By Adam Brown
No. 14 Ole Miss opens SEC play on Saturday, playing host to the No. 7 Kentucky Wildcats for homecoming. The kick is set for 11 a.m. on ESPN.
Ole Miss (4-0, 0-0 SEC) finished the non-conference slate of the schedule with unblemished record after a 35-27 win over Tulsa last week.
The Rebels offense is one of only four FBS teams (Georgia, Alabama, Minnesota and Ole Miss) averaging 40 or more points and giving up 10 or fewer points per game.
Ole Miss leads the SEC and ranks No. 4 in FBS with 280.8 rushing yards per game through the season’s first four contests.
Running back Quinshon Judkins is second in the country with 33 missed tackles forced with 107.2 yards per game. Zach Evans has 91.2 yards per game. These are two of the teammates in the country averaging 90-plus yards rushing per game.
The Rebels defense leads the conference and is No. 6 nationally allowing just 0.50 sacks per game. Linebacker Khari Coleman ranks third in the FBS in tackles for loss per game (2.2).
Kentucky comes into Oxford with an 4-0 overall record and a 1-0 mark in the SEC after a 26-16 win over No. 12 ranked Florida in week two of the season.
The Wildcat offense is led by senior quarterback Will Levis, who entered the 2022 season on watch lists for the Davey O’Brien, Maxwell and Walter Camp Player of the Year awards. Levis currently ranks 18th in the country in both passing yards (1,185) and passing touchdowns (10), while also connecting on 67.5 percent of his passes to start the year.
The Kentucky defense, which has only allowed an average of 13.0 points per game this year, is anchored by linebacker Jordan Wright, who currently leads the team in TFLs, sacks, interceptions, forced fumbles and blocks in the young season. Redshirt-freshman Jordan Lovett helps to round out the Wildcat defense, serving as the team’s leading tackler (17) this year in just his first season playing in Kentucky’s secondary.
Saturday’s game will be the 45th meeting between the two programs. The Rebels lead the all-time series vs. the Wildcats 28-14-1. Ole Miss holds a 7-2 edge in games played in Oxford. In the past six games, the home team has won four.
Fans in attendance can visit StripeTheVaught.com to see what color to wear, either red or blue, depending on their section.