Saturday night could have been described as an offensive explosion for Ole Miss.
The Rebels entered the game scoring less than 19 points a game, but doubled that out in Fresno, Calif., with a 38-28 win over Fresno State.
It was a huge when for an Ole Miss staff that was feeling all sorts of heat on and off campus this season.
For head coach Houston Nutt, this was a win that he absolutely had to have. His seat was basically thrown into the furnace after back-to-back losses to Vanderbilt and Georgia, but a little water was thrown on those flames after this win.
And the Rebels actually survived a shootout, something no one really saw coming. For a team that was near the bottom of the SEC in just about every offensive category, the Rebels reeled off five touchdowns and racked up a season-high 430 yards of offense.
Randall Mackey started the game at quarterback and did a pretty good job leading this offense. He had 214 yards passing, a touchdown and didn't turn the ball over. It looks like the Rebels have found their quarterback and it seems like it's time to quit with the quarterback shuffle and construct this offense around Mackey and his abilities. He ran the ball six times for 35 yards, but if he remains the starter, expect both of those numbers to increase because he has some nice moves in space and good speed.
Jeff Scott might be Ole Miss' best offensive weapon. He carried the ball 24 times for 138 yards and had two touchdowns, including a 69-yard score. He and Brandon Bolden will make a nice pair when Bolden gets some more carries back there. Bolden did have two touchdowns on the night as well.
The Rebels really needed this win -- not just in the standings but mentally. This team was just crumbling in front of our eyes, but getting away on the other side of the country was impressive for this group.
Now, Ole Miss hopes on a plane back home to prepare for Alabama in two weeks. Talk about the perfect bye week.