Matchups: Ole Miss may have advantage at QB if David Ash is unavailable

Cameron Kubena


Listed as questionable for Saturday’s game, David Ash had a decent outing last week despite the lopsided outcome. But he did not come through in key situations, converting just two of six third downs through the air and just once out of five when he decided to tuck and run. The Rebel pass rush won’t be easier to handle. If Ash does not play, Case McCoy will start and Tyrone Swoopes could make a much-anticipated debut. Bo Wallace has matured this season, and after two straight near-perfect games, will give the Texas defense trouble with his dual-threat capabilities.

Advantage: Ole Miss


Running Backs

Ole Miss senior Jeff Scott is an explosive runner, demonstrating his speed in a 75-yard touchdown run in the season-opener against Vanderbilt. The Texas trio of Johnathan Gray, Joe Bergeron and Malcolm Brown possesses the greater talent at the position. With limited success against a stout BYU defense, the trio’s success will be heavily dependent on the offensive line’s ability to control the line of scrimmage.

Advantage: Texas


Wide Receivers

Ole Miss junior Donte Moncrief was one of 14 SEC receivers to be named to the Biletnikoff Award watch list this offseason. But Moncrief distanced himself from the others with a 67-yard touchdown catch and run last week against SE Missouri State. Tight end Evan Engram was part of the top-five recruiting class last year and now leads the team in receiving. The Longhorns will suffer Daje Johnson, but Mike Davis and Jaxon Shipley both had 100-yard games against BYU.

Advantage: Texas


Offensive Line

Ole Miss returns four starters from last season, including Evan Swindall, a Rimington Award candidate.  But the Rebels line has struggled has given up six sacks this year. Texas’ five returning starters on the offensive lnie were heavily barraged by the BYU pass rush and allowed four sacks. Both teams have struggled, but Texas has more depth.

Advantage: Texas


Defensive Line:

The number 550 has become infamous as the new school record for rushing yards allowed in a single game. It was enough to get Manny Diaz “reassigned” and send a whole program spinning. Only two out of 72 BYU rushes were stopped behind the line of scrimmage. No sacks, no pressure, and big holes. Ole Miss returns four starters and has given up almost one-third of the rushing yards all season that Texas gave up last week.

Advantage: Ole Miss



BYU quarterback Taysom Hill rushed for 259 yards and three touchdowns. This young linebackers group may have trouble transitioning this week after practicing with stand-in defensive coordinator Greg Robinson. Sophomore star Denzel Nkemdiche, (pronounced “I’m going to smash you”), has seven total tackles on the year and will be eager to make his name known against an offensive line that allowed four sacks last week.

Advantage: Ole MIss


Defensive Backs

Junior defensive back Cody Prewitt will be looking for his third straight game with a pick. With three interceptions in a secondary that has allowed 219 pass yards a game, whoever starts at quarterback for the ‘Horns will have trouble. The secondary was the only facet of the Texas defense that was not atrocious last week. Hill completed just nine of 26 passes and was picked off by sophomore Duke Thomas.

Advantage: Texas


Special Teams

Both special teams units have been adequate. Anthony Fera has yet to kick a field goal but has continued to punt well, averaging 43.8 yards a punt. The Texas kicking game gave up one 41-yard return last week. But the play was brought back on an illegal block. Ole Miss senior Andrew Ritter has made two of four field goal attempts. Speedy running back Jeff Scott returning punts is always a threat.

Advantage: Ole Miss