No program is riding as high of a wave of optimism as Ole Miss. In his first season, Hugh Freeze led the Rebels to their first winning season since 2009 and helped secure the program a top five recruiting class when he signed the nation’s No. 1 player – defensive end Robert Nkemdiche as well as the top offensive lineman and wide receiver in the country. With a bevy of returning talent and lots of optimism, Ole Miss is a team that will surprise in 2013.
The Buzz: Ole Miss returns 18 starters – the most in the Southeastern Conference – including eight on offense and 10 on defense. Quarterback Bo Wallace was the catalyst for a Rebel offense that was fifth in the SEC in both total offense (423.8 yards per game) and passing offense (249.9 ypg). Wallace was fifth in the conference in passing yards per game (230.3) while passing for 2,944 yards and 22 TDs. He also added 363 rushing yards and 8 TDs. Efficiency was a key for Wallace and the offense. The unit led the league in red zone offense in 2012, scoring 41 times on 45 attempts within the 20-yard line. The defense was second in the SEC in sacks with 38 and should only get better with the addition of Nkemdiche. The road will be difficult – the SEC West is one of the toughest division’s in college football – however if all of the pieces come together for Freeze and Co., Ole Miss could have a big season in 2013.
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