Ealy lets it loose as Ole Miss runs past LSU

·2 min read

Oct. 24—OXFORD — A deep collection of running backs has served Ole Miss well this season, but the Rebels are better when Jerrion Ealy part of the show.

Ealy made his comeback against LSU with 12 carries for 97 yards and a touchdown.

Ealy, a junior from Walnut Grove, was ineffective at Alabama then missed the Arkansas game with an undisclosed injury. He was used sparingly in last week's 31-26 win at Tennessee.

He had rushed for 35 yards in SEC play before breaking out in the first half.

Second-team All-SEC last season as the all-purpose player, Ealy said his slow start was due to a lack of confidence.

"I didn't trust myself, didn't trust my speed, the abilities that I have. Today I just said, 'Forget it. I'm going to trust it, and whatever happens happens," he said.

What happened was good for the Rebels.

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Ole Miss — which finished with 266 rushing yards on 50 carries — trailed 7-3 when Ealy had a 21-yard touchdown run off the left side taken off the board in the latter stages of the second quarter.

The next play Ealy ran for 29 yards off the right side to set up a short touchdown pass from Matt Corral to tight end Casey Kelly three plays later.

Ealy would later score on a 36-yard run in the third quarter, the exclamation point on the victory.

That play signaled to Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin that Ealy was back.

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He told offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby, "That's what that play is supposed to look like, a speed back, there's a hole there, and he's gone," Kiffin said.

Kiffin said Ealy's success was because he began taking wider strides.

"We told him, 'You're a speed back. You're not playing like it. Let it loose.'"

PARRISH ALFORD is the college sports editor and columnist for the Daily Journal. Contact him at parrish.alford@journalinc.com.

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