SEC Team Preview Series: Ole Miss
Welcome to WNSP’s preview series to get you ready for SEC and Sunbelt Media Days. Each day, we will preview a new team in each conference and get you ready for football season. We’ll take a look at what Vegas has their win total set at, make a prediction, and talk about their season outlook. Today’s team: The Ole Miss Rebels
Players to watch:
Offense: QB Jaxson Dart, QB Luke Altmyer, RB Zach Evans, WR Jaylon Robinson
Defense: LB Troy Brown, DE Cedric Johnson, CB Deantre Prince
O/U Win Line: 7.5
Dave Schultz’s Pick: Over
Mark Heim’s Pick: Over
Lee Shirvanian’s Pick: Over
Nick Wiggins’ Pick: Over
Michael Brauner’s Pick: Over
I believe we have our first completely unanimous pick here, with everyone including myself taking the over on the Ole Miss Rebels. Coming off their first 10-win regular season in program history, the bar has without a doubt been raised for Lane Kiffin in Oxford. He will have to manage this year without a ton of talent from the historic 2021 squad, which is probably the main reason why the win line is as low as it is. But no one worked the transfer portal harder this offseason than Lane Kiffin.
After losing his starting quarterback and all three leading rushers (four if you include Matt Corral), Kiffin landed former 5-star Zach Evans from TCU who has been on quite the journey since his commitment and is looking to become the star he was initially projected to be coming out of high school. At quarterback, the Rebs landed Jaxson Dart from USC, a former high recruit who played in six games for the Trojans and performed solidly. They also have Luke Altmyer, who played in the bowl game after Matt Corral was injured and struggled a bit, but still has a decent chance to win the job.
They also bring in Jaylon Robinson from UCF, who is a huge threat anytime he has the ball in his hands and has already drawn comparisons to Elijah Moore. They also bring in Jordan Watkins from Louisville and have senior Johnathan Mingo returning. Couple all this with a mostly returning and retooled offensive line and the Rebs are in good shape on offense in 2022.
On defense, they bring in three-time All-MAC linebacker Troy Brown from Central Michigan as well as a few others along the defensive line to combine for an extremely deep front four. Cedric Johnson, who was second on the team in sacks last season, returns to set the edge as well as Deantre Prince and many others in the secondary. This is overall an extremely deep defense with a combination of a lot of returning talent and additions from the portal.
With an extremely manageable non-conference schedule that features Troy, Central Arkansas, Georgia Tech, and Tulsa, the Rebs really should start 4-0. After this, it’s a winnable game against Kentucky at home before basically an SEC bye week against Vanderbilt. The end of their schedule gets brutal with games against LSU, Texas A&M, Alabama, and Arkansas, but if they can get off to a strong start like they should, there is no reason this team can’t win at least 8 or 9 games in 2022, if not even more.