Ole Miss vs. Florida 7:00 pm
Notes: Ole Miss is outscoring their opponents 106-27 in the first half of the Rebels four wins this season. Florida has outscored their opponents 69-33 in the second half of the Gators four wins this season.
The Rebels will take their undefeated record to the “Swamp” in a classic SEC battle this Saturday. Ole Miss has a dynamic offense that is averaging 54.8 points per game and is led by quarterback Chad Kelly. Kelly is having a solid season completing 61.7% of his passes for 1,219 yards with 10 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Kelly is a mobile quarterback that can make plays with his legs and on the season he has 3 rushing touchdowns. The Rebels are loaded at the skill positions and will challenge the Gators experienced secondary this weekend. Ole Miss is rushing for 199 yards per game with running back Jaylen Walton leading the team with 269 yards averaging 6.4 yards per carry with 3 touchdowns Wide receivers Laquon Treadwell, Cody Core and Quincy Adeboyejo are an experienced group that can find holes in opposing secondaries and have the speed to take the top off of the defense. Treadwell leads the team with 22 receptions for 332 yards and one touchdown. Core and Adeboyejo have combined for 24 receptions for 544 yards with 8 touchdowns. Tight end Evan Engram has yet to be utilized in the offense and he can be an X factor entering this game. Engram has 5 receptions for 68 yards, but has the size and speed to create mismatches on nickle backs along with linebackers. The game plan for Ole Miss will be to start fast and put pressure on the Gators both defensively and offensively. Florida has struggled with offensive consistency and the Rebels like to start fast to force other teams into mistakes and to play “catch-up”.
Defensively, the Rebels have a very physical and stingy defense. On the season, the Rebels are allowing 19.3 points per game and are allowing 155 rushing yards per game. Ole Miss is very good against the pass and matches up very well against Florida in this game. Ole Miss is allowing 202 passing yards per game and force Florida to beat them over the top on Saturday night. Ole Miss has done an excellent job of creating turnovers and forced 5 in the upset win over Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The team is +4 in turnover margin and will need to continue to be aggressive on the defensive side of the ball to force the Gators to make plays offensively. A cause of concern for the defense ha been the lack of pass rush. The Rebels have 3 sacks through the first four games and will need to generate pressure on the road.
The Gators are coming off an emotional 28-27 victory at home against the Tennessee Volunteers. Florida trailed 27-14 with over 5 minutes left in the game and quarterback Will Grier led the comeback by converting on three fourth down conversions in the final quarter. Florida is averaging 33.5 points per game and is passing for 249 yards per game. Grier showed confidence and leadership in last week’s win and is completing 62.6% of his passes for 725 yards with 6 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Wide receiver Antonio Calloway has shown big play ability as his 61 yard catch and run sealed the victory last week against the Volunteers. On the year, Calloway has 9 receptions with 172 yards with one touchdown and teammate Demarcus Robinson leads the team with 20 receptions for 153 yards with one touchdown. Both players will need to make plays on Saturday night in order for Florida to get the victory. Head coach Jim McElewain will want to rush the football on Saturday night to keep Chad Kelly and the Rebels offense on the sidelines. Florida is averaging 154 rushing yards per game and will look to running back Kelvin Taylor to carry load for the Gators. Taylor leads the team with 256 rushing yards averaging 4.3 yards per carry with 5 touchdowns. In order to Florida to win this game, the Gators cannot afford to get into third down and long situations against the Rebels. Ole Miss is a very disciplined defensive unit and for Florida to move the ball they will need the running to have success. Florida’s offensive weakness through the first four games has been the offensive line in pass protection. The unit has given up 8 sacks and must perform better on Saturday night.
The Gators expended alot of energy in last week’s come from behind win and that could be a cause of concern this coming weekend. The Gators have played very well on the defensive side of the ball and are allowing 18.5 points per game entering Saturday’s contest. The Gators are very good in run support allowing 105 rushing yards per game and and have one of the best secondaries in the SEC led by cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III. Florida is giving up 193 passing yards per game and has excelled at getting pressure on opposing quarterback this season. The Gators have recorded 14 sacks as a unit and will need to get pressure on Kelly to force him into quick decisions. Florida is +2 in turnover margin and must be able to force mistakes to give Grier and the offense field position. Last week, the defense was able to come up with a game changing turnover against Tennessee that changed the momentum of the game.
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Joseph Lisi a former ABC Sports college football researcher, is the owner of www.GOFORTHE2.COM. He is a member if the FWAA (Football Writers Association Of America),Maxwell Football Club and is currently the content editor at www.2FiveSports.com.He contributes regularly to www.Sid-Rosenberg.com and has been a featured guest every Tuesday night from 10:30-11:30pm EST on Yahoo Sports Radio With Ken Thomson(www.sportsxradio.com).
Joe has been featured on the FNTSY Sports Network and The Sid Rosenberg Sports Radio Show 640AM Sports (South Florida). You can follow him on Twitter: @Goforthe2.
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