This game was absolutely brutal to watch. The Ole Miss Rebels looked confused and disinterested for most of the game. Despite the Memphis Tigers committing 10 penalties and going 6-18 on third downs, Ole Miss still couldn’t pull this one out, falling 15-10.
Memphis jumped out to a 7-0 lead thanks to a 13 play, 74 yard drive. The teams then traded punts and Memphis was stopped on downs. No one scored again until there were 40 seconds remaining in the half, Memphis got another touchdown. Going into the half, Ole Miss had only mustered 42 yards, and had one drive that lasted longer than 4 plays.
Ole Miss did make adjustments and looked better in the second half. They were turned over on downs on their first drive, then drove 62 yards for a field goal on their next drive. They followed that up with a 10 play touchdown drive. What would be their final drive started and ended up a safety. Redshirt freshman Matt Corral finished 93 yards passing on 19 attempts with one interception, and it gets worse. Ole Miss only got 80 yards on the ground from 2.4 yards per attempt.
The silver lining for Ole Miss is that the defense didn’t look terrible. They made some good plays and kept Memphis out of the end zone in the second half. The problem was that they couldn’t make stops when it mattered, letting Memphis convert twice on third down and once on fourth down on their last drive.
Overall it was an abysmal start for Matt Luke, who’s facing the brunt of the NCAA penalties this year. Ole Miss will need to recover in a hurry because they have the Arkansas Razorbacks coming to Oxford this week, a game where the loser most likely won’t make a bowl. Ole Miss can’t be that bad again next week, right? We’ll find out on Saturday.