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OLE MISS REBELS (3-2, 0-2 SEC) vs. ULM WARHAWKS (2-3, 0-2 SBC)

OLE MISS VS. LA MONROE: Game 6 Notes October 2, 2018

Date: Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018
Time: 3 p.m. CT
Location: Oxford, Miss.
Venue: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium (64,038)
Surface: Natural Grass
Series: Ole Miss leads 3-0
    In Oxford: Ole Miss leads 3-0
    Streak: Ole Miss, W3
Live Stats: OleMissSports.com
Live Audio: OleMissSports.com
Twitter Updates: @OleMissFB
Television: SEC Network
Dave Neal, Play-by-Play
DJ Shockley, Analyst
Dawn Davenport, Sideline
Satellite Radio: Sirius 103, XM 191

Matt Luke (Ole Miss, 2000) is in his 11th season at Ole Miss and second season at the helm, taking the reins of his alma mater as the 38th head coach in program history. He was born a Rebel as his family has ties to Ole Miss that span three generations. During his 24 years as a player and coach at the collegiate level, Luke has risen through the ranks while learning from a number of successful veteran coaches. He has worked alongside national champion Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer, Duke head coach David Cutcliffe and former Ole Miss head coach Tommy Tuberville, among others. On the field, he has mentored 20 all-league selections as well as All-Americans and first-round draft picks Laremy Tunsil and Laken Tomlinson. Luke, a four-year center for the Rebels (1995-98), spent five seasons as the team’s co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach before being promoted to interim head coach for the 2017 season. During his first stop in Oxford (2002-05), he served four seasons coaching the Ole Miss tight ends and offensive line under Cutcliffe.

Matt Viator (McNeese State, 1986) is in his third year as ULM’s head coach and owns a 10-19 record for the Warhawks. Viator has posted back-to-back 4-8 seasons in Monroe. Viator, 88-52 overall in 13 overall seasons as a head coach, arrived at ULM in 2015 after spending the previous 10 years as head coach at McNeese State. During his 10 seasons at the helm of the McNeese State football program, he posted a 78-33 record (.703 winning percentage) and tied for most all-time wins in program history. Over the course of his 10 seasons at McNeese, Viator averaged just under eight wins per season and never had a losing season. He coached three different teams to 10-win seasons. He also finished with a 54-18 mark in Southland Conference play during his 10 seasons. His 54 league wins are the most in league history. In 2015, Viator led the Cowboys to a 10-0 regular season record and an appearance in the second round of the FCS Playoffs against Sam Houston State. Viator, who led the Cowboys to a perfect 9-0 record in Southland Conference play, was named the league’s coach of the year. He also was a finalist for both the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year award as well as the STATS FCS National Coach of the Year award.

The ULM Warhawks currently sit at 2-3 overall and 0-2 in the Sun Belt Conference. ULM is coming off a 46-14 conference loss to Georgia State on Saturday. The Warhawks opened the 2018 season 2-0 following wins over Southeastern Louisiana and Southern Miss, but have dropped three straight as they head into Oxford. ULM averages just over 400 yards of total offense per game. Their passing attack ranks third in the Sun Belt with 238.6 yards per game and a rushing attack that averages 163.4 yards on the ground. Dual-threat quarterback Caleb Evans is second in the Sun Belt in passing yards (238.4 per game) and total offense (291.2 ypg.). His 22.6 pass completions per game is ranked 15th in the NCAA. Evans leads the Warhawks on the ground as well, rushing for 264 yards and three rushing TDs, averaging nearly five yards per carry. Evans favorite target through the air is senior wideout Marucs Green. Green, a Pontotoc, Mississippi, native, has hauled in 19 catches for 332 yards and a conference-best four receiving TDs on the season. Junior RJ Turner is right behind Green with 18 catches in 2018 for 211 yards. The Warhawks’ offensive line is ranked second in the Sun Belt, only allowing 1.4 sacks per game. ULM’s defense has allowed 471.8 yards of total offense per game including 300 yards through the air. The Warhawks have allowed 325 or more passing yards in three of their first five games. Senior safety Collin Turner leads ULM with 37 total tackles on the season.

The Ole Miss roster features four players who hail from Louisiana: LB Zikerrion Baker (Mooringsport), LB Josh Clarke (Jefferson), OL Peyton Cox (Metairie), and TE Jason Pellerin (New Iberia).

RB Scottie Phillips has quickly burst onto the scene for Ole Miss and has been a key component in the Rebels’ offense that averages 36.8 points per game and over 483 yards in total offense per game, which ranks 24th in the NCAA. Phillips, a junior college transfer from Jones County CC, has rushed for 100 yards or more in three of his first five games in an Ole Miss uniform. Phillips is third in the SEC in rushing yards (563) and second in rushing TDs (six). His 122.2 all purpose yards per game ranks third in the SEC. Phillips is averaging 7.22 yards per carry, which currently leads the SEC and ranks 10th nationally. Phillips has scored at least one touchdown in all but one game this season.

• This is the 91st Homecoming game at Ole Miss since 1924.
• The Rebels are 73-15-2 (.822 winning pct.) all-time in Homecoming games and have won 19 of their last 21.
• Ole Miss defeated Vanderbilt 57-35 on Homecoming last year.
• The last Homecoming loss was a 27-7 defeat to Louisiana Tech in 2011.

