Following a dominant performance over Texas Tech at NRG Arena in Houston on Saturday, three Ole Miss Rebels appeared on SEC’s first Team of the Week of the new season. Ole Miss’ three-player representation included running back Scottie Phillips, offensive lineman Greg Little and placekicker Luke Logan.
Though the Rebel defense was able to adjust and ultimately stop the high-powered Red Raider offense, it was the 47-point shelling put on by the offense that landed three contributors on this week’s list, the most of any SEC school.
The offense had a field day from minute one as D.K. Metcalf hauled in a 58-yard dot from Jordan Ta’amu for a score in just 33 seconds. However, it was junior college transfer running back Scottie Phillips that ran away with the game and onto the top of the SEC’s week one list. He was also named the offensive player of the week.
Phillips got on the board just before the conclusion of the first quarter with a 39-yard run to the house. He doubled down midway through the third quarter, capping off his day with a gallant 65-yard touchdown run featuring a highlight-reel juke and stiff arm.
“Positives coming out of the game were Scottie Phillips, obviously,” head coach Matt Luke said. “I’m happy to see him get off to that start. I’m excited with what I’ve seen from him through spring and fall camp, but happy to see him have that type of start.”
Phillips ended his day with 204 yards on 16 carries to go along with his two touchdowns. This marked the 10th time in program history that a running back hit 200 yards in a game. It was also the most yards any Rebel running back has ever achieved in a debut performance.
Doing the dirty work and opening up lanes for Phillips during his debut was future first-round NFL Draft pick Greg Little, who was named the offensive lineman of the week. Little allowed zero sacks from the left tackle position and manhandled the Texas Tech line to open up holes big enough for Phillips to hit those record numbers. A performance like this will go a long way in making his case for being drafted above left tackle Jonah Williams of Alabama, come next May.
“I thought the o-line protected and played really well,” Luke said. “(They) had a couple of breakdowns, but for the most part they played pretty good.”
Finally, the icing on the cake for the Rebels was the deadeye accuracy of placekicker Luke Logan. Logan was named co-special teams player of the week along with Cole Tracy, the placekicker for LSU.
Logan has big shoes to fill, after fan favorite Gary Wunderlich graduated from the university last May with NFL hopes. Saturday marked the beginning of Logan’s first season as the starting placekicker for the Rebels, and he filled those shoes in excellent fashion. Logan was responsible for 17 of Ole Miss’ 47 points, connecting on four field goals and five extra points. His field goals came from 24, 29, 39 and 23 yards, and he finished the game with 100 percent accuracy.
“From the kicking game, I am really pleased with Luke Logan in his first time starting in a big environment,” Luke said. “He did really, really well.”
Texas Tech is not necessarily a weak opponent, and it was certainly one of the more quality opponents bested by SEC teams this weekend. The individual and collective success of the Rebels in a neutral site against Texas Tech bodes well for the season ahead. The offensive firestorm put on by Ole Miss raised eyebrows, and the recognition from the SEC is certainly encouraging. The Rebels hope to remain undefeated in 2018 against the Southern Illinois Salukis this Saturday, and the onslaught of offensive production should see no end.