Listen. This one was big. Absolutely huge. Not only was it our first SEC West win at Kyle Field since October 3, 2015...but we finished. We had a team on the ropes and did what we didn’t do last week. We scored on the last drive and put the damn game away. This is the kind of game we can build off of. Made mistakes, but finished the damn game. WE FINISHED THE DAMN GAME. Let’s break this down.
The heart and soul of this team. Ole Miss has a bad run defense, one of the worst in the country, so him carrying 31 times for 228 yards shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it’s how he did it and when he did it. We needed a score to end the game and we got one from our undisputed leader of the team. Not to mention that his score was a team effort. Beautiful blocks by the TEs and Cullen Gillaspia cleaning stuff up. Just a magnificent game for number 5.
Evaluating Kellen Mond is impossible. Two god awful turnovers...one deep in the redzone when all he needed to do was just hold on to the damn ball and we score...and then an interception on a ball thrown really really late on a beautiful wheel route call. But then he throws an absolute dime of a fade pass. And before the half he goes 5/6 slinging the ball to take us down the field.
And before we get too far into this, Jimbo is not going to play Nick. Let me repeat that JIMBO IS NOT GOING TO PLAY NICK. You can be frustrated about that all you want, but that’s the story right now. [Ed. Note: we have no idea if this is true.]
Kellen did enough to lose us this game, but he did enough to win us this game too. And maybe that’s what’s to be expected in year one of a brand new system that demands a ton from the QB.
He needs to get better. But 19/28 for 236, with 3 TDs, and 1 INT (and one fumble) isn’t a terrible statline. He needs to get better, and Aggie fans need to be patient because he’s our best and only option right now.
Him coming back was huge. He’s Kellen’s security blanket and he opens the entire field up for other WRs. Finished with only 4 catches for 58 yards, but did a great job getting the defense to focus on him allowing Sternberger (4/76) and Buckley (4/54) to do good things.
Is it weird that despite giving up 373 through the air I’m not throwing my phone at the TV angry about the DBs today? Big play after big play given up, but they made a few stops. Maybe we’ve figured something out back there with Myles Jones. It wasn’t their worst game of the year, we’ll put it that way. Not saying they played particularly well, because they didn’t...but they made a few stops towards the end which is a pleasant surprise. Again before I get excoriated in the comments I’m not saying they played well. I’m just pleased that we got stops on that last drive.
That being said I cant wait for next year. We’re a corner and an edge rusher away from having a damn good defense (Side note, how convenient that we had a big recruiting weekend with tons of recruits on campus and Von Miller happened to be here).
Another stellar game by our front 7. Another just outstanding game by the bash brothers, Tyrel Dodson and Otaro Alaka. Seriously...if only we had one decent edge rusher, this defense would be something to behold. Ole Miss isn’t great at running the ball...and we held them to 30 carries for 67 yards. I’m happy.
Was it pretty? No. But we covered a two TD spread against an SEC west opponent at home by closing the damn game out when we needed to. We needed points and we got them. That’s a big deal. We’ll find out whether we really turned the corner when we play the last two games (UAB ain’t a pushover).