All posts by Kyle Bramlett

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Ole Miss Football

Ole Miss Football 2016: A preview in the eyes of a realistic fan.

2015 was a year of historical proportions for the rebel football program.

If you would have told fans of the program the rebels went 10-3 (9 being regular season wins),the first time since 2003, the majority of us would have been content with just that.

When you add on a Sugar Bowl win for the first time since 1970 ,it put the icing on the cake.Talk about “Ole So Sweet!”

The addition of quarterback Chad Kelly helped prevent a drop off at the most worrisome position in spring 2015.

Not only did he prevent a drop off, he put on a clinic on how to play the position throwing for 4,042 yards (3rd in SEC history).Here is just a little taste of what was a great 2015 season for Chad.

Kelly will be an impact player once again in 2016. The Rebels will go as far as their QB takes them.

Its true that the Rebels are a true contender currently  and look to be a contender year in and year out.

However, the difference between a contender and achieving the ultimate goals of a prominent program rely heavily on quarterbacks.(Except for you Ala freaking Bama, How do guys keep this up?!)

Having the best quarterback in the SEC certainly puts Ole Miss near the top but is it truly enough?

Are the Rebels deep enough in the trenches to win 10 or 11 games in 2016?

In this preview, we will look at the schedule and how they shape up against their SEC foes.  Shall we begin?

Projections

September:

             Sept 5 vs Florida State W 23-20

    Sept 10 vs Wofford W 48-10

Sept 17 vs Alabama L 35-31

Sept 24 vs Georgia W 28-14

Points of Intrigue

The Landshark defense will have their hands full with arguably the nations best running back when they play Florida State September 5th.

Dalvin Cook will be a force to reckon with. For those of you who havent seen him, here you go. Dalvin Cook is a beast.However, Florida State will start  redshirt freshman Deondre Francois at quarterback to start the season.

In opening games at premier neutral sites, quarterback play can heavily impact the performance of your team. Nothing against Francois,but  look for Kelly to be more in tune September 5th.

Alabama is Alabama and will be the most prominent team in the Southeast until Saban hangs his hat up. I give the Rebels a loss,but Ole Miss could very well be 3-0 after the bout with the Tide.

The month of September is almost impossible to predict for this Rebel team.  4-0 or 2-2? I say 3-1.

October:

          Oct. 1 vs Memphis     W 35-14

           Oct. 15 at Arkansas W 30-21

Oct. 22 at LSU    L 17-10

       Oct. 29 vs Auburn W 24-3

Points of Intrigue

The true depth and strength of the offensive line will come into play during the month of October.

Without Fahn Cooper and Laremy Tunsil, the Rebels will have two new starting tackles which at the moment have not been announced. (Expect Alex Givens and Greg Little to be in the mix)

The young offensive line will be battle tested against two stout defenses in difficult atmospheres two consecutive weeks in October: against the  Arkansas Razorbacks and the LSU Tigers.

A drop off in talent for the Razorbacks will hope Ole Miss win in Fayetteville, but the Rebels will not be as lucky come Oct. 22.

Behind the load of Leonard Fournette, LSU is a formidable opponent.  LSU  will have the advantage squeaking out a nail biter by 7 in Death Valley. In order for that to happen, Brandon Harris must play at least serviceable. Can he do it? we will have to find out and see.

For the sake of predictions, the rebels go 3-1 for the second consecutive month at 6-2 going into November.

November:

             Nov 5 vs Georgia Southern W 24-16

Nov. 12 at Texas A/M  L 38-28

Nov. 19 at Vanderbilt W 20-6

                Nov. 26 vs Mississippi State W  45-10

Points of Interest

The Rebels lose at Texas A/M vs arguably the most underrated quarterback starting in the Sec this year.

Trevor Knight, the former Oklahoma Quarterback, will put up big numbers in Aggie land this year potentially.

The talent gap between Ole Miss and Mississippi State is exposed and the rebels beat the bulldogs convincingly,45-10.

9-3 5-3 Citrus Bowl appearance

 

Closing Thoughts

The rebels are continuing to make significant strides in the College football spectrum.

Ole Miss arguably has a top 3 quarterback in Kelly.However that does not mean Ole Miss is without flaws as stated previously.

With question marks on both the offensive line and at linebacker, expect a few hiccups along the way.

One position of little concern is wide receiver, although the departure of Laquon Treadwell will definitely be felt.(Heres a highlight reel of Treadwell if you forgot just how impactful he was.)

Ole Miss returns Damore’ea Stringfellow and Quincy Adeboyjo as the premier targets with 36 and 38 receptions in 2015. Expect to be wowed with the addition of three highly recruited freshmen who will push to see the field quickly.(AJ Brown, Tre Nixon, D K Metcalf)

On the defensive side of the ball, Ole Miss will look to continue their dominance on the defensive line with the return of key contributors.

