Nix, Swinney, Donelly and Corral Talk 2018 Fall Camp
Ole Miss Kicks Off the Season Sept. 1 vs. Texas Tech
Rebels Win Egg Bowl for Fourth Time in the Last Six Years
Jordan Wilkins Rushes for 147 Yards and a Score in Loss to Aggies
Sophomore Wideout Tied Ole Miss Single Game Record With 14 Receptions
Last year, the Rebels thrived in Longo’s system. Ole Miss averaged 462.3 yards of total offense to rank second in the SEC and 18th nationally. The Rebels produced the conference’s best passing game with 328.4 ypg (11th nationally). Quarterbacks Shea Patterson and Jordan Ta’amu each recorded three games of at least 350 yards passing, as Ole Miss became the fourth FBS team over the past 20 seasons to accomplish that feat. Following Patterson’s season-ending injury, Ta’amu and the Rebel offense did not skip a beat under Longo’s guidance.
Ole Miss was one of the nation’s best red zone teams in 2017 with a 95.3 percentage of success to rank sixth in the country. The Rebels not only excelled in the air but on the ground as well. Senior running back Jordan Wilkins tallied 1,011 yards to become just the fifth Rebel in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season.
Three Rebels recorded at least 600 yards receiving, including sophomore A.J. Brown. In his first season in Longo’s offense, Brown set school records for receiving yards (1,252) and receiving touchdowns (11) in a single season. DaMarkus Lodge (698 yards) and D.K. Metcalf (646 yards) hauled in seven touchdown receptions apiece.
Prior to arriving at Ole Miss, Longo engineered one of the nation’s best FCS offense at Sam Houston State. He helped Sam Houston to the FCS Playoffs in each of his three seasons, while shattering the record books. The 2016 team went 12-1 and boasted the nation’s No. 1 total offense (547.3 ypg), No. 2 scoring offense (49.5 ppg), No. 2 passing offense (368.3 ypg) and No. 37 rushing offense (179.0 ypg) out of 122 FCS teams. The Bearkats scored touchdowns on 80.3 percent of their red zone chances, also best in the nation.
Sam Houston had more than 4,500 passing yards and 2,000 rushing yards in 2016. No FBS team accomplished that.
In Longo’s three years on head coach K.C. Keeler’s staff, SHSU won the Southland Conference twice (2014, 2016) and compiled a 34-10 overall record. The Bearkats advanced to the semifinals of the FCS Playoffs in 2014 and 2015 and quarterfinals this year, while rising as high as No. 1 in the FCS national polls in both 2015 and 2016.
The red zone was a key area of success for Longo’s offense. Over the last three years, no FBS team has had more red zone touchdowns than the 145 scored by the Bearkats.
Despite featuring a pass-heavy attack, Longo’s units also ranked top 10 among FCS teams in rushing in both 2014 and 2015. Sam Houston produced 1,000-yard rushers in 2014 (Keshawn Hill) and 2015 (Corey Avery) and a 900-yard rusher this past season (Remus Bulmer).
In 2015, Sam Houston’s 7,975 total yards set a Southland Conference season record and ranked third all-time in NCAA Division I FCS history. The Bearkats led the nation in total offense (531.7 ypg) and first downs per game (27.6). They ranked No. 5 in scoring (41.1 ppg) and No. 9 in rushing (254.5 ypg), while also ranking 14th in third-down conversions (45.7 percent).
The 1,275 plays run by Longo’s offense in 2015 was also a league record. Three times in the past three seasons SHSU ran more than 100 plays in a game, including a school-record 118 plays in the 2015 NCAA opening-round victory over Southern Utah.
In 2014, Longo’s attack led the Southland in rushing (241.6 ypg, 9th nationally) and red zone offense (90 percent, 8th nationally).
Regarded as an outstanding recruiter and quarterbacks coach, Longo helped Bearkats QB and first team All-American Jeremiah Briscoe set a school record with 4,602 passing yards in 2016, while Sam Houston had the first two 1,000-yard receivers in school history in the form of junior Yedidiah Louis (1,152) and freshman Nathan Stewart (1,004). Briscoe led all FCS players with 57 touchdown passes (to 10 interceptions), while ranking second nationally in passing (354.0 ypg) and third in total offense (349.9 ypg).
Longo began his coaching career in the high school ranks. He was the winningest coach in school history at Parsippany Hills High School in Troy, New Jersey, serving as head coach from 1996-99. In 1999, his team competed in and won the 11th-highest scoring game in the history of high school football in the U.S. Longo earned NJ Star Ledger and Daily Record Coach of the Year honors in 1998-99 and was awarded the Sportsmanship, Ethics & Integrity Award by the National Federation of State High School Associations.
He entered the college ranks as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at D-III William Paterson University (2000-01) and was head coach at FCS La Salle in 2004 and 2005.
Other schools at which Longo has served as offensive coordinator include Slippery Rock (2012-13), Southern Illinois (2008-09) and Minnesota-Duluth (2006-07). He was a wide receivers coach at Youngstown State in 2010.
A running back at Rowan University from 1988-91, Longo was a member of the school’s first New Jersey Athletic Conference championship and NCAA Division III playoff team. The New Jersey native earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Rowan in 1992.
Longo, 48, and his wife Tanya are the parents of daughters Gianna and Macaria.
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