Today is the sixth day of Gridiron Heroics’ SEC preview ahead of the 2022 season with Ole Miss Rebels being the topic. Each day, we will break down one team from the East and West Division. Today in this, Ole Miss preview, I’m giving you a position-by position analysis, and telling you what they need to do to advance to the postseason. Join as we delve deep into the South’s spectacular obsession, SEC football.
We break down the 14 teams that make up the SEC. Check it out, team by team:
SEC CONF. PREVIEW: Overall SEC Conf. Preview
The mornings are hot and muggy. The afternoons are blazing. The stadium full as they await their team to take the field. All of a sudden there’s a voice coming from a special guest. “Are You Ready” the guest yells. “Hotty, Toddy” booms from the packed stadium in unison as their team takes the battlefield. This is football season in Oxford Mississippi. The Ole Miss Rebels are the hometown heroes of the Gridiron. Welcome to the Ole Miss Rebels 2022 football season.
Team- Ole Miss Rebels
Head Coach- Lane Kiffin
Last season record- 10-3 overall, (6-2) conference
Post Season – Sugar bowl loss to Baylor
Rebels Made History
Last season was head coach Lane Kiffin’s second season. The first season was covid year and it was impossible to get into a flow or build momentum. That was behind them now and the 2021 season would be historical for good reasons. Matt Corral, who racked up over 9800 career yards, was leading a high powered Kiffin offense. Corrals main target was Dontario Drummond (6-1, 220, Sr, Laurel, Miss.) who opened and closed the season with his biggest games. He began his season with nine receptions for 177 yards and a touchdown in a nationally televised win over Louisville. He finished the year with 14 catches for 138 yards in a big Egg Bowl victory. Along with a strong rushing attack by Snoop Conner and Jerrion Ealy. Ealy becoming only the eighth running back in Ole Miss history to eclipse 2000 career rushing yards. On defense they had linebacker Chance Williams who ranked fifth in the SEC in tackles. He was second on the team with 12.5 tackles for a loss and third in sacks with 6. The heart of the defense was Sam Williams (6-4, 265, Sr, Montgomery, Al.)who set a new standard for sacks by an Ole Miss defender, finishing the year with 12.5 total. His sack total was second in the SEC and fourth in all of FBS. A Second Team All-America selection, Williams was dominant and a big reason for the overall turnaround season for a defense that had the third most sacks in the SEC with 40. The Rebels had their first ever ten win season. After the season they were invited to the Sugar Bowl whee they lost to Baylor. Mainly due to their starting QB, Corral, was injured and unable to play.
After the season ended the Rebels lost a lot of their starting players including starting QB Corral, and three running backs including Conner and Early. Wide receiver Dontario Drummond is also gone to the draft. On defense they lost Sam Williams and Chance Williams to the draft as well as many more players. Kiffin didn’t let losing most of his star players slow him down though. He hit the transfer portal harder than any coach I’ve seen. Bringing in five star USC transfer QB Jaxson Dart whom is favored to take the starting role. Other names brought in to start was RB Zach Evans, TE Michael Trigg whom both are looking to have monster years. The team will again lean on Evans as a run first team and triggs is an amazing threat catching passes over the middle. Also Jaylon Robinson whom will be third receiver to start behind Johnny Mingo sr whose been with the Rebels and will be Darts main target. On defense Kiffen also brought in linebacker Troy Brown and safety Isheem Young to fill holes left by players who moved on.
Coaching the Rebels
Lane Kiffin is the head football coach whom is known as an offensive genius. He’s been head coach at USC, Tennessee, and now ole miss of power 5 schools. He also was offensive coordinator at Alabama under Nick Saban after the USC job. Kiffin is amazing at picking his star players out and building an offense around their strengths. He’s even been known to make mediocre players look like elite stars with his game planning and strategy. Under Kiffin he had to replace an offensive coordinator with Charlie Weiss Jr whom will be calling the plays under Kiffin’s overall strategic genius none the less.
The Rebels have a manageable season to reach bowl eligibility. Alot of people were calling for a dramatic dropoff. I just don’t see them falling that much knowing Kiffin’s ability to bring the best out of everyone. I believe they will be 9-3 ending the regular season with losses to Alabama, Texas A&M, and LSU. They have other tough matchups against Auburn, Mississippi St, and Arkansas that will be close but I think the Rebels will pull out the victories.
I’m excited to see this years version of Ole Miss. One things for sure it’ll be interesting as always with a Kiffin led team. Their in good hands so with all that said “Hotty Toddy”.