Friday, September 30, 2022

Vassallo: Ole Miss – Florida Game Could Be Another Nailbiter

Scenes from the Florida Gators’ Orange & Blue Debut, Presented by Sunniland Corp. / UAA Communications photo by Tim Casey (Photo courtesy Florida Gators Facebook page)

October 9, 1965….. A day that will live in infamy. Ole Miss scheduled the Florida Gators for their Homecoming opponent. Bad decision! Final Score….Ole Miss 0 Florida 17

Since that dreadful afternoon some 50 years ago, Ole Miss has played the Gators 12 times winning 5. The good news….4 of the 5 wins were in Gainesville. The bad news…the average margin of the 5 wins was only 3 points!

The last time the two teams lined up against one another was 2008 in Gainesville when the Rebs won a 31-30 squeaker. The games have traditionally been close with the exception of 1981 which saw the Gators slamming the Rebs 49-3. And in Oxford in 1994 the Gators handed us another whuppin 38-14.

This game is quite significant moreso for the Rebs than Gators. Both teams are 4-0, but that’s where the similarity ends. Florida has a freshman coach and a young team while Ole Miss has a senior coach and an experienced team. The Rebs find themselves a 7 1/2 point favorite playing on the road. Vegas is predicting a 30-23 Rebel victory.

Ole Miss is in the midst of a national championship run (although early in the hunt) for the first time since 1963. A loss at the hands of Florida would not only derail the hunt for January, but would also throw a wrench into the SEC western title quest. A victory Saturday in the swamp would give the Rebs an insurance policy for the Halloween trick-or-treater at Auburn. A loss will erase this option and force the Rebs to go 7-0 the rest of the way against a murderous schedule including several highly-ranked teams.

I predicted in July that Ole Miss would win this game and have seen nothing since that would change my mind. Let’s see if the 31-14 prediction holds water. We report…you decide. Go Rebs!

Steve Vassallo

Steve Vassallo is a contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at or call him at 985-852-7745.

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