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An Open Letter to Ole Miss Football Fans: Get Behind Matt Luke

Photo by Paul Keelaghan

Dear Ole Miss Football,
On Sunday, it was decided that Ole Miss would retain Matt Luke as our head football coach. Luke led the Rebels to a 6-6 record, the biggest win being the last one against Mississippi State. Luke was put in charge as interim head coach on July 21, after Hugh Freeze resigned during a scandal. The decision to make Coach Luke our permanent head coach is one that may make you scratch your head or jump for joy.
Luke did not walk into a poor situation when he took the helm at Ole Miss. There was an ongoing NCAA investigation, and we were under a self-imposed bowl ban, but the team itself was stockpiled with talent. Both the offense and defense had spring and summer practices to become acquainted with the new systems before Luke took the lead. Luke also turned over all play-calling to the coordinators, both of whom were new to the team. With a 5-star quarterback and quite possibly the best offense on paper we have had at Ole Miss in years, we only managed to win six games.
However, that is what has to happen for a coach to grow. They have to make mistakes to become better. Luke has learned that, with a large lead, you should not stunt your offense by trying to burn the clock. He also learned a valuable lesson about when – and when not – to call a timeout in the closing minutes of a half. These experiences will make Luke better, and, over the next four years, he will become a respectable coach at Ole Miss.
Fans reside in two camps right now – confusion or excitement. Everyone, however, needs to jump on the bandwagon because next year will be a fun one. We have all but two starters returning on offense. With that offense, we have A.J. Brown, the Rebels’ all-time leader in single-season reception yards. We also will have two quarterbacks who both carried their weight this season. And our young defense will get stronger and more experienced with offseason practices.
With the NCAA nearing its announcement of sanctions against Ole Miss, we as a fan base need to rally together. Coach Luke loves Ole Miss and this program and will lead us through whatever we have to face. He will continue to bring in top recruits and fight to win games. You may not like the decision, but love the team and love the program. Because We Are Ole Miss!
Hotty Toddy,
Your Fellow Rebel
Nick Bushart

By Nick Bushart is an intern with HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at nabushar@go.olemiss.edu

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