Sunday, May 22, 2022

Ole Miss’ AJ Finley Looks Forward to Sugar Bowl

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

Ole Miss junior defensive back AJ Finely is gearing up to take on Big 12 champions the Baylor Bears in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

“(The journey) has been awesome to be a part of,” Finley said. “I came here buying into the fact that we would be good in the future. It has honestly been a great thing to be a part of and has been good to be a part of.”

Finley came to Ole Miss as a freshman in 2019 and has played 34 games in his career. This season, he has recorded 88 total tackles and three interceptions.

Ole Miss, headed to back-to-back bowl appearances under second-year head coach Lane Kiffin and staff after a 26-20 Outback Bowl win over Indiana, is now headed to the Sugar Bowl.

“I don’t think the energy has changed,” Finley said. “I feel like it’s just we’re focused on getting the win.”

Finley and his teammates have delivered the first 10-win regular season in program history and want to cap off the year with a victory.

“That’s the biggest things we’re focused on right now,” Finley said.

Ole Miss defense will have to contain Baylor’s offense game plan.

“(Baylor) has a strong run game obviously,” Finley said. “I feel like if we stop that we are gonna have a pretty good chance. In the red zone, they have some pretty good plays (like) sneaking the tight end out late.”

Finley and the Rebels open up the 2022 calendar year against No. 7 Baylor at 7:45 p.m. on ESPN.