The defense’s average of 34.4 points per game given up, if held through the end of the season, would be the most in the Southeastern Conference for a team since Mississippi State’s 2003 defense gave up 39.3 per game.
The numbers are ugly enough on their own. But they take on a puzzling dimension when compared to those of recent seasons. Last year, the Rebels gave up just 18.6 points and 319.3 yards per game.
There are reasons, of course, for the abrupt change.