Second-year Head Coach Hugh Freeze has brought much excitement, enthusiasm, and increased expectations to Oxford this upcoming season. The Rebels finished 7-6 in 2012, showing flashes of extreme promise in heartbreaking losses against Texas A&M and LSU as well as thumping Mississippi State and Pittsburgh to close out the year. Furthermore, this offseason saw expectations elevate even more as Freeze was able to reel in elite prospects such as the top high school prospect DE Robert Nkemdiche, WR Laquon Treadwell, and OT Laremy Tunsil as part of the seventh-ranked recruiting class, according to Rivals.com. So heading into this season, Ole Miss is buzzing as a potentially dangerous threat in the SEC West.
Playing in the mighty SEC West, Ole Miss contains a gauntlet of a schedule, especially to open the year. Four of the Rebel’s first five games are on the road. Additionally, the road games include daunting venues such as at Alabama, Auburn, and Texas. However, their remaining games are all at home before ending with the Egg Bowl at Mississippi State. Despite these obstacles, the Rebels possess all the pieces this season to make a surprise surge in the SEC. They return a seasoned offensive line, QB Bo Wallace, and their top playmakers on offense in RB Jeff Scott and WR Donte Moncrief. On defense, 2012 Freshman All-American LB Denzel Nkemdiche, brother of Robert, returns along with a slew of other veterans. This should allow for Ole Miss to make some legitimate noise in the SEC this season and possibly challenge for nine, even 10 wins if they can manage the early part of their schedule.