No. 25 Ole Miss travels to Texas with revenge on the minds of Hugh Freeze and the Rebels after Mack Brown’s Longhorns racked up 66 points in a 35-point win in Oxford last season. The Rebels are traveling to Austin at the perfect time with Texas reeling after an embarrassing loss to BYU, which led to defensive coordinator Manny Diaz being reassigned and Greg Robinson brought back to Austin.
Ole Miss has momentum after they checked in at No. 25 in the polls this week with Texas dropping out.
When Ole Miss has the ball:
The Rebels will rely on running back Jeff Scott and the mobility of quarterback Bo Wallace to gouge the Texas defense, who allowed a program-worst 550 rushing yards in their loss to BYU last week.
Texas gave up 679 yards for the night and faces the Rebels’ No. 32 ranked rushing attack, which also features dynamic wide receivers Donte Moncrief and Laquon Treadwell. Scott is a good bet to run for his ninth career 100-yard game and is averaging 10.4 yards per rush.
Texas gave up 31 points to Ole Miss last year, and the Rebels’ offense is better this year while the Texas defense is coming off the worst performances in the program’s history. Robinson will be coordinating his first game for Texas this season, but he faces a tall order trying to get that unit ready to play after many fans questioned their heart last week.
Advantage: Ole Miss
When Texas has the ball:
Texas can move the ball as expected, amassing 715 yards of offense in their opening win over New Mexico State and 445 more last week; but, their health is a question. At this time, it is unclear if quarterback David Ash will play after exiting with head and shoulder injuries midway through the fourth quarter. He threw four touchdowns and 323 yards on 19-of-23 passing in Oxford last year.
Case McCoy would get the start if he can’t go. One player who has already been ruled out is running back/wide receiver Daje Johnson.
Ole Miss has not had a running back run for more than 45 yards this season, but will have their hands full without Denzel Nkemdiche against Jonathan Gray, who is coming off a 90-yard performance. Ash, however, is the team’s leading rusher and if he can’t go, I don’t see how Texas can score enough vs. Robert Nkemdiche, Mike Marry and Tony Conner to keep them in the game.
Advantage: Ole Miss (if Ash is ruled out)
Freeze is another great recruiting class and a signature win away from having a statue built of him outside Vaught-Hemingway stadium in Oxford, while Brown is hoping to still have a job this time next year. His reassigning of Diaz is a move to quiet the talk of him being past his prime. Texas will be at home this contest, but even the support of the Burnt Orange Nation won’t help Texas vs. Ole Miss.