Game Time: 4 p.m. ET
TV: SEC Network
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network
How to watch online: WatchESPN
Ole Miss was riding high over then-No. 4. ranked Florida State this past Monday night in Orlando. The Rebels built up a 28-6 lead over the Seminoles, a National Championship contender to many, and seemed to be aiming the biggest splash of anyone in the SEC in a loaded weekend.
As the expression sometimes goes though, “Life comes at you fast,” and Hugh Freeze & Co. learned that the hard way. The Rebels saw that lead evaporate and wound up on the receiving end of a 45-34 defeat as FSU rang up a 39-9 run en route to the win.
Five days later Ole Miss must refocus and get a win in The Grove as Oxford will welcome the Rebels for their season opener against the Wofford Terriers.
Three things to watch
1. Cutting down turnovers: One major reason for Ole Miss’ shortcomings against the Seminoles was their loss in the turnover department. The Rebels were a -4 in turnover differential against FSU with one lost fumble and three Chad Kelly interceptions. That will simply have to cut down going forward and this matchup against lowly FCS Wofford could give them an opportunity to sharpen their play.
2. Will the receivers raise the bar again?: Despite the loss of All-SEC wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss’ receiver corp just keeps on ticking. Evan Engram especially showed out in the group on Monday night with a nine-catch, 121-yard day at the office with a 21-yard touchdown reception as the highlight along with a 42-yard catch as well. A.J. Brown, Damore’ea Stringfellow and Quincy Adeboyejo each had 40+ receiving yards, each boasting receptions of at least 21 yards with Brown and Adeboyejo coming away with receptions totaling 36 and 30 yards respectively. A big day at the office could be ahead of them again this Saturday if they play up to par or even higher above.
3. Uptempo: One of the premier takeaways from Ole Miss’ first outing was the tempo that they were playing at. The Rebels clocked just 17:21 in terms of time of possession against the ‘Noles, and to their credit it worked out for them for much of the first half. Their third down efficiency will have to improve however as it carries along. Ole Miss was just 5-for-11 on 3rd downs and while FSU wasn’t too far behind them with a mark of 9-for-18, the Rebels will have to do some cleaning up in that department if they are to run this kind of offense to success.