Ole Miss Offense Is Heavy On Creativity

By FirstDown PlayBook on Oct 17, 2022
All 22 Tuesday

There has been a lot of well deserved SEC attention being shown towards the University of Tennessee’s huge 2022 season. What is going on in Oxford is noteworthy as well. Lane Kiffin has his Ole Miss football team at 7-0. The Ole Miss offense is the number one ranked rushing offense by a considerable margin going into this weekend’s game at LSU.

When a team runs the ball as well as Ole Miss has this year, there is normally some creativity involved. Kiffin has done a good job of mixing in an assortment of jet sweeps, arounds, reverses and RPO’s. There is also the normal allotment of bubble screens and spreading the field as they attack a defense.

This week’s All 22 Tuesday play is a good example of some of all of these things. This play came against Auburn in the first quarter. Ole Miss was already up 7-0 with 2:47 left on the clock. They have the ball on the Auburn 23 yard line and it is 2nd & 10. The ball is on the right hash and they are in 11 personnel.

Kiffin’s Ole Miss Offense Is Not Short on Creativity

One of the first things you are going to notice is that Ole Miss is in an unbalanced formation. This has shown up numerous times this year on our All 22 Tuesday plays. That’s because unbalanced formations show up frequently every weekend these days, and for good reason. This formation is pretty much just window dressing for what Ole Miss is about to do.

The Ole Miss running back lines up to the eligible tackle side into the boundary. Ole Miss and Auburn are essentially playing 8 man football when the ball is snapped. Three Auburn defenders are covering the bubble sweep fake to the field. Ole Miss runs a QB Counter to the boundary and this is where it gets tricky.

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The running back free releases on a rail route down the numbers. This puts the Auburn corner in a conflict of assignment situation. Does he defend the QB counter or carry the rail route? Some of the blocking looks like this is a pure play action pass. However, the right tackle for Ole Miss is way down field when this ball is thrown and that’s why we think the QB is reading #4 from Auburn the whole way.

Based on the way that Kiffin throws his hands up in the air as soon as the corner bites on the run, we know exactly who he was looking at on this play. The safety from Auburn does to get over the top and it was quickly 14-0 in this SEC matchup. Creative play calling like this comes easier when you run the ball as well as the Rebels are this year.

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There is also the hidden benefit of having your defense on the sideline a lot as you eat up clock running the football. It is of note that the Ole Miss is the number one ranked defense in the SEC too. So hats off to Lane Kiffin and his staff as they head into critical SEC games against LSU, Texas A&M and Alabama over the next month!

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