This is not the Rebels of last year. The Rebels are more explosive this year and they force teams to honor the pass as well as the run. Last year the Rebels used a converted running back (Randall Mackey ) at the quarterback. This year Mackey can concentrate being a threat out of the back field. The Rebels got off to a shaky start, but finished very strong. However can the confidence learned from the first game of the year carry over to other games? If it can continue to improve on their weakness the Rebels will increase the rebuilding process and maybe make a bowl.
1) Bo can play. Sophomore quarterback Bo Wallace has got some good skills. He is a duel threat with his legs and his arm. Wallace led the team with 264 passing yards with 1 TD and with 82 net rushing yards with 2 TDs in the win over the Central Arkansas.
2) Teams love the long ball. Wallace wasted very little time getting to know deep threat receiver Donte Moncrief. Moncrief had 8 receptions for 104 yards including a 53 yards. Two other receivers had receptions over 20 yards Jamal Mosley had a 28 yard reception and Korvic Neat had a 25 yard reception.
3) Accountability. At halftime of the game, before the coaches could get into the team for their poor play in the half, the leaders of the team began to point out off of the mistakes they were making. This type of pride was missing from the Rebel team late last year when they begin a tail spin and lost 7 games in a row.
4) Improved defense. Sophomore C.J. Johnson was honored as the Southeastern Conference Co-Defensive Lineman of the Week. This is the first honor for a Rebel since 2010. Johnson had 6 tackles including a fourth quarter sack. The Rebels shut out UCA in the second half until the last two minutes of the game.
5) Multiple weapons on offense. The top two rushers on the team were the first and second string quarterbacks. The quarterbacks spread the receptions among four receivers. Moncrief will stretch the field to prevent defenses from playing eight men in the box. The 49-27 win is the most points scored by a Rebel team in over two years.
Terry Davis covers Ole Miss football for MemphiSport. Follow him @Terryd515.