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Jordan Watkins Looks For 'Spark' As Ole Miss Finds Offensive Identity

How can Ole Miss remedy its recent offensive struggles?

OXFORD, Miss. -- Bland, predictable, flawed. All of those adjectives could apply to the Ole Miss Rebels offense in recent weeks.

The Rebels have their quarterback, and he is a good one in Jaxson Dart. Injuries and issues up front, however, have slowed down a typically-potent offensive attack in Oxford, and after a disappointing showing against Alabama last week, Ole Miss is still looking for some answers in SEC play.

"We didn't have a perfect game at all," wide receiver Jordan Watkins said on Tuesday. "We had a lot of flaws on offense. We came in, watched the film yesterday and realized that we had a lot of work to do. I think we still have to find our identity a little bit on offense." 

Jordan Watkins races down the field for a score against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in Week 3.

Jordan Watkins races down the field for a score against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in Week 3.

With four weeks of play now behind the Rebels and a grind of a conference schedule ahead, how can Ole Miss find this identity while simultaneously winning games? Team chemistry is a good start, but shared energy is another big focus.

"I think we just feed off of one another," Watkins said. "We came back in yesterday and put (the Alabama loss) behind us a little bit. This week, we're going to come out there with a mentality of 'just dominate.'"

On paper, "dominating" may be difficult this week. Ole Miss will host the LSU Tigers in the annual Magnolia Bowl, and this year's installment looks to be the true definition of a toss-up in the days before kickoff.

LSU opened as a 2.5-point road favorite this week in Vegas. As of this writing, that line has moved to an even 2.0 in favor of the Tigers, but ESPN's FPI gives the Rebels a 56.6 percent chance of winning the game.

Still, if it's energy you want, an SEC West rivalry as historic as this one should be plenty of motivation as Ole Miss seeks its first win within the conference this season.

"I think we've got to find that spark," Watkins said. "You look back at last year and some of the things we were able to do on offense, and I think we've got to get back to that. Just finding out who we are on offense and playing a complete game."

LSU is no pushover. Quarterback Jayden Daniels will draw a lot of the headlines, but the Tigers' defense is formidable as well, and Watkins knows that his unit will have its work cut out for them this weekend.

"They have a really, really good secondary," Watkins said. "I think what stands out to me is more so their D-line. We're going to have to come with our A-game in general because they have an A-plus defense for sure."

Ole Miss and LSU are scheduled to kick off at 5 p.m. CT on Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPN.