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Unconventional Win In Knoxville Shows Positive Trajectory For Ole Miss Program

Saturday's game was far from normal for Ole Miss, but the Rebels continue to find a way to win.

It was an unconventional night in Knoxville for the Ole Miss Rebels.

On one hand, the Ole Miss offense wasn't as crisp as Rebel fans have grown accustomed to, and it was a series of defensive stops that secured the win. On the other hand, there was a 20-minute delay in action in the fourth quarter following a failed fourth down conversion by Tennessee as fans in the stands threw trash and debris onto the field.

This activity prompted a response from the chancellor of the University of Tennessee as well as SEC commissioner Greg Sankey.

While it is unclear in what capacity, it is expected that Tennessee will face some form of repercussion as a result of Saturday night's events. There was a moment where Ole Miss' team and staff was called off of the sideline due to the flying debris, and Lane Kiffin was nearly hit with a golf ball from a fan in a game that seemed to have a little bit of everything

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Although the game was impacted by the actions of some of those in attendance, the story remains the same: Ole Miss has won close games in back-to-back weeks and sits at 5-1 overall with LSU coming to town this week. What may be noteworthy is how these games were won, however. 

Last week's win against Arkansas goes largely in credit to the offense. The Ole Miss defense couldn't seem to formulate a stop, and it was due to a failed two-point conversion attempt as time expired that Ole Miss was able to come away with the win.

On Saturday in Knoxville, the Rebel offense had its fair share of injuries, but a notable presence on the defense returned in Jake Springer, and that seemed to make a difference in the Ole Miss win. The Rebels were able to get off the field on numerous occasions Saturday, especially in the first half while the offense tried to get its feet established. At the end of the game, it was the offense failing to get a first down and run out the clock while the defense was tasked to get a stop.

They succeeded, and Ole Miss came away with another stressful win, but it was just that: a win.

If this Ole Miss team is to reach its ceiling this season, it will likely have to win games in a variety of ways, and the last two weeks could lend one to think that's possible. The defense has to continue to improve, but it once again looked serviceable in Knoxville on Saturday. If the Ole Miss offense can get healthy and the defense can build on its momentum from this week, this team's trajectory seems to be on the upside, and that's a welcome sight for fans in Oxford.


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