This is really the first matchup of the season for Ole Miss where the opposing quarterback is in the conversation with superstar Matt Corral. Tulane's Michael Pratt, a freshman, has thrown five touchdowns and no interceptions through two games. Corral has six scoring tosses and no picks.
Pratt is going to give the Ole Miss defense its share of issues, but Corral is still Corral. He is a whole other beast. Edge: Ole Miss
Ole Miss star Jerrion Ealy isn't off to his best start, with just 85 rushing yards and a touchdown thus far. He's had help, however — Snoop Conner and Henry Parrish Jr. have done a lot of the heavy lifting, and have performed admirably. We still have yet to see the best of Ealy in 2021. Tulane's Cameron Carroll has yet to break out this season either (66 rushing yards).
This one goes to Ole Miss based on potential and history. Edge: Ole Miss
Wide receivers and tight ends
Ole Miss has not gotten much production from its tight ends thus far (27 total receiving yards) but has had great showings from receivers Dontario Drummond and Jonathan Mingo (438 yards, five touchdowns combined). Tulane, meanwhile, is led in receiving by tight end Tyrick James, who has 142 yards and a touchdown. The Green Wave has a number of receivers contributing as well, but not one with eye-popping stats. Edge: Ole Miss
Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin might not think his offensive line is as good as Pro Football Focus grades it out to be, but the unit has been solid, if unspectacular. Ole Miss is averaging a whopping 262 yards per game on the ground and has allowed four sacks, though part of that can be credited to Corral's quick trigger and running ability under pressure. Tulane is rushing for a tick under 200 yards per game and has also allowed four sacks. Edge: Even
Ole Miss senior defensive end Sam Williams is playing like a man possessed at the moment. He has three sacks through two games and scored a touchdown against Austin Peay. Freshmen Tywone Malone and Demon Clowney broke out against the Governors as well with a sack a piece. Tulane is getting to the quarterback as well, though it has largely come off blitzes. The Green Wave also boast a great run defense (80 yards per game allowed, 25th nationally), and part of that can be attributed to being stout up front. Edge: Ole Miss
Maryland transfer Chance Campbell has been every bit as good as advertised in his first year with Ole Miss and is the leader up the middle for a much-improved Rebels defense. Tulane, however, has a pair of All-American Athletic Conference caliber linebackers in Nick Anderson and Dorian Williams, who have combined for 24 tackles thus far. That stellar run defense is largely because of the Green Wave's linebackers, too. Edge: Tulane
The Ole Miss and Tulane defenses are surrendering 230 yards and 249 yards per game, respectively. The Green Wave surrendered 304 passing yards to Oklahoma Heisman hopeful Spencer Rattler but also intercepted him twice. The Rebels have not faced a player of Rattler's caliber yet; Tulane is far more battled-tested on that front. Edge: Even
Ole Miss freshman Caden Costa has been a revelation at kicker, having made all four field goal tries and all 11 extra point tries. Mac Brown has only punted four times and is averaging 44.5 yards a kick. Tulane, however, has the rare fifth-year starter at kicker in Merek Glover. Punter Ryan Wright was a first-team All-AAC selection last season and is averaging 54.3 yards per punt thus far in 2021. Edge: Tulane