MEMPHIS Braylon Sanders, one of only two Ole Miss receivers returning with measurable game experience, was limited against Memphis with a hamstring injury and did not catch a pass.

Sanders, a junior, had 16 catches for 271 yards last year.

Starting receivers for Ole Miss were sophomore Elijah Moore in the slot, with junior college transfer Dontario Drummond and freshman Jonathan Mingo on the outside.

Moore led Ole Miss receivers with four catches for 60 yards.

Mingo was the target in one-one-one coverage when a pass interference penalty moved the Rebels inside the red zone on a drive that ended with Scottie Phillips’ 1-yard touchdown run.

Offensive line rotation

Senior Alex Givens, who had a surgical procedure on his back in late July and missed all of August camp, started at right tackle.

He was relieved at times by junior Bryce Mathews, who is believed to be the only reserve offensive lineman used on line of scrimmage plays.

Redshirt freshman Jalen Cunningham and true freshman Nick Broeker also got in the game.

Key Drive

Memphis gained only 39 yards but used 6 minutes, 21 seconds to run the clock to zero and end the game. The Tigers ran 14 plays and gained 4 yards on a shovel pass on fourth-and-2 from the Ole Miss 47.

Had the Rebels gotten a stop there they’d have had a chance to drive for a game-winning touchdown.

Key Number: 5

The number of touches for five-star freshman running back Jerrion Ealy. He finished with 2 rushing yards on four carries.

He also had a 25-yard return with the game’s opening kick.

Next Game

Ole Miss plays its first home game and first SEC game when Arkansas visits Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Saturday. It’s a 6:30 kick, and the game will be televised by The SEC Network.

Quotable

“Those are decisions throughout the game that you have to be willing to make. I believe in our players. We wanted to have an aggressive mindset today. We look at every scenario. Our defense was playing really well, and I felt really good about trying to go win the game.” – Memphis coach Mike Norvell on his decision to go for a first down on fourth-and-2 from near midfield on the final drive.

Rebel Ramblings

Senior tight end Jason Pellerin and freshman running back Jarod Conner had their first-career receptions. … Running back Scottie Phillips has a touchdown in eight of 12 career games. … The 15 points were the fewest allowed by the Ole Miss defense since a 45-14 win over Georgia in 2016. … Redshirt freshman OLB Luke Knox had three tackles, two tackles for loss. … Starting OLB Sam Williams was credited with two tackles and a forced fumble. … Mac Brown averaged 46.8 yards on five punts with a long of 54.

parrish.alford@journalinc.com

Twitter: @parrishalford

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