Sept. 17, 2016, Mississippi tight end Evan Engram (17) is tackled by Alabama defensive back Shyheim Carter (5) and linebacker Rashaan Evans (32) in Oxford, Miss. No. 23 Mississippi (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

College Football Preview: Kent State v. Ole Miss

The Ole Miss Rebels football team will step outside of conference play to host the Kent State Golden Flashes this Saturday. This is the first ever meeting of these two teams. Both teams are looking to bounce back after having suffered devastating losses against top ranked teams.

An Impressive Kent State

Although the Golden Flashes are coming off a 63-10 loss against No. 11 Penn State, they are not to be underestimated as far as their talent. First year head coach Sean Lewis stands as the youngest head coach in the FBS.  Lewis has previously worked as a quarterbacks coach and  co-offensive coordinator for Syracuse  (2016-2017) and Bowling Green (2014-2015). Lewis says that this is not just a money game for them. They are in it to win and will be maximizing every opportunity given to them to win.

So far this season, the Golden Flashes offense have put up an outstanding 1,185 yards of total offense, creating an average of 395 per game. Their current season performances include a record of 1-2, 29.3 points for, 36.0 points against, 4.9 yards per play and 13.5 yards per point.

Ole Miss Breakdown

The Rebels suffered an embarrassing beatdown from No.1 Alabama this past weekend as they lost 62-7. Both offensive and defensive sides need improvement going into this weekend’s game. The Rebels’ defense has unfortunately given up more than 330 yards in the air and 200 yards on the ground. Head Coach Matt Luke referenced their loss against Alabama by saying, “I’m just disappointed that it didn’t turn out the way that we all had hoped. After watching the tape, the little things, the execution errors when you play the number one team in the county – they show up bigger.” Although the Rebels are coming off a tough loss, they stand 2-0 against current teams of the Mid-American Conference.

This 2018 season, the Rebels’ current performances include a winning record of 2-1, 43.3 points for, 43.3 points against, 7.7 yards per play and 11.1 yards per point. In spite of the fact that quarterback Jordan Ta’amu did not play his best this past game, he is second in the SEC in many categories. He has 917 passing yards, an average of 305.7 passing yards per game and 17.63 passing yards per completion. Ta’amu is also ranked third in the SEC with a total of 8 passing touchdowns. Running back  Scottie Philips, is currently leading the SEC with four rushing touchdowns.

In the final analysis, both teams need to come into this weekend’s game with the intentions to win. Kent State looks to take home more than a big check, but a firm victory. Whereas, Ole Miss is hoping to make improvements to their offense and defense to better prepare for their next game against SEC team LSU. Kickoffs starts at 12pm EST on the SEC Network.

 

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