The Ole Miss Rebels will play host to the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes at 4 p.m. this Saturday. Following a hot 3-0 start, the Rebels checked in at #16 in AP’s latest college football rankings. They will hope to stay undefeated against a 2-1 Golden Hurricanes team that features an elite passing attack.
Powering It Through On The Ground Offensively
Ole Miss’s offense this season has been led by their impressive running back tandem. Junior Zach Evans and freshman Quinshon Judkins have combined for 606 rushing yards and six touchdowns over three games. Junior Ulysses Bentley IV has also chipped in with 75 rushing yards and a team-high four touchdowns. Rebels Head Coach Lane Kiffin noted how impressed he has been so far with Judkins’ first-year campaign.
Evans rushed for 130 yards in Ole Miss’s 28-10 victory over the Troy Trojans in their season opener. He broke past the century mark again two games later, tallying up 134 yards in a 42-0 win over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Evans and Judkins also scored two touchdowns each against the Yellow Jackets. Judkins’ best individual performance this season came in a 59-3 win against Central Arkansas, where he ran for 104 yards.
While the Rebels’ offense focuses more on its rushing attack, they have also maintained a consistent presence in the air as well. After former Rebels quarterback Matt Corral was selected in the 2022 NFL Draft, sophomore Jaxson Dart has taken over as the new starter. In his first three starts, Dart has thrown for 543 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions while completing 65% of his passes. He has also chipped in with 85 rushing yards.
Top-Tier Defense VS Top-Tier Offense
A major contributor to Ole Miss’s success this season has been their phenomenal defense. They rank second in the country for points allowed, only surrendering 4.3 points per game. The Rebels have also only given up 71.7 rushing yards per game and 264.3 total yards per game. However, while their rushing defense has proven itself as one of the best units in the country, Ole Miss’s secondary will be put to the test this Saturday.
The Golden Hurricanes have one of the best passing offenses in college football, leading the nation with 413.0 passing yards per game. Senior quarterback Davis Brin has racked up 1206 yards and 11 touchdowns this season while only throwing one interception. For comparison, he finished the 2021 season with 3254 yards, 18 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Brin’s improvement and a talented receiving corps has allowed Tulsa’s passing attack to fully blossom this season.
Kiffin knows they have a tough test ahead of them as they prepare to face the Golden Hurricanes. Nevertheless, he remains confident in his defense’s ability to contain Tulsa’s offense, emphasizing how much they have improved over the last few years. He also believes that home-field advantage will give the Rebels a leg up on the Golden Hurricanes.
Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. this Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium at Hollingsworth Field.