Ole Miss believed it could run the ball against Tech, and the Jackets did nothing to dissuade the Rebels, who ran the ball 62 times out of 81 offensive snaps for 316 yards. The play of running backs Zach Evans and Quinshon Judkins, the blocking of the Rebels’ offensive line, receivers and tight ends and the pace at which the offense hurried to the next snap were far too much for Tech, which sometimes had trouble getting set in time.
Evans ran 18 times for 134 yards and two touchdowns against a Tech defense that had allowed 3.0 yards per rush in its first two games.
What we learned
Tech had an opportunity to prove that, if it could minimize mistakes, it could compete against a Top 25 opponent, that the first half of the game against No. 5 Clemson was a reflection on what it could be. The Jackets instead were outclassed from start to finish on a day in which their running game, expected to be a strength, netted 53 yards (which included 54 negative yards), and the defense allowed touchdowns on six of Ole Miss’ first nine drives, with only one of them measuring fewer than 63 yards. The Jackets have nine more opportunities to redeem themselves, but, unlike the Clemson game (and the Western Carolina game), there was little to build on from Saturday’s performance.
They said it
“The progression has not gone as quickly as we wanted it to.” – Geoff Collins, on the state of his team in his fourth season.
“Sixty-two carries for over 300 yards rushing – that’s kind of old Georgia Tech numbers.” – Lane Kiffin, in a nod to the productive offenses of former coach Paul Johnson
Tech: The Jackets (1-2) will travel to Orlando, Fla., to play Central Florida on Saturday. The Knights were 1-1 before their game Saturday night at Florida Atlantic.
Ole Miss: The Rebels (3-0) will be at home against Tulsa in their final non-conference game of the season.