Issac Gross, the senior from South Panola looks to anchor the inside of the line. Fadol Brown and Marquis Haynes will continue to provide stability and consistency at Defensive End.The defensive line will continue its dominance of 2015.

At linebacker, the rebels look to rely on graduate transfer Rommel  Mageo. Mageo is a former Oregon State Beaver, and brings with him experience this linebacker core is lacking. Mageo had 87 tackles in 2015, leading the beavers defense in the stat.

Realistically the Hugh Freeze led rebels are likely to fall anywhere from 8-4 to 10-2 give or a take a game.

This team will rely heavily on Kelly’s leadership and who knows, we may be playing for a title in November!

Agree? Disagree? let me know on twitter @RebelBramlett

Hotty Toddy and Go Rebels!

 

 

Photo Via:Thomas Wells (djournal.com)

2016 Ole Miss Baseball Preview

I can almost smell it…

The first pitch, the first hit, the first 7th inning stretch, the first playing of Sweet Caroline….

BASEBALL SEASON IS ALMOST HERE REBEL FANS!!!!

Now that that is out of the way, I found it appropriate to dive head first into previewing the 2016 version of the Diamond Rebs. Enjoy!

Ole Miss Baseball preseason ranking: #24 – Baseball America

Coach Mike Bianco Record: 687-417-1 (587-347-1 at OleMiss)14 Regionals, 5 Super Regionals, 1 CWS appearance.

Bianco has never had a losing season with the Rebels, missing the postseason in Oxford only twice.  Bianco has fully established the Rebels as a yearly postseason player.

Opening Game: 2-19 vs FIU 4:00 PM. Swayze Field (for full schedule)

Player to watch: Colby Bortles- With 7 homeruns and a .281 batting average last season as a Sophomore, Bortles will be a consistent threat for the opposing teams and has out of the park ability at any time. Third year in the program, expect a huge year from the Florida native.

Wildcard player: Sean Johnson, the junior from Durango Colorado, missed last season due to Tommy John surgery. Prior to that, he was 10-1 Iowa Western CC with 88 k’s and 16 bb’s according to his biography per olemisssports.com. If he comes back healthy and 100 percent, he could be a signifcant contributor for the 2016 program.

Weekend of interest: Louisville Cardinals February 26-28

Louisville coach Dan Mcdonell is a former Mike Bianco understudy at OleMiss with a record of 406-177 and has turned Louisville into a national power as Bianco has done in Oxford. This would be a great chance at a signature RPI boost and momentum grab going into March and into SEC play.

What to expect: The Rebels junior nucleus of JB Woodman, Errol Robinson, Colby Bortles, Wyatt Short etc. should be of great benefit. Hosting a Regional at Swayze Field is not farfetched. 38 wins going into the SEC tournament sounds about right at this point. Hotty Toddy Rebel fans! See you at Swayze!

kelly mirs 1

2015: A YEAR OF LEGACY

Photo Via: Marvin Gentry – USA Today Sports

 

Another regular season is in the books and boy was it a fun one to watch unfold.

No, Ole Miss didn’t win the SEC west, but what the Rebels did do is continue a road of progress and signs of potential greatness.

Winning a second consecutive Egg Bowl and a great probability of a New Years Six Bowl is quite an accomplishment.

Morale regarding athletics is at an all time high with the fan base.

From the moment you walk into the Vaught until the moment you go home, you can honestly say Hotty Toddy Nation is nationally relevant. From the day Eli Manning left campus after the 2003 season to 2012, Ole Miss couldn’t say that.

The football program has transformed itself into a hot spot in the last 4 years, pulling in recruits generations before me would have never thought possible.

Nkemdiche,Treadwell, and Tunsil will be suiting up for what is most likely their last games as Rebels in the upcoming bowl game, right now projected to be the Sugar Bowl.

Do not expect the Rebels to go away lightly next season. Ole Miss has an array of highly touted prospects  on board to sign in February.

Don’t believe me? Just check the rankings. According to ESPN, Ole Miss at the moment has the Number 5 recruiting class in the country for 2016.

Ole Miss will forever be grateful for the impact of the 2013 recruiting class. Gone were the days of being complacent, and started the days of striving for greatness.

Sure one class doesn’t make a team, but in this case, it was the x factor. Beating the Crimson Tide in consecutive years is a feat that many Rebels will remember for a life time.

But the journey isn’t over. In fact, it is really just starting the next phase. Happy Holidays and here is to hoping for a “sweet” bowl game January 1st in New Orleans.