• Ole Miss’ A.J. Brown and Jerry Johnson were teammates with ULM sophomore DL Derion Ford at Starkville HS in Starkville, Mississippi.
• DB Vernon Dasher and ULM’s Tyler Johnson both attended Coffeyville Community College.
• The Rebels’ Harrison Homberg and Mike Taylor both attended University School of Jackson in Jackson, Mississippi with ULM freshman Trey Corley.
• DL James Coley and WR Ryan Drew played with ULM’s Barry Howard at Co-Lin Community College last season.
• DE Ryder Anderson and the Warhawks’ Sloan Spiller both attended Katy HS in Katy, Texas.

LB Mohamed Sanogo is coming off a game which saw him tally a career-high 12 tackles vs. LSU. The sophomore from Plano, Texas, ranks fifth in the SEC with 7.8 tackles per game and has led the Rebels in tackles in three of the last four contests. Sanogo has also been a large part in turnovers for an Ole Miss defense that has forced at least two turnovers in four straight games for the first time since 2014. He has forced a fumble in back-to-back games for the Rebels.

Replacing Ole Miss’ all-time leading scorer and leader in almost every kicking category is no easy task, but through the season’s first five games, K Luke Logan is proving that he’s worthy of that challenge. Logan is 8-of-9 on the season in field goal attempts including a career-long 40-yard make on Saturday at No. 5 LSU. The sophomore currently ranks second in the SEC in field goal percentage (.889) and third in field goals per game (1.6). Logan leads the Rebels in scoring with 8.8 points per game.

In 2017, Ole Miss’ average touchdown drive was 99 seconds, the fastest in the nation. The Rebels are currently on pace to match last season’s mark as Ole Miss has averaged just over 106 seconds in its 20 touchdown drives this season. Five of the Rebels scoring drives this season have only taken two plays or less to find the endzone.

Ole Miss quarterback  Jordan Ta’amu has two 400-yard passing performances so far this season through the first five contests in 2018, including a 448-yard and five TD game against Southern Illinois. Ta’amu’s three career 400-yard passing games are the most by an Ole Miss quarterback in program history. Four other Ole Miss quarterbacks have surpassed the 400-yard mark twice in their career.

The Ole Miss offense ranks sixth in the country with seven scoring drives this season that have been under one minute, including five drives of two plays or less. Those seven scoring drives under a minute have averaged just over 32 seconds and 69 yards per drive.

Scoring Drives Under One Minute
Alabama – 12
Utah State – 9
Penn State – 8
Memphis – 8
UMass – 8
Ole Miss – 7
Houston – 7
Oregon – 7
Arkansas State – 6
Syracuse – 6
UCF – 6
Clemson – 5
Navy – 5
New Mexico – 5
North Texas – 5

When he was in seventh grade, Ole Miss punter Mac Brown had a modest goal of raising $500 for a childhood friend’s   dad who had been diagnosed with ALS. Along with a group of neighborhood friends, Brown started a lemonade stand, Awesome Lemonade Stand, in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, to help his friend’s family. Seven years later, that $500 goal has ballooned to nearly $50,000 raised by Brown and his friends for ALS research. The Awesome Lemonade Stand is held on a late day in June and this year’s fundraiser raised more than $15,000 alone.

In the spring, senior DB C.J. Moore became the 28th different Rebel to be awarded the Chucky Mullins Courage Award, which goes to a standout defensive player each year. The award honors the late Chucky Mullins, who had his Ole Miss career come to an end during the 1989 Homecoming game against Vanderbilt when he was paralyzed after making a tackle. After returning to his studies at Ole Miss, Mullins passed away May 6, 1991. Moore wears the No. 38 jersey in Mullins’ honor this season.

The Rebels rank second 19th in the country with a red zone scoring percentage of 94.1. The Rebels have converted 16-of-17 chances from inside the 20, including nine TDs. Eight of the nine Ole Miss red zone touchdowns have come on the ground.

Eleven Rebels have made their first career starts this season: (Offense) Ben Brown (OL), Scottie Phillips (RB), Braylon Sanders (WR); (Defense) Josh Clarke (DB), Montrell Custis (DB), Jacquez Jones (LB), Austrian Robinson (DE), Kevontae’ Ruggs (LB),  Mohamed Sanogo (LB), Tariqious Tisdale (DE), Markel Winters (DE).

A total of 27 players have made their Ole Miss debut this season: Zikerrion Baker, Miles Battle, Quentin Bivens, Ben Brown, Josh Clarke, Spencer Cole, Matt Corral, Vernon Dasher, Tony Gray, A.J. Harris, Jakorey Hawkins, Jonathan Hess, Amani Johnson, Sam Johnson, Jacquez Jones, Tylan Knight, Luke Knox, Elijah Moore, Patrick Nasiatka, Hal Northern, Scottie Phillips, Kevontae’ Ruggs, Ty Rocconi, Keidron Smith, Tariqious Tisdale, Isaac Way, Isaiah Woullard.

It’s the 124th season of football at Ole Miss and the second under head coach Matt Luke. The Rebels boast an all-time record of 669-518-35 (.562 winning percentage). Ole Miss did not field teams in 1897 due to an epidemic of yellow fever, and also in 1943 when football was abolished at all Mississippi state-supported institutions by the Board of Trustees.