Ole Miss looked like a dadgum title contender on its way to a 70-21 win over Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday.
Jordan Ta’amu was firing lasers. The receivers were unstoppable. Running backs ran free. It was a sight to behold.
And then the defense held ULM to 21 points. Not perfect, but what more can be asked from a unit struggling to find confidence and so low on depth that it had guys who were running backs a week ago playing safety?
Of course we know that Ole Miss isn’t a title contender. The Rebels aren’t even bowl eligible. Improvement is the name of the game this season, and it could be argued that Ole Miss improved this week.
It could also be argued that this game was nothing more than another non-conference mirage. The defense still allowed Caleb Evans to pass for 297 yards and that’s a lot. And we’ve seen this amazing offense become ordinary against better teams.
But the Rebels were dominant enough offensively against Monroe that it makes me once again hope that this performance is a sign of what Ole Miss might look like against SEC competition starting with Arkansas next weekend. Maybe just maybe Ta’amu has broken through the issues that stymied the offense against Alabama and LSU. Maybe the defense has gotten just a bit more feisty.
With Alabama as the common denominator (or dominator), the Razorbacks and Rebels look like a pair of fairly evenly matched football teams. I’m expecting a barn burner. Both teams will likely score many points and we will probably be reaching for calming elixers in the 4th quarter. Just like the Ole Miss – Arkansas games to which we are accustomed.
If Ole Miss can beat Arkansas it will kindle some hope for the remainder of the SEC schedule. Hope is all this blogger really wants right now. Today I have a little.