The Fresno State Bulldogs suffered their worst loss in recent memory and it a game where it was never remotely close. Before the first quarter ended the Ole Miss Rebels had set a modern era (since 1962) record by scoring 28 straight points against Fresno State, and ultimately winning 73-21. Supposedly there was a quarterback controversy for Ole Miss, but after the game it was clear that Chad Kelly was on the field the Rebels are a better football team.
Kelly led the first four drives of the game, each of which resulted in touchdowns for the Rebels, and then went to the bench in favor of DeVante Kincade. Fresno State forced Ole Miss to punt for the first time of the day. Fresno State was forced to punt after a six-play drive and Ryan Buchanan was inserted at quarterback for Ole Miss. On Buchanan's fifth pass, he threw a 56-yard pick-six to Shannon Edwards.
Kelly returned to quarterback on the following possession and promptly led the Rebels to a touchdown. In case you're keeping track, in each of the five drives quarterbacked by Kelly the Rebels scored five touchdowns in three minutes or less. Several times the Bulldogs looked confused on defense or were out of position, but even when they had good position, Kelly was so precise with the football, it didn't matter.
The lone bright spot for Fresno State in the first half was true freshman, Chason Virgil, who entered the game during the second quarter and completed all seven of his passes for a total of 83 yards and a touchdown, a sharp pass to Josiah Blandin. That left the score going into halftime 35-14, Rebels. The glimmer of hope was that maybe, like Ole Miss, Fresno State had found it's quarterback going forward.
When Carlos Davis fumbled a second half punt deep in Rebel territory it looked as if the Bulldogs would have a chance to get back into the game, but C.J. Johnson intercepted a Virgil pass and returned it 70-yards. Ole Miss scored on the ensuing drive to go up 42-14. The very next drive, Keyon Williams was tripped up, cutting his route short, and Virgin, throwing to the spot he believed Williams would be, threw it directly to Trea Elston, who rumbled 38-yards the other direction for another Rebel score, 49-14.
The next time Ole Miss had the ball, Kelly led the Rebels on another quick three-play, 68-yard drive that put them up 56-14. The Bulldogs scored on the next possession with another Virgil touchdown pass, this one to Marteze Waller, his first receiving touchdown of his career. 56-21 and that was the closest the Bulldogs would get for the rest of the day.
Fresno State was clearly outmatched by the Rebels and were never really in the game, but the one positive to take away from this game is Chason Virgil, who finished the game 12-18, 140 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs. Though he is a bit undersized and will certainly fill out his frame, the true freshman has a quick release and is decisive and accurate with the football. Hopefully, he can learn from this game and coaches give him more opportunities than not going forward, so he can continue to grow.