The Ole Miss Rebels (5-4, 2-3 SEC) squared off against the Georgia Bulldogs (8-1, 6-1 SEC) in Athens, Georgia for the Bulldogs' Homecoming. The Rebels lost a game they desperately wanted to a Bulldogs team that desperately needed a win.
Talent won Saturday over scheme and momentum as Ole Miss entered the game on a two-game SEC win streak for the first time since 2009.
Ole Miss built a 10 point lead in the first quarter with underneath passing routes to Korvic Neat. But without a sufficient running game against a monstrous Georgia defensive line, the Rebel offense was unable to control the clock and eventually wilted under the pressure, falling 37-10.
The final score was a testament to a focused Georgia Team against an Ole Miss team playing as well as they can possibly play with scholarship and talent restrictions.
Here are some of the winners and losers from Saturday's game.
The junior QB from Georgia completed 21 of 28 passes for 384 yards and four touchdowns despite being sacked five times. This places him in sixth place all time in the SEC. He now has 80 career touchdown passes, and the next TD pass will tie him with Eli Manning.
Ole Miss was playing without two of its top three cornerbacks, but overall Georgia fans should be very happy with the performance.
Aaron Murray was named co-offensive player of the week by the SEC office
Georgia has a great defensive line and has recently begun to prove it. Ole Miss only gained a total of 46 yards Saturday, despite entering as one of the top five rushing teams in the SEC.
The Rebel offensive line gave up 4 sacks, double the average, and the offense only recorded 12 first downs which was half of Ole Miss' average.
The only success Ole Miss had early was in the short passing routes. Once Georgia solved that wrinkle, Ole Miss was completely shut down.
Georgia's senior wide receiver had three catches for 113 yards. His 66-yard touchdown catch really broke the heart of an Ole Miss team hell-bent on posting their 3rd SEC win in a row.
A lot of the credit for his play can be given to Georgia QB Aaron Murray for a great play action fake to get him open down the middle of the field.
I stand the risk of being seen as a homer by not posting individual "losers" in this article, but there was not any one person that contributed to the Rebel loss. Unfortunately it was a combination of several factors.
The biggest reason for the defensive secondary failures was injury. Starting cornerbacks Senquez Golson and Wesley Pendleton did not play Saturday and it put undue pressure on the safeties to cover and provide support.
They did a good job until the end of the first half, as Aaron Murray found Tavarres King open in the end zone. This put the Dogs up for good before halftime. They came out in the second half and really took advantage of the thin Ole Miss depth, outscoring the Rebels 23 to nothing.
Georgia RB Todd Gurley—Finished with 18 carries for 117 yards. This is Gurley's 6th 100 yard rushing performance on the year.
Ole Miss DE C.J. Johnson—Finished with 1.5 sacks and 7 total tackles.
Ole Miss Safety Cody Prewitt—Finished with 11 total tackles and 0.5 sacks.