The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 16, 12 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium (60,580) -- Oxford, Mississippi. Television: ESPN U. Home Record: Troy 3-1, Ole Miss 4-1. Away Record: Troy 2-4, Ole Miss 2-2. Neutral Record: Troy 0-0, Ole Miss 0-0. Conference Record: Troy 3-3, Ole Miss 3-3. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Ole Miss Rebels will attempt to extend their winning streak to a season-long four games, as their six-game homestand continues on Saturday with a non-conference bout against the Troy Trojans.
After winning three straight games in the month of October, Troy has faltered in back-to-back contests against ULM (49-37) and Louisiana (41-36) to dip to 5-5 overall and 3-3 in Sun Belt Conference action. The Trojans will need to win one of their final two games if they want to become bowl eligible for the first time since they went to three straight bowl games from 2008-10.
Ole Miss has been one of the streakiest teams in the nation. After winning their first three games of the season only to lose the next three, the Rebels have once again won three in a row to become bowl eligible for the second straight season. They most recently took care of the Arkansas Razorbacks last Saturday, 34-24, in a game where they piled up 531 yards, and they are on the cusp of returning to the Top-25 after receiving 68 votes in the latest poll.
Although their campuses are only separated by about 300 miles, the Rebels and Trojans have never before met on the football field.
Troy has not had any issues generating offense this season, as it averages 34.6 points and 478.5 yards per game, and it has put up more than 30 points in six straight games.
Corey Robinson is having a strong senior season under center, completing 67.2 percent of his passes for 2,823 yards with 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Robinson is already the most decorated quarterback in Sun Belt history, as he holds the conference records for career passing yards, touchdowns, completions and attempts. Deon Anthony (318 passing yards, 392 rushing yards, six TDs) is also sprinkled in at quarterback, but he is currently nursing an ankle injury.
Robinson's success has resulted in an outstanding campaign for Eric Thomas, who ranks first in the Sun Belt in catches (53) and touchdowns (11), and is second in yards (835). Bryan Holmes (36 catches, 544 yards, six TDs) has also played well on the outside.
The Trojans lean on a pair of running backs, with Brandon Burks (635 yards, 36 receptions, TDs) utilized between the 20s, and Jordan Chunn (428 yards, 11 TDs) being called upon near the goal line.
Despite a fantastic offensive attack, the Trojans sit at .500 because their defense (35.2 ppg) can't keep opposing teams off the scoreboard. The unit has forced just eight turnovers.
Camren Hudson has a team-high 61 tackles to go with a fumble recovery and an interception, but he is questionable for this bout with an ankle injury. Tyler Roberts has been one of the most disruptive defensive linemen in the Sun Belt with 8.5 TFL, 6.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
Ole Miss too has an impressive offense, putting up 32.7 points and 469.9 yards per game while converting third downs at a 43 percent clip. The Rebels have been even better in recent weeks, racking up 39.5 points per contest over the past four games.
Bo Wallace is fresh off a career-high 407 passing yards in last week's win, giving him 2,383 yards for the season. He is completing nearly 65 percent of his passes and has accounted for 17 total touchdowns against only five interception. Backup QB Barry Brunetti is a factor near the goal line, as he has tossed five touchdowns and has run in four scores.
The Rebels have a trio of playmakers to rely on at receiver. Laquon Treadwell (424 yards, three TDs) leads the way with 49 catches, while Donte Moncrief (41 receptions, 647 yards, five TDs) and Ja-Mes Logan (35 receptions, 496 yards, three TDs) are both a big play waiting to happen.
With Jeff Scott (434 yards, two TDs) having missed each of the last two games with a thigh injury, I'Tavius Mathers (370 yards, two TDs) and Jaylen Walton (338 yards, five TDs) have shouldered the load in the backfield.
While the Ole Miss defense may not rank among the best in a stacked SEC, the unit is still in the midst of a better-than-expected season, as it permits just 25.4 points and 380.4 yards per game.
Playmakers in the front seven Serderius Bryant, Robert Nkemdiche and Denzel Nkemdiche have all missed time this season, but all three have avoided the injury report this week. Cody Prewitt is a difference-maker in the secondary with 54 tackles, four interceptions and two forced fumbles.
While Troy will certainly find a way to put up some points in this one with its veteran quarterback at the helm, the defense has played poorly of late, and this is arguably its toughest task yet on the road against an Ole Miss offense that is clicking on all cylinders. Expect Wallace and company to outlast the Trojans.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ole Miss 45, Troy 31
11/14 16:04:42 ET