Jaxson Dart stats today: Ole Miss QB posts standout performance in Peach Bowl win over Penn State

Jaxson Dart opened the season as an early potential Heisman Trophy candidate, and while that didn’t ultimately come to fruition, he is on the right path and is expected to be one of the nation’s best quarterback prospects heading into 2024.

And he backed that up in a huge way in a statement performance against Penn State in the Peach Bowl on Saturday, helping power the way to a 38-25 victory Ole Miss victory in the first-ever meeting between the Rebels and the Nittany Lions.

The win also capped the first 11-win season in program history.

Dart could hardly have been more impressive as he completed 25 of his 40 passing attempts for 379 yards with 3 touchdowns on an interception-free outing against not just any defense, but the best unit in the nation.

MORE: Lane Kiffin confirms Twitter account was fake

Penn State entered this game surrendering 16 touchdowns to opponents and averaging just 223.2 offensive yards surrendered per game, or 3.91 yards per play. The 38 points scored by Ole Miss were the most given up by Penn State this season.

Dart threw two touchdowns to tight end Caden Prieskorn and Dart himself also had a 2-yard touchdown rush halfway through the fourth quarter, giving him eight for the season.

Release time, a strength of Dart’s in this game, made all the difference.

“So they gave us some problems there early, and really — I mean, really kind of made it basic and said, okay, we’re going to throw the ball quick because they’ve got really good rush, especially when they’re blitzing him,” said Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin. “We said, we’ve got matchups — we told them before the game last night. This game will be won on offense in the one-on-one matchups at wide receiver and tight end. You guys are going to have to win the game on offense, making plays in the passing game, and they did it.”

Jaxson Dart 2023 stats

Here’s a look at how Dart has performed statistically throughout the season.

Game Comp Att Passing yards TD INT
vs. Penn State 25 40 379 3 0
at Mississippi State 14 26 96 1 0
vs. ULM 24 31 310 3 0
at UGA 10 17 112 0 1
vs. Texas A&M 24 33 387 2 0
vs. Vanderbilt 19 28 240 1 1
at Auburn 10 16 202 1 1
vs. Arkansas 16 25 153 1 0
vs. LSU 26 39 389 4 0
at Alabama 20 35 244 0 1
vs. Georgia Tech 10 18 251 1 0
at Tulane 17 27 267 2 1
vs. Mercer 18 23 334 4 0
Season total 208 318 2,985 20 5

Jaxson Dart career stats

Dart originally started off his college football career at USC, transferring to Ole Miss ahead of the 2021 season where he competed with local favorite Luke Altmyer, ultimately beating him out for the starting gig as the quarterback who projected to have the higher ceiling.

Here’s a look at how Dart has performed statistically throughout his career.

Year Team Comp Att Passing yards TD INT
2021 USC 117 189 1,353 9 5
2022 Ole Miss 226 362 2,974 20 11
2023 Ole Miss 208 318 2,985 20 5
Career total   551 869 7,312 49 21

2024 Outlook for Jaxson Dart

It is not out of the question for Dart to build himself into a first-round prospect who could catch some buzz ahead of the 2025 NFL Draft. One of the biggest areas he has grown in is that of a pure passer. In 2022, he showcased the mobility and improvisation ability he had been so highly touted for, but saw him be a bit sporadic through the air.

Kiffin noted Dart’s improvement earlier this year after the win over Tulane.

“He’s done a great job, had really good offseason,” Kiffin told TSN. “I wouldn’t have guessed the numbers were going to look like they did today, but it happens. It’s football. Tulane is a really good team and made some plays and he lost (Tre Harris) early and we just kind of miscommunicated on some things and kind of stumbled out of a break on a pick but he made a great play on the touchdown to (Michael) Trigg.”

Dart said he attributed much of his success to improvements in mental health and simply gaining more in-game experience.

“I think (mechanics and accuracy), you can always improve on. I’m sure you guys have seen it, we’ve been very diligent in mental health,” Dart told TSN. “I am able to meet with people and I haven’t really seen that in the past. That’s been able to bring my game up a lot from the mental side of it. It shows in the film too.”

With more comfortability, things have slowed down for Dart and he’s clearly turned the corner.

“I think a big part of it is it just being Year 2,” he said. “Fans and all that stuff, some people don’t really understand what it takes to get engulfed into a new offense… it just takes time and I kind of alluded to this previously about my confidence. The more reps I’ve gotten… the game just slows down.”

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