Monday, November 28, 2022

Ole Miss’ Watkins on Facing Auburn

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

No. 9 Ole Miss overcame a sluggish first half to finish strong with a 52-28 victory over Vanderbilt on Saturday in the Music City.

The Rebels offense had explosive plays by two different wide receivers in Jordan Watkins and Jonathan Mingo. Mingo set the single game receiving record at 247 yards with two catches over 70 yards.

“Mingo is such a hard worker,” Watkins said. “Coach (Lane Kiffin) mentioned that he’s somebody who comes to work every day and puts in the work.”

Watkins pulled in seven receptions for 117 yards and a long of 61 to the house for the first long pass play to find the end zone.

Watkins relived the catch with the media.

“The moment I caught it,” Watkins said, “I’d seen to the right like a flash and it was the referee and I kind of hesitated. I looked up and I saw Mingo to left and thought yeah this is probably a touchdown.”

Watkins said that he just took off.

Through the first six games, Watkins has 15 catches for a total of 235 yards and a touchdown with most of them coming against the Commodores.

“We have so many play makers on the roster,” Watkins said. “We have anybody that can make plays and you just kind of wait your turn a little bit.

“With Mingo, Malik and Flash, just playmakers and football is a tough game,” he said. “There are going to be injuries and it sucks to say, but you kind of have to wait it out a little bit.”

The Louisville, Kentucky, native added that having a game like Saturday is a confidence booster, with even more fast and physical playing.

The wide receivers are building a strong bond with quarterback Jaxson Dart, who is in his first season with the Rebels.

“He has progressed a lot and half way through the season, now we are going to be super dangerous,” Watkins said.

Watkins and his teammates return to Lock the Vaught on Saturday as they play host to the Auburn Tigers. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. on ESPN.