The Red team defeated the Navy team 48-36 in Ole Miss’s annual Grove Bowl on Saturday. .
Leading the way for the Red team was sophomore quarterback Luke Altmyer. Altmyer played a good game, throwing for 182 yards and no interceptions. He also rushed for 77 yards on five attempts and ran in for two touchdowns.
Although he did have great numbers on the ground, Altmyer didn’t look very sharp through the air, posting just a 41% completion percentage. But, he did show flashes of how accurate he can be when he threw a strike to junior running back Ulysses Bentley IV for a 42 yard gain in the first quarter.
“I think I’ve just gained so much confidence,” Altmyer said when asked where he’s improved the most since last season. “I think confidence for a quarterback is the biggest asset, and I think last year I lacked a lot of it, just being new and being around a bunch of new guys.”
On the other side, the Navy team was led by sophomore quarterback Jaxson Dart. Dart didn’t have the best game, throwing for 166 yards and two interceptions with a 36% completion percentage, while overthrowing his receivers with the deep ball multiple times in the first half.
“Not a very good first half,” head coach Lane Kiffin said about Dart’s performance. “I thought he was trying to win the job instead of just playing quarterback and forcing balls and not being very consistent.”
Kiffin went on to say, “I just talked to him before the half about calming down and taking it one play at a time, and I thought he did some better things in the second half.”
The quarterback battle still seems to be very close, with a slight edge towards Altmyer getting the starting job in the fall. But, it’s still up in the air as to who Kiffin will choose at the end of the day.
Dart did throw for a couple of touchdowns, one towards sophomore tight end and Dart’s former USC teammate, Michael Trigg.
Trigg had an outstanding game, and Ole Miss fans should be really excited to see him shine in the fall.
Trigg had seven catches, three touchdowns and a catch on a two-point conversion for the Navy team. The Red team’s defensive backs had a lot of trouble preventing Trigg from scoring in the red zone.
“He’s just very unique; ball skills, catching range,” Kiffin said about Trigg. “And basically what we saw today, he’s done whenever he’s been healthy.”
However, the Red team’s defense was quite impressive, causing havoc in Navy’s backfield as they posted six sacks. Two came from junior defensive tackle JJ Pegues.
The Red team also came up with two interceptions, one being a 73-yard pick-six by sophomore safety Tysheem Johnson in the second quarter.
“It happened kind of quick, honestly,” Johnson said about his thought-process during the pick-six. “I was reading (Jaxson) Dart and I looked; the ball hit my hands. I saw one player and I said, ‘I’ve got to take this for six.’ That’s kind of how it happened.”
It was a very exciting and high-scoring Grove Bowl that should convince Rebel fans that they have a lot to look forward to this coming season.