The Big 12 Champion Baylor Bears (11-2) take on the SEC’s Mississippi Rebels (10-2) in the Sugar Bowl on January 1, 2022. Led by Big 12 Coach of the Year, Dave Aranda one of the best coaches in the country, Baylor won their third Big 12 championship and have won a program-record-tying 11 games this season. Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss’s head coach has led the school to their first New Year’s Six bowl game appearance since the 2015 season; they won the Sugar Bowl on January 1, 2016, over Oklahoma State.
Baylor Vs. Ole Miss Betting Odds
Baylor Betting Odds
Playing in their second Sugar Bowl in the last three seasons, Baylor is a 1.5-point underdog to Mississippi. The Bears are 9-4 against the spread this season. In their last four games Baylor is averaging 23.8 points per game.
The Baylor offense is averaging 430.9 total yards of offense per game, ranking them 43rd in the nation and scoring 32.5 points per game
The Bears’ rushing attack is averaging 214.9 yards per game, 17th in the country. Running back Abram Smith makes the Baylor offense go. The senior, Smith has rushed for 1,429 yards on 232 carries with 12 touchdowns, averaging 109.9 rushing yards per game. On the season he’s rushed for over 100 yards in eight games. Smith is a big play threat and the Ole Miss defense must keep him in check.
Quarterback Gerry Bohanon threw for 2,165 yards, 17 touchdowns and completed 64.3% of his passes this season but was injured (leg) in week 12. Redshirt freshman Blake Shapen has taken over for Bohanon in the last three games, throwing for 571 yards, five touchdowns and completing 72.1% of his passes.
Tyquan Thornton is Baylor’s dangerous receiving threat leading the team with 61 receptions for 946 yards and nine touchdowns. Averaging 15.5 yards per reception, he can take the top off a defense. The senior has 2,240 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns in 41 games at Baylor.
The Bears are allowing 350 total yards of offense to their opponents ranking them 42nd in the FBS and allowing 19.2 points per game. Terrel Bernard leads the team in total tackles (86) and sacks (5.5). Additionally, he has 10.5 tackles for loss and 3 passes defensed. Jalen Pitre, a consensus All-American had an awesome season with 2.5 sacks, 17.5 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and two interceptions. Baylor led the Big 12 in interceptions with 16.
Ole Miss Betting Odds
In their first 10-win season since 2015, Mississippi is a 1.5-point favorite over Baylor in the Sugar Bowl. The Rebels are 7-4-1 against the spread this season. In their last four games Mississippi is averaging 29.5 points per game.
The Mississippi offense is averaging 506.6 total yards of offense per game, ranking them fourth in the nation and scoring 35.9 points per game
Triggering the Rebels high-powered attack is Matt Corral. The Rebels signal caller is the number one rated quarterback on PFF’s NFL Draft Big Board. In his junior season, Corral has thrown for 3,339 yards, 20 touchdowns, four interceptions and completed 68.3% of his passes with a 157.7 quarterback rating. He has also run for 597 yards and 11 touchdowns. Additionally, he’s the only player in the FBS this season with at least 3,000 passing yards and 500 rushing yards. The Rebel is one of three FBS quarterbacks with at least 20 touchdown passes and 11 or more rushing touchdowns per ESPN.com. Finally, Corral’s 11 touchdowns on the ground are the third most by a Mississippi quarterback in a season. For Baylor to win it is imperative that they stop the dynamic Ole Miss dynamic field general.
Ole Miss’s rushing attack is averaging 224.7 yards per game, ninth nationally. Overall, the Rebels have four players who have rushed for over 500 yards during the regular season. Jerrion Ealy leads the team in rushing this season with 705 yards; averaging 5.8 yards a carry. He’s third on the team in rushing touchdowns with five. Junior Snoop Connor leads the team with 13 rushing touchdowns. He’s second on the team in rushing with 609 yards on 120 carries; averaging 50.8 yards per game. Sophomore Henry Parrish is the other threat in the backfield having run for 540 yards and three touchdowns this season.
Dontario Drummond leads Mississippi in receiving with 67 receptions for 924 yards and nine touchdowns overall (eight receiving and one rushing). He’s averaging 13.8 yards per catch and has gone over 100 yards receiving three times this season, including 138 yards in the regular season finale to rival Mississippi State.
The Rebels are allowing 428.8 total yards of offense to their opponents ranking them 101st in the country. They’re allowing 25 points per game which is 54th in the FBS. Defensive lineman Sam Williams is tied for fourth in the FBS with 12.5 sacks. He also leads Ole Miss with 14.5 tackles for loss and has four forced fumbles on the season. Linebacker Chance Campbell leads the team with 99 total tackles. Additionally, he’s second on the team with six sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss.
Baylor Vs. Ole Miss Picks & Prediction
This game is evenly matched and could be the best of all the New Year’s Six bowl games. I think Matt Corral is a fantastic college quarterback running the Rebels high-octane offense on all cylinders. Baylor will play excellent defense, but Ole Miss will score enough to propel them to victory.