10 bold predictions for 2019 Ole Miss football team
Ole Miss has finally turned the page to the Memphis Tigers. Camp was grueling, but head coach Matt Luke was pleased with the emergence of so many freshmen. Unfortunately, the Rebels are not as deep as they need to be to contend for the SEC.
A goal is to eclipse the 5-win mark and go to a bowl game for the first time in 3 years. Should freshman quarterback Matt Corral grow up quickly and the offensive line stays healthy, I like their chances.
Here are 10 bold predictions for the upcoming season.
10. Scottie Phillips will eclipse the 1,200-yard rushing mark
While rushing for 961 yards last fall, Phillips will have the ability to be used more in the Rich Rodriguez offense. The first 4 games should see Phillips get the bevy of the carries to start the season with a bang.
9. If Ole Miss loses to Memphis, it will win no more than 4 games
Is that hyperbolic? Not in my opinion, as the path to 6 wins must include a win over the Tigers. The task will not be easy, as the game is at Memphis and the Rebels are a touchdown underdog. While I believe the Rebels have more talent, this will be an absolute shootout.
8. Jerrion Ealy will return a punt or a kickoff for a touchdown
The hyped 5-star freshman is a running back by trade. But the elusive athlete also is a 2- sport star. You can expect the former Jackson Prep star to get the ball often this season and as early as the Memphis game.
7. If Ole Miss loses to Memphis and Arkansas, there won’t be 20,000 at the Southeastern Louisiana game
The season will, for the most part, be over. How will the team respond? How will the coaches respond with no permanent administration? This alone is why the first 2 games are paramount for Ole Miss and head coach Matt Luke.
6. Mohamed Sanogo will make 1st-team All-SEC
The middle linebacker was left off all 3 All-SEC preseason teams. Last season, he tallied 112 stops and has looked impressive this camp. With the adaptation of the 3-4 defense under new defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre, I expect this to be a record year for Sanogo.
5. 3 Rebels make All-SEC Freshman team
OL Nick Broeker, WR Jonathan Mingo and Ealy will earn props for their play. With the chatter coming from inside the program, these 3 are making their names known and often.
4. Ole Miss will finish inside the top 75 in total defense
While that might seem like an incredibly low bar, the Rebels finished 121 out of 129 teams last season, so that would be quite a jump. But 10 starters return, along with a new coordinator and a better fit schematically, there is change on the horizon. Progress, too.
3. The Rebels will win shock an SEC team on the road
Pick 1 from this list: at Missouri, Auburn or Mississippi State. On paper, the likely candidate will be Mizzou. Transfer quarterback Kelly Bryant will be one of the more decorated players by the end of the season. Auburn and MSU will be incredibly tough to beat on the road, but the Rebs get them late in the season.
2. California will beat Ole Miss in Oxford
Regardless of what the Rebels’ record is entering Game 4, I expect the Golden Bears to come into Oxford and win. Cal returns 7 starters on defense, including their entire secondary. They’re comfortable defending the pass and they’ll cause major problems for Corral.
1. Ole Miss will begin and end the season in Memphis
Should the offensive line stay healthy enough, I think there’s a good chance Ole Miss finishes the season in the postseason. With a 6-6 record, the Liberty Bowl is a likely destination.