Friday, September 30, 2022

Vassallo: Ole Miss – Florida Game Could Be Another Nailbiter

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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 HottyToddy.com 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 sovassallo@gmail.com or call him at 985-852-7745.

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