Revisiting the Rebels' Keys

The Spirit highlighted five things the Rebels needed to accomplish against Mizzou. Go inside to see how important those factors were in the 38-25 loss.

Grab the momentum early

Opportunities were there early, but Ole Miss stalled on the Tigers' side of the field during the opening possession and slowly lost field position over the course of the first quarter. Once scoring began, Missouri is the team that monumentally grabbed momentum. The Rebels were hit with punch after punch and only reversed some of the negative momentum after a large hole was already dug.

Make Mizzou one-dimensional

The Tigers didn't score on the ground, but they definitely used the run to get into position for points. Missouri rushed for 218 yards and effectively used Daniel's arm to set up running back Tony Temple among others. Missed tackles plagued Ole Miss in the first half, while offensive balance by Mizzou led to the Tigers successfully converting third downs at a 75 percent clip before halftime. The run threat kept Ole Miss from releasing its ends on Daniel every play. The Rebels will need to sure up their open-field tackling before Saturday.

Win the field position battle

As stated before, Ole Miss possessed better field position throughout most of the first quarter but didn't convert the opportunity into points. Missouri traveled more than half the field for every score including one drive that spanned 93 yards, thus the Rebels did eliminate short field opportunities. But even so, Daniel chewed up yardage and avoided mistakes for all four periods. His efficient operation without turnovers negated the field position and kept the Ole Miss defense on the field.

No wasted opportunities

Failing in this area cost the Rebels several times Saturday. With the score 14-0 in the second quarter, Ole Miss moved the ball 69 yards and inside the Missouri ten yard line, but a BenJarvus Green-Ellis fumble dissolved the scoring chance. Daniel pushed the lead to three scores just six plays later. Also, the Rebels produced four touchdowns but only once tacked on the PAT. One botched snap and a couple failed two-point conversions altered the comeback attempt during the fourth quarter.

Run the ball, and then run some more

Green-Ellis bounced back from his relatively poor showing at Memphis and tallied a career high 226 yards on 33 carries. The effectiveness on the ground opened up Seth Adams for successful vertical passing and produced the most total yards for Ole Miss since facing Wyoming in 2004. The Tigers never found a consistent way to stop the Rebel rushing attack, and the game should give Ole Miss confidence for the upcoming weeks.

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