The final score doesn’t tell how close the game was, however the score would have looked like this earlier in the game had the Rebels been able to get out of their own way on offense.
There was a lot of “We’ll take a win any way we can get one” sort of reaction in the postgame, and that’s true. The reality is Ole Miss made too many mistakes on offense even for a season opener.
Boise is a good team, not a great one. After a run of double-digit win seasons and a handful of top 10 finishes, Boise looks like a team with talent that will be competitive in its league.
It’s league is not the SEC, and the Rebels’ is, which means they’re going to face some defenses that can load the box and still defend the back in.
Bo Wallace had a pick-free second half, but his first half did nothing to silence critics who says he makes too many mistakes for the Rebels to truly take a step forward this season.
Wallace departure from the locker room came after deadline’s bewitching hour so I missed him and at present don’t know what he had to say about his performance. His coach, Hugh Freeze, thought he was pressing a bit and speculated that could have been because the offense was frequently in long-distance situations because of pre-snap penalties.
Offensive coordinator Dan Werner talks about those penalties here and explains that it had to do with Boise’s defensive calls. The Rebels improved in the second half when they went to a silent count.
Ole Miss finished with three sacks, almost double last year’s average production. Robert Nkemdiche had three tackles, and his tipped ball resulted in a first-quarter interception for CJ Johnson.
The offense finished 458 yards and 28 fourth-quarter points, but the story tonight was about the defense.
Boise got some things done late when it was in hurry-up mode, but the Rebels twice in the first half held Boise without a touchdown after the Broncos had penetrated the 5.
One of the surprise players of the game was Cody Core. He had a good camp and tonight followed that up with four catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
It was good to see Quincy Adeboyejo with a touchdown catch. Perhaps that will help his confidence moving forward.
No doubt the leader of this group is Laquon Treadwell. he had seven catches for 105 yards, and when he was 1-on-1 Boise could not cover him.
The lack of a run game was disturbing. I’ll hit on that and some other items tomorrow. I’m going to call it a night and check back with you from the road home.