Mississippi-Oklahoma State grades: Top NFL prospects shine in Sugar Bowl

The top takeaways and highest-graded players from Mississippi’s win over Oklahoma State in the Sugar Bowl.

| 1 year ago
Chad Kelly

(AP Photo/Thomas Graning)

Mississippi-Oklahoma State grades: Top NFL prospects shine in Sugar Bowl

Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from Mississippi’s 48-20 win against the Oklahoma State in the Sugar Bowl.

Mississippi Rebels

While Laremy Tunsil’s (+2.4) Friday night performance will be remembered because of his two-yard touchdown run at the end of the first half, he did shine in his regular role as well. Although he was on the field for only 45 of the Rebels’ 75 offensive snaps, Tunsil still earned the highest grade for any Ole Miss offensive lineman. The offensive tackle, whose name is expected to be called very early in the 2016 NFL draft, was solid in run blocking too, but his best work came in pass protection. Tunsil did not allow a single pressure on his 30 pass blocking snaps and completely shut down Oklahoma State star Emmanuel Ogbah (+6.3).

Similarly to Tunsil, Mississippi wide receiver Laquon Treadwell (+2.9) is also projected to be selected in the first round if he declares for the NFL Draft. If indeed this was Treadwell’s last game for Mississippi, he did manage to end his college career on a high note. Although, the first pass going his way was overthrown and was intercepted, Treadwell bounced back and was absolutely unstoppable in the remainder of the game. He caught six of his next seven targets for 71 yards and three touchdowns. In addition, he also completed a pass on a trick play in the second quarter.

While quarterback Chad Kelly (+5.1) did start the game with the above mentioned interception, similarly to Treadwell, he bounced back as well and was actually the best player on the Rebels offense. Kelly was not afraid to air it out and not only did he attempt a total of nine passes 20 or more yards downfield, he completed five of them for 142 yards and two touchdowns. Furthermore, he was lethal on shorter passes as he completed 16 of his 18 passes within 20 yards of the line of scrimmage. Overall, Kelly was accurate on 77.8 percent of all his passes and what is even more impressive, he was on target on 71.4 percent of his attempts under pressure.

Top performers:

DT D.J. Jones +5.2
QB Chad Kelly +5.1
DT Breeland Speaks +4.1
LB C.J. Johnson +3.5
TE Evan Engram +3.4

Oklahoma State Cowboys

Mississippi was not the only team on the field that featured top NFL prospects as Oklahoma State’s defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah (+6.3) is also expected to hear his name on the first name of the 2016 NFL Draft. When looking at the tape and his grade, one can assume that Ogbah had a monster game and was unstoppable. This is partially true as he recorded four quarterback hits, three hurries and batted down three passes as well. However, it is important to apply context in this case, which means that we need to take into consideration that Ogbah recorded most of his pressures in the second half when the game was already out of reach for the Cowboys. Furthermore, he was not able to generate any pressure against Mississippi star left tackle Laremy Tunsil as all his pressures in the first half came from the right side.

Although he did not have a touchdown or interception either, Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph (+0.8) had a very up-and-down day. His receivers certainly did not help him as they dropped three of his accurate passes in the first half, including several on key third downs when the Cowboys still had a chance at a comeback. However, he did make some very bad decisions, especially outside the left numbers where he completed only one of his five pass attempts and graded out at -3.5 on these throws. His ill-advised throws included a dropped interception that would have been returned for a touchdown in the first minutes of the third quarter where he stared down his receiver on an out route and allowed the cornerback to jump the route.

One reason behind the Cowboys allowing 48 points to the Rebels was Oklahoma State starting cornerback Kevin Peterson’s (-2.6) inability to cover Mississippi star wide receiver Laquon Treadwell (+2.9). While Peterson did make some plays against the run, he failed to achieve his primary task in shutting down Treadwell, which was obviously not an easy assignment. Peterson allowed four receptions for 57 yards and two touchdowns on five targets for Treadwell and was also called for two pass interference penalties in this game.

Top performers:

DE Emmanuel Ogbah +6.3
DT Vincent Taylor +3.3
QB J.W. Walsh +2.7
RB Chris Carson +2.6
DT Motekiai Maile +2.1


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