The Ole Miss Rebels football team returns to the confines of the Vaught on Saturday to play host to the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns and their dual-threat quarterback, Levi Lewis. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. on SEC Network.
Ole Miss (4-5, 2-4 SEC) is coming off a thrilling 37-34 win over Kentucky in the Bluegrass state. Redshirt freshman D.K. Metcalf caught the game-winning touchdown with five seconds left to give the Rebels their first conference win of the season.
“I’m really happy for our players,” Ole Miss Head Coach Matt Luke said. “Anytime you can go on the road in the SEC and get a win, it’s a good thing. But, especially after the tough loss against Arkansas. The kids bouncing back and fighting and competing, [I’m] just really happy to see them in the locker room after getting that win after everything they’ve been through.”
Quarterback Jordan Ta’amu, in just his second start, recorded a new career high with 382 yards in passing and four touchdowns. He became the only QB in Ole Miss history to throw for at least 750 yards in back-to-back SEC games.
“You wouldn’t believe it was his second start, especially the way he led that last drive,” Luke said. “It’s very impressive. I think he’s earned the respect of the guys in the locker room. The big thing … was no turnovers. He was calm in the pocket. I think we gave up a sack on the first drive, but he didn’t get rattled on the road. Just very impressive. A lot of credit to him and coach Phil Longo both.”
The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns sit at 4-4 overall and 3-2 in Sun Belt play. Louisiana is coming off three wins in its last four games, including a 19-14 victory last weekend over South Alabama. This will be the second SEC opponent of the season for the Ragin’ Cajuns. Louisiana faced off against Texas A&M in a 45-21 loss during week three of the 2017 season. They are 2-1 at home but head into Vaught-Hemingway Stadium with a road record of 2-3.
“Just watching a little bit on Louisiana-Lafayette, I was very impressed with their interior defensive linemen – they’re very active,” Luke said. “Offensively, they took the redshirt off of a quarterback (Levi Lewis) who can really run. We only have one game of film to watch of him, last week against South Alabama. He’s very mobile and does a good job with the zone read. I have a lot of respect for (head coach) Mark Hudspeth and (offensive coordinator) Will Hall. I’ve known those guys for a long time. [I’m] looking forward to a great kickoff, being back at home at Vaught-Hemingway.”
Louisiana has used three different quarterbacks over the first eight games of the season. The Ragin’ Cajuns recently pulled the redshirt off of dual-threat quarterback Lewis. Lewis passed for 110 yards and two TDs and added 129 yards on the ground in the win over South Alabama.
Juniors Jordan Davis and Andre Nunez are the other options for Louisiana at the quarterback position. Keenan Barnes, a second-team preseason All-Sun Belt selection, has hauled in 34 catches for 485 yards and two scores on the season.
Trey Ragas has led the Ragin’ Cajun ground attack with 626 yards and seven scores.
On the other side of the ball, senior LB T.J. Posey leads the Louisiana defense with 63 tackles, and All-Sun Belt selection Joe Dillion has a team-high 4.5 sacks.
Ole Miss and Louisiana have met on the gridiron four times prior to Saturday’s game. The Rebels have never dropped a game to the Ragin’ Cajuns in the series.
Fans can listen to all the action on the Ole Miss Sports Radio Network or watch on SEC Network.
Adam Brown is the sports editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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