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Texas Vs. Ole Miss Preview: Are the Rebels Better Than We Think?

Could Ole Miss actually win more than the tailgate.
Could Ole Miss actually win more than the tailgate.

Texas Longhorns vs. Mississippi Rebels, 9:15 p.m. ET, ESPN

If you know who has the best offensive statistics at this point of the SEC season, it's only because it's so surprising that a few people have already mentioned it: That would be your Ole Miss Rebels, who average 551.5 yards a game. The problem is that they've compiled that big total against Central Arkansas -- in a game that was closer than it should have been -- and UTEP.

Texas has not had quite as much success, putting up "only" 433.5 yards a game against Wyoming and New Mexico. Again, we're not talking about the stoutest competition here, so take all the numbers with a grain of salt.

Which is what makes this game so hard to figure out. We think Texas is better than Ole Miss because we thought that before the season and there's been no reason to overturn that conventional wisdom. On the other hand, there's also nothing that really backs it up; it could just as easily be that both teams are about as equal as they look after playing two subpar opponents.

Except maybe for the defense. Texas has done better in defense against its underwhelming opponents than Ole Miss has done against its foes. The Longhorns have held their opponents under 300 yards a game so far; the Rebels are giving up an average of 329.

So it makes sense to stick with the preseason diagnosis for now. But if Ole Miss can somehow win this one, they might go from the team that had to hold on against Central Arkansas to a player in the SEC West.

Texas 35, Ole Miss 20