Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Farewell to 2016: Ole Miss Rebels

The SEC had a down year compared to other years, as Alabama was the lone team to win 10 games or more in 2016. That is an unusual turn of events for the self proclaimed best conference in college football. The East was still down, as Florida and Tennessee continued to struggle despite having high expectations. Georgia is still trying to find themselves under Kirby Smart. LSU made a mess of the Les Miles situation. Ole Miss was clouded over by off-field issues. Here is a look back at the 2016 SEC season, on a team by team basis.

Ole Miss Rebels
5-7 (2-6)

2016 Schedule
Lost to Florida State 45-34
Beat Wofford 38-13
Lost to Alabama 48-43
Beat Georgia 45-14
Beat Memphis 48-28
Lost to Arkansas 34-30
Lost to LSU 38-21
Lost to Auburn 40-29
Beat Georgia Southern 37-27
Beat Texas A&M 29-28
Lost to Vanderbilt 38-17
Lost to Mississippi State 55-20

MVP Offense: TE Evan Engram
Engram was one of the best TEs in the nation, and posted 65 receptions for 926 yards and eight scores. He averaged 14.25 yards per reception, and caught 5.9 passes per game. He also averaged 84 yards per game. He caught nine passes in three different games,
MVP Defense: DL Marquise Haynes
Haynes finished with 53 tackles on the season. He posted 11 TFLs (team leading), and added seven sacks. He broke up three passes, created eight QB hurries, and forced three fumbles. He was the most complete player on the defensive side of the field for the Rebels, who failed to compete in a bowl.
Others of Note
Chad Kelly was limited to nine games in 2016, his final season in Oxford. Kelly passed for 2758 yards and 19 scores, and he tossed eight picks. He averaged 306 yards passing per game, and added 36.4 passes per game.
Akeem Judd led the Rebels in rushing, piling up 826 yards and six scores. He averaged 5.04 yards per carry.
Kelly added five rushing scores on the season.
Damore'ea Stringfellow was the highest rated WR on the team, as he posted 46-716-6 as a junior.
Van Jefferson caught 49 passes on the season.
DeMarquis Gates led the team with 79 tackles.
Ole Miss only recorded 20 sacks on the season.
Ole Miss QBs had 67 passes broken up, and tossed 14 INTs.
Rebel defenders picked off just eight picks.
The Rebels defense gave up 246.33 yards rushing per game.
Best Win: Georgia 45-14
The Rebels never beat a team with less than a winning record (Wofford had a winning record, but plays FCS football). he best of these wins came against the Bulldogs in the first month.
Worst Loss: Vanderbilt 38-17, Mississippi State 55-20
While the Rebels beat solid teams all season, they did not have what could be considered high quality losses. Neither Vandy nor Mississippi State finished with a winning record in 2016, and the Mississippi State loss was a quitting moment for a team that closed the season with these two losses. The Mississippi State loss in particular was the onle that kept the Rebels out of a bowl.
2017 Non Conference Schedule: 9/2 South Alabama, 9/9 UT-Martin, 9/16 at California, 11/11 UL-Lafayette
The Rebels should have easy enough wins over South Alabama, UT Martin, and UL Lafayette, but remember, South Alabama beat Mississippi State last fall. The Cal game is a toss up on the road. All of that said, 2017 is an irrelevant season, as the Rebels have self imposed a bowl ban for off-field issues over the last several seasons.

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