WHEN Thursday, Aug. 28, 8:00 p.m. EST
WHO Ole Miss vs. Boise State
ON TV ESPN
The Ole Miss Rebels return this year as the 18th ranked team in the nation. 3rd year coach Hugh Freeze who continues to guide the Rebels up the ranks in the tough SEC conference. He has led the Rebels to 15 wins the last 2 years, including 6 SEC wins. A great job considering they went 2-10 in 2011, along with a 0-8 SEC conference record in 2011.
The Rebel offense saw a dramatic turnaround under Freeze in 2012. With many of the same players, he took a team that had ranked at or near the bottom of the SEC in every statistical category in 2011 to rank top five in the league and top 50 in the nation in scoring, total offense and passing. The Rebel offense finished the season with a school-record 6,153 total yards and ranked 21st nationally and fifth in the SEC in total offense (473.3 ypg). The 2012 Rebels climbed up the school record books in scoring, total offense and passing.
Freeze, a noted speaker and recruiter throughout his career, has enjoyed success at nearly every coaching level over the past 19 years, from high school to NAIA to FBS, and each stop has featured a high-scoring offense and the ability to motivate young people. Before returning to Oxford, the former Ole Miss assistant experienced a record-setting run at Arkansas State
An interesting note, Arkansas State’s last three coaches have been Hugh Freeze, Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, and Boise State’s Bryan Harsin. That is pretty interesting company and quite a coincidence for this college football kickoff game.
With Freeze as head coach in 2011, the Red Wolves captured the Sun Belt Conference championship and became just the third school in Sun Belt history to finish undefeated in league play with a perfect 8-0 mark. The 10-2 overall record marked the program’s first 10-win season since 1986, when ASU was a member of the I-AA Southland Conference.
Obvious choice to watch out for this game is DT Robert Nkemdiche, and also TE Even Engram who was injured for 5 games last year. That along with WR Laquon Treadwell, this is a very promising team like it was last year. They just have to build on the momentum and meet the expectations to their talent going into this year.
I have no doubt Hugh Freeze will do that, but Boise State lies in their sights in a big start for the Rebels’ season. Robert Nkemdiche was named to preseason watch lists for both the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Outland Trophy, senior safety Cody Prewitt made the Nagurski list, and sophomore offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil made the Outland list.
Tune in should be an exciting game, and look out for your Fans Favorite Fan Staff.
Also Lead image credit: memphisport.com