- What: Ole Miss vs Cal
- Where: Berkley, California
- When: Saturday September 16,2017 9:30 CT
- How to Watch: ESPN
Potential for Fireworks
Can you say battle on the west coast? The Rebels travel to California Saturday to take on Cal. Two very similar offenses apart from the fact that Cal has a somewhat established running game. The Rebels on the other hand are pretty much solely dependent on the arm of Shea Patterson. Can the lackluster Rebel “land shark” defense come alive or will we be looking at a shootout at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, California?
We’ve all heard the names: Patterson, Brown, Metcalf and Lodge. Even Jefferson and Pack have snuck in there a few times. But what seems to be a tough task is getting to hear the names of the Ole Miss running backs. The run game has been non-existent averaging just 3.3 yards per carry. Look for the Rebels to try to be more balanced on the offensive side of the ball. If that doesn’t work I guess just let Shea throw it 60 times a game. We wouldn’t be surprised to see another record setting day for Patterson.
I said earlier that theses two offenses were similar. Ole Miss has an air raid offense broguht over by Phil Longo while Cal runs their own version that they call “Bear Raid”. But Cal has had much more success on the ground averaging just under 169 yards per game and nearly 5 yards per carry. The offense is led by sophomore Qb Ross Bowers who is averaging 281 yards per game through the air. The Bears lost starting running back and Doak Walkner watchlist member Tre Watson for the season. Patrick Laird has taken his plae and has 200 yds through 2 games with 191 coming last week against Weber State.
Ole miss Defense
This is not the start that fans were hoping for on the defensive side of the ball. The Rebels defense is giving up just under 200 yards a game on the ground and in the first 2 weeks and no disrespect intended wasn’t against top tier teams. Tackling has been a major issue and if not corrected could come back to bite this “landshark” defense.
This is a defense that gives up a lot of passing yards (319pg) and a fair amount of rushing yards (178pg). If the Ole Miss offense can build resemblance of a running game Saturday enough to keep those linebacker honest then Shea can have yet another big day. If not Cal is talented enough to win the game without a big passing game to offest the lack of ground attack.
This will be only the 2nd time Ole Miss has traveled to California to play football. And will be the first time Ole Miss has faced a sitting PAC 12 team.
This game has the potential to be a battle of two potent and high scoring offenses. Can the Rebels find a way to stop the “Bear raid” and can the Cal defense hold Shea Patterson and the Nasty Wideouts? Only time will tell.
Ole Miss 55- Cal 42
Cameron Russell is a contributor to the Mississippi Social Sports Network and a lifelong Ole Miss Rebels fan.