Keys to Victory: Northwestern State

Ole Miss takes on Northwestern State at 1 p.m. Saturday in the final nonconference game of the season. Go inside for the keys to victory.

Be offensive

Saturday delivers a prime opportunity to score points in piles and shake off the offensive rust that has accumulated over the past nine or so quarters. Northwestern State allows more than 30 points per contest, including 75 and 58 totals by Texas Tech and Nicholls State respectively. The Rebel wideouts should pose problems for the Demon secondary, and Seth Adams can stretch the field for big gains with adequate line play.

Finish them off

Ole Miss will be in for a fight if it lets Northwestern State hang around until the final quarter. Orgeron says it is the Demons' super bowl, and that fact is intensified considering three former Rebels suit up in orange and purple. The Rebels need to pick up some confidence by building an early lead and keeping the heat on for the full 60 minutes.

Stop the run

Northwestern State averages 200 yards per game rushing which is also the yardage Ole Miss allows on the ground. The Demons don't pose a serious threat through the air, but the Rebels can't let NW State chew up the clock and control tempo through rushing. Byron Lawrence leads the Demons with 917 yards and three scores.

Get the big plays back

Mike Wallace and the Ole Miss receivers thrived for most of the season, but the Rebels weren't able to keep the downfield movement continuing against Arkansas or Auburn. Adams needs to get back in rhythm and quickly break the nine-quarter streak of not leading Ole Miss to a touchdown. Otherwise, the Rebels may be better suited with Brent Schaeffer at QB. Adams has been tentative of late and must throw with confidence.

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