Oxford, Ms. – Most experts expected the Ole Miss to continue its trend of throwing the ball all over the field as it has for the past few seasons.
But so far in 2022, the Rebels have been in control of football management.
Three games later, the Ole Miss was ranked fifth nationally in the rush, while two teams ahead of the Rebels – the Army and the Air Force – were running the ball almost exclusively.
But the Ole Miss lost its first four races a year ago, so how does the team manage the ball well? Simply put, head coach Lynn Kevin has restocked the backroom running to perform behind a veteran attacking line. The rebels may have the country’s deepest and most talented rear legion.
Zach Evans and Quinchon Judkins are ranked second and third, respectively, in the conference rush. Add to this that Ulysses Bennett IV and the Rebels have a set of backs to run against opponents.
What happened to the University of California?
The Bruins 3-0 on the season and the school kept that secret really well. All three games were home games at the Rose Bowl and the largest attendance was 33,727 in a stadium of 92,542.
It didn’t help that the visiting teams didn’t reach the fans. The opening game was against Bowling Green of Ohio State and Bruins followed by playing two more from UCLA (unknown colleges in Lower Alabama), Alabama State from Montgomery and South Alabama from Mobile.
However, UCLA averages just over 30,000 fans per game.
To put that in context, Fresno is up the road from Los Angeles. Fresno State averages over 38,000 per game and its two home games are better than UCLA.
The Big Ten must have loved this.
Of the Big Three in Florida, which midfielder guessed the best match last week. Here’s a hint, it wasn’t a start.
The Gators’ Anthony Richardson threw just 112 yards and a pair of shots when the UF ran away with a win over South Florida. Miami’s Tyler Van Dyck threw for 217 yards, but the Canes could only manage three field goals in the loss to Texas A&M.
When FSU player Jordan Travis went down with a leg injury against Louisville, Tate Rodemaker came back up and completed 6 of 10 and two touchdowns to lead the Seminoles to victory. Wally Pep anyone?
Too tall, Herm
Arizona State coach Herm Edwards received his cards after the Sun Devils lost to Eastern Michigan and fell 1-2.
It’s no big shock Edwards showed the door because his team didn’t get through.
What caused jaws to fall across the country is another factor. Arizona State University is now the subject of an NCAA investigation. Edwards is a well-respected coach who is known as a straight bowler. Has the pressure of winning fallen on him or is there too much ado about nothing?
What we like to see
In Moneyball, Brad Pitt’s character ponders, “How can you not be romantic in baseball?”
That translated to college football last week.
Defensive Clemson’s sister Ella Bracey recently lost her battle with cancer. Last week’s Tigers competition, Louisiana Tech, showed plenty of class to make everyone in Ruston, Los Angeles, proud.
Not only was Bulldogs coach Sonny Cumbie the “Ella Strong” jersey that the Clemson players wore, but every member of the Tech team took the time to write Bresee a personal letter of condolence.
BYU also showed some class. The Cougars played in Oregon last week and pre-season, the Ducks lost one of their players, Spencer Webb, to an accidental fall. When BYU moved to Autzen Stadium, it was driven by a player bearing the Oregon flag with Web number 18 on it.
A Cougars player flags the Oregon midfield player before kick-off.
How not to be romantic in college football?
Steve Barnes joins the cast of The Rebel Walk as a senior writer and delivers a triple-journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sporting events for Rivals.com, Football.com, and SaturdayDownSouth.com in addition to working as a writer for several traditional newspapers.
He has been an anchor for arena football and several NCAA Junior National Championships events as well as hosting various programs on radio.
A former Director of Sports Information at Albany State University (Ga.) and Associate at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host numerous NCAA conferences and regional and national events, including a five-year service on the NCAA Division II World Series Media Committee.
A native of Pensacola, Florida, Barnes joined Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo have come a long way since then.
He will bring a proven press record, along with a knack for finding unusual story angles to The Rebel Walk.
Barnes continues to stay in Pensacola just ten minutes from the beach because he’s got flair and brains.