gave up just 27 points last week. Three touchdowns were non-offensive points for Alabama. Playing cohesively against the number 1 team in the nation is a lot for this defense to build on. With the quickness of Isaac Gross, Marquis Haynes, and Breeland Speaks along with the run stoppers in D.J. Jones and John Youngblood expect them to challenge the Georgia offense by bringing blitzes to limit the Georgia running game led by Nick Chubb averaging 186 yards a game.
Georgia’s offense has had its ups and downs with high points coming against North Carolina, but they have been a little slower on offense against Nicholls and Missouri. The Rebels are going to have to force Georgia to throw the ball even though they do have talent at quarterback in freshman, Jacob Eason. Eason has been very smart with the ball as he’s only thrown two interceptions. The Rebels defense has yet to pick a ball off, but if we do rattle Eason, he could make some mistakes. Keep an eye on the Bulldogs dangerous threat Isaiah McKenzie on offense and special teams.
There are a few keys for the Rebels this weekend to get a win. First of all, the Rebels will have to force Georgia into making turnovers while limiting the turnovers on our end. Georgia is plus three in the turnover margin compared to Ole Miss being minus five. Second, we need to make Georgia play catchup which will force them to throw the ball, and keeping our offense in great rhythm is a huge mismatch for Georgia because they are not built to win in a shootout. Third, special teams could be the difference in this one. If we can keep the ball out of Isaiah McKenzie’s hands as much as possible that will be a big plus for the Rebels.
My Pick: Ole Miss over Georgia 41-28
Grant Daniels, a student at Oxford High School, is a sports correspondent for HottyToddy.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org