In what some are referring to as Ole Miss’ first true test of the season, the Rebels will face off against Tulane on Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
Tulane shocked fans in Norman, Oklahoma, and around the nation after losing by five points to the then No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners. They were playing with heart and went toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in the country following the disastrous Hurricane Ida that struck New Orleans the week prior.
Tulane’s offense has come out hot this season, ranking fourth in points per game and putting up 69 points against Morgan State last week. On the other side of the ball, their defense has come up with four interceptions in their first two games, one thing that has yet to challenge the Rebel offense.
Throughout his first two games, Matt Corral has shown vast improvement in his passing accuracy and overall comfort in the offense, with no turnovers through 65 attempts. While he might be tested this week, he’s truly shown growth in the pocket and against opponents’ pass rush and this will likely continue against a talented Tulane team.
For the Rebel defense, keep your eyes peeled for a few key names. Look for Chance Campbell to continue his dominant start to a Rebel career. He’s given Ole Miss a defensive presence at linebacker, something the team has lacked in years past. Campbell is flourishing in D.J. Durkin’s defense, flying to the ball and making impact plays.
Returning to the starting lineup at free safety is junior AJ Finley. Finley is shaping up to have another stellar year, with eight solo tackles already on the season. His speed alone is enough to concern any opposing offense, but his true talent lies in his ability to read plays as they unfold, leading the team last year with three interceptions.
True freshman Tywone Malone stepped onto the scene against Austin Peay, recording his first career sack. He already has the physical size to be productive in the SEC, and he’s a newcomer to watch as the season progresses.
Don’t underestimate Tulane, but don’t be surprised if Ole Miss continues their strong start to the 2021 season with another dominant victory. Here’s what a few of the non-sports editors have to say about this week’s matchup.
Londyn Lorenz, Opinion Editor: I think we will win, I’m worried it will rain though. Snoop Conner will have a breakout game and Matt Corral already has great games, so nothing new there. Get ready for Tony the Landshark to swim all up in that Green Wave.
Dennis Moore, Editorial Adviser: Tulane has an explosive offensive and everybody has been raving about our defense, but they’re really going to be tested this weekend. But, a big, easy win for the Rebels.
Maddy Quon, Editor-in-Chief: It sounds like Tulane is going to bring the rain and the pain. Ole Miss has a history of third quarter blemishes, so hopefully history doesn’t repeat itself. We’ll win the party for sure (and hopefully the game).
Violet Jira, News Editor: I’m really excited to see if the Rebels can keep up their winning streak. I don’t know anything about Tulane.
Jacob Meyers, Managing Editor: I hope Tulane loses because I’m afraid of their mascot.
Kate Kimberlin, Arts and Culture Editor: To quote my king Dani Rojas, “Football is life.” While I can’t say anything valid about how the team will play, I agree with our fearless leader. We will definitely win the party.