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Predicting the 2021 SEC Football Season: Ole Miss Rebels

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The Rebel Black Bear Shark Man Pig Ackbars hope to take another step forward.

NCAA Football: Mississippi at Louisiana State
We should learn a lot about the Lane Train in Year 2.
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

It’s installment number two of wild blind dart-throwing predictions of Alabama SEC opponents. In Week 5, Alabama plays host to the Kiffin Flying Circus.

WEEK 5, OCT 2: OLE MISS REBELS

Coach: Lane Kiffin (5-5 at Ole Miss; 66–39 in college career at Tenn, So Cal, FAU! and OM)

2020 OM record: 5-5 (4-5 SEC; 5th in the West Division; Outback Bowl win over Indiana)

CB969 2019 Prediction: 4-6; “Lane Kiffin will bring excitement and fun back to the Grove but there will be some growing pains as OM claws their way out of a deep pit of despair.”

Looking back: Things could have gone worse for the Rebs in 2020. For a team that was recovering from probation under the hand of an in-over-his-head coach, OM did okay last year. After a 51-35 opening loss to Florida, it was clear what this team was: all O and no D. The Black Shark Ackbar Bears scored 39.2 ppg but gave up 38.3. They went 4-5 in an all SEC schedule and defeated the perceived “second best team in the Big Ten” in the Outback Bowl.

Returning starters: 8 on offense, 7ish on defense, punter.

Key losses: WR Elijah “Ole Piss” Moore (Round 2, Jets), OG Royce Newman (Round 4, Packers), TE Kenny Yeboah, leading tackler LB Jacquez Jones (transfer to Kentucky), starting DL Ryder Anderson (transfer to Indiana), DB Jay Stanley (transfer Southern Miss), PK Luke Logan, LS Jack Propst, four assistant coaches.

Top returnees: QB Matt Corral, QB John Rhys Plumlee, RB/KR Jerrion Ealy, WR Dontario Drummond, WR Jonathan Mingo, WR Braylon Sanders, OL Jeremy James, OL Nick Broeker, C Ben Brown, DL Sam Williams, LB Lakia Henry, CB Keidron Smith, CB Jaylon Jones, S A.J. Finley, EDGE Sam Williams, LB Mohamed “MoMo” Sanogo, S Jon Haynes, P Mac Brown.

Top newcomers: DB Jake Springer (transfer from Navy), DL Isaiah Iton (JUCO), Jamond Gordon (Last Chance U), LB Chance Campbell (Maryland), WR Jahcour Pearson (Western Kentucky), TE Hudson Wolfe (Savannah, TN), DT Tywone Malone (Oradell, NJ), WR Bralon Brown (Miramar, FL), S Dink Jackson (Melbourne, FL) CB Markevious Brown (IMG, Pahokee FL).

Name you need to know: Running back Jarion Ealy is back for his third season at Oxford. This year, it’ll be coming off off-season shoulder surgery. The surgery was performed on his throwing (right) shoulder, a procedure that kept him from participating in the 2021 baseball season. How will it effect him physically and mentally?

Strengths: The offense: outside of Moore, Newman, and Yeboah, everyone on offense is back... Corral is primed for a big year and could be a top NFL draft pick in 2022... A good recruiting class (No. 17) coming in... Mac Brown averaged 46.6 per punt... The defense returns a slew of experienced players but...

Weaknesses: The defense was pretty darn lousy in 2020... Lost their leading tackler and a starting defensive lineman to the transfer portal... Four new assistant coaches after one Kiffin season in Oxford... Replacing Elijah Moore... Breaking in new placekicker and longsnapper...

Outlook: Despite Ole Miss losing their two best receivers, Kiffin and Corral will still have the firepower to keep blowing up scoreboards in 2021. Unfortunately, the defense will also be giving up crooked numbers but should be a smidge better after a year under their belts. A ten game all-conference schedule was a tough way to indoctrinate a new coaching staff into the SEC.

The schedule is pretty friendly for the Rebs with many of their toughest games bordered by softer games. The most difficult back-to-back is vs LSU and @ Auburn.

Win Total Odds

Over 7.5 -139
Under 7.5 +110

2021 SCHEDULE:

Mon, Sept 6 vs Louisville * 7:00 PM ESPN - W - It’s a pivotal year for the Cardinals coming off an underachieving campaign (4-7) with a coach with a wandering eye.
Sat, Sept 11 vs Austin Peay 6:30 PM SECN - W - Oh, the humanity.
Sat, Sept 18 vs Tulane 7:00 PM ESPN2 - W - Guaranteed OM gets ranked at this point because the next one is a biggie... ↓
Sat, Sept 23 bye
Sat, Oct 2 @ Alabama - L - expect Kiffin to pull some hijinks.
Sat, Oct 9 vs Arkansas - W - This one could easily go the other way but home field advantage helps OM.
Sat, Oct 16 @ Tennessee - W - Kiffin returns to Knoxville! This is a dangerous game but UT is still a mess.
Sat, Oct 23 vs LSU - L
Sat, Oct 30 @ Auburn - L - Even though Aubie is rebuilding, Jerdin-Hair is a hard place to win.
Sat, Nov 6 vs Liberty - W - Hugh Freeze returns to Oxford!!! Another dangerous one.
Sat, Nov 13 vs Texas A&M - L
Sat, Nov 20 vs Vanderbilt - W
Thu, Nov 25 @ Mississippi State 6:30 PM ESPN - W - Clanga is gonna suuuuck.
* Atlanta, GA

Poll

Regular season wins for Ole Miss in 2021:

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    10 or more. Choo-Choo!
    (60 votes)
  • 26%
    9
    (186 votes)
  • 34%
    8
    (240 votes)
  • 22%
    7
    (158 votes)
  • 5%
    6
    (39 votes)
  • 1%
    5 or less. Rut-Roh!
    (8 votes)
691 votes total Vote Now

ALABAMA SCHEDULE:

Sep 4 vs Miami* 2:30 PM CT, ABC
Sep 11 vs Mercer 3:00 PM CT, SECN
Sep 18 @ Florida 2:30 PM CT, CBS
Sep 25 vs Southern Miss
Oct 2 vs Ole Miss
Oct 9 @ Texas A&M
Oct 16 @ Mississippi State
Oct 23 vs Tennessee
Oct 30 bye
Nov 6 vs LSU
Nov 13 vs New Mexico State
Nov 20 vs Arkansas
Nov 27 @ Auburn
*Atlanta, GA