By Adam Brown
No. 22 Ole Miss looks to extend its winning streak to 11-straight home wins this weekend as they play host the Central Arkansas Bears on Saturday. The kickoff is set for 6 p.m. and can be seen SEC Network+.
Ole Miss (1-0) comes rolls into the week after a 28-10 victory over the Troy Trojans last Saturday.
A total of 27 different Rebels made their Ole Miss debuts Saturday vs. Troy. Nine Rebels made their first start during Ole Miss’ season opener vs. the Trojans including quarterback Jaxson Dart and running backs Zach Evans and Quinshon Judkins all averaged more than six yards per carry.
This weekend, the Rebels will have Luke Altmyer start at quarterback with Dart coming off the bench.
Senior wide receiver Jonathan Mingo needs 177 more receiving yards to surpass the 1,000-yard plateau for his career.
Central Arkansas (0-1) come into Oxford after a 27-14 loss to Missouri State. Following a 5-6 record in 2021, the Bears return a roster of both new and old playmakers on both sides of the ball, with UCA bringing in a crop of 45 newcomers to join the 74 players returning for the 2022 season. Running back Darius Hale, who earned Freshman All-America honors last year, tallied 1,015 rushing yards on 198 carries alongside 17 rushing TDs on the year.
While the team loses 2021 starting quarterback Breylin Smith, Northern Iowa transfer Will McElvain is waiting in the wings to take over as the new leader of the UCA offense. McElvain leaves UNI having set the school’s freshman passing record in 2019, throwing for 2,778 yards and 20 touchdowns and receiving a spot-on Phil Steele’s 2019 Freshman All-America Third Team. Also returning to the Bears’ is senior offensive line standout Jaylin Hendrix, who comes off of earning 2021 All-ASUN honors for his work in the trenches in front of Hale.
The defensive side of the ball for UCA is highlighted by the return of both junior defensive end Logan Jessup and sophomore defensive back Tamuarion Wilson, who were each 11-game starters and All-ASUN honorees for the Bears during the 2021 season.
Saturday will be the second all-time meeting between Ole Miss and Central Arkansas. The Rebels defeated the Bears 49-27 in 2012, but the win was vacated due to NCAA ruling.