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Vassallo: Will This Be The Year Rebels Turn Corner?

Photo by Josh Bonner
The Ole Miss Rebels / Photo by Josh Bonner

Six times since 1980 the Ole Miss Rebel Football Team has started the season 5-1 or better and each and every time, the season has ended in a major disappointment. Here’s a recap:

1990      8-1 start     9-3 finish  (Lost to TN; MI)
1991      5-1 start     5-6 finish. (Lost to GA; VU; LSU; TN; MSU)
1999      5-1 start     8-4 finish  (Lost to AL; GA; MSU)
2001      6-1 start     7-4 finish  (Lost to AR; GA; MSU)
2002      5-1 start     7-6 finish  (Lost to AL; AR; AU; GA; LSU)
2014      7-0 start     9-4 finish  (Lost to LSU; AU; AR; TCU)

With a win Saturday over New Mexico State the Rebs will once again be off to a great start at 5-1. However, like in years past there are several formidable opponents left on the schedule. In years past the Ole Miss teams were never able to “close the deal.” The next two opponents (New Mexico State and Memphis) present the weakest of the defenses we will see for the balance of this year. Here’s why:

New Mexico State (ranks 123rd in total defense giving up 46 points per game) Memphis  (ranks 99th in total defense giving up 27 points per game) (Ole Miss has fallen to 48th in total defense.)

The Rebs can use these two contests to fine tune in becoming an “elite” team if they intend to distinguish themselves from the missed opportunities of yesteryear. With the Allstar talent on this year’s squad, expectations remain high that this will be a special season. Will it be a championship year or yet another year of dashed hopes? The ball is in our court which hopefully translates to the opponents’ endzone.

*Information from the current NCAA Team Defensive Statistics was utilized

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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