Hotty Toddy!

ole miss flag usa-today beth hall

Ole Miss’ Offensive Line Will Make Or Break This Team

Saturday, October 3, 2015 will be a day Rebel fans will remember for quite a while, but not for the reasons everyone had expected.

Ole Miss’ offense was nonexistent against Florida and unable to sustain drives.  Honestly, it should not have been such a tremendous surprise.

Will Muschamp was mediocre at best as the head man at Florida, but he left the program with plenty of four and five star recruits.

Add an energized fan base and a serviceable coaching staff and you have a legitimately dangerous opponent.

Don’t take this as an excuse for the Rebels.  Quite opposite actually. Florida will win around eight games, with nine being their ceiling. Ole Miss quite frankly should have taken care of business.

When you look at the trends of the Rebels last three losses there are three significant trends that dictate the direction of the game.

VS. Arkansas (11-14) Score: (L) 30-0 Rush yds: 63 Turnovers:6

VS TCU (1-15) Score: (L) 42-3 Rush yds: 9Turnovers:4

VS Florida (10-15) Score: (L) 38-10 Rush yds: 69 Turnovers:4

What does this mean?

Basically, if Ole Miss wants to get to 9-3 or 10-2, offensive line play must improve.

Tunsil’s return by October 24 is an absolute necessity along with the rest of any and all banged up linemen for the next two weeks.

Additionally, the offensive staff must alter their game plan. Remember in 2013 when the bubble screen to  Laquon Treadwell was equivalent to an eight yard rush?

Now granted, game plans are complex and not as simple as it appears, but the promotion of the short passing game to cut down on mistakes is at least a good start to find the offense some stability.

Make no bones about it, Ole Miss still controls their own destiny.

Enjoy the ride college football fans, its going to get even more interesting from here.

 

 

Chad Kelly scores over Alabama AP photo - Butch Dill

Ole Miss Leading The Race For The SEC West

With three weeks down in the college football season, we are starting to weed out the pretenders and see some prospective contenders. Ole-Miss (3-0) at this juncture has the most impressive win in the College Football Universe as they outlasted the Alabama Crimson Tide (2-1) this past Saturday 43-37 in the coveted prime-time 8:00 pm slot on ESPN.

The question is can the Rebels sustain their early success? The Rebels are in what many people anticipate to be a four way race for the SEC west between Ole Miss, LSU, Alabama, and Texas A&M.

Lets take a quick look at Ole Miss’ schedule going forward and see how or if this team gets to Atlanta for a chance to win the SEC overall for the first time in over 50 years.

Texas A&M Aggies (October 24, 2015)

Player to Watch: Kyle Allen QB

The Sophomore Scottsdale, Arizona native has been quite impressive thus far, completing 61% of his passes, for 594 yards and 9 touchdowns to only two interceptions. It’s safe to say that the Johnny Football Hangover period is over two years later as the Aggies once again have a lethal passing attack.

All Time Record vs Ole-Miss: The Aggies have a 6-1 record against the Rebels, dating back to 1911 in a sparsely played matchup. Hugh Freeze is 1-2 against the Aggies as the Rebels head man, defeating Texas A&M 35-20 last season in a matchup that was not as close as the scoreboard displayed.

2015 Advantage: Ole Miss.

The Rebels get Texas A&M at the perfect time; a week after the Aggie’s play Alabama and two weeks after playing the Dak Prescott led Mississippi State Bulldogs.

Granted Ole Miss has to play their brand of football for sixty minutes in order to come away with this win, but a heavy dose of bruiser back Derrick Henry and Alabama’s physical offensive line will be a tough task, and to expect the Aggies to perform with the same sort of intensity for three consecutive weeks is a tough task for any coach, especially against these three teams.

I give the Rebels a 7 point advantage in this much too early analysis with the belief that Number 78 Laremy Tunsil will be re-instated and Ole Miss can develop a sound running attack to go with Chad Kelly’s Aerial Assualt. Ole-Miss 45 – Texas A&M 38.

 

LSU Tigers (November 21, 2015)

Player to Watch: Brandon Harris QB

We are all very aware of Leonard Fournette’s emergence onto the national scene after huge games against Mississippi State and just making Will Muschamp’s Auburn D look plain silly. With that being said, the Tiger offense will go only as far as game manager Brandon Harris can take them.

Without a sound passing game, elite defenses will be able to put 9 in the box and put LSU offense in limbo for a second straight season. I do not see that happening as Brandon Harris has been what Miles needs him to be so far: a facilitator for the run game, with the capability of accurate short and intermediate passes to keep the defense honest. How he continues to develop will be critical in the win loss category for LSU.

All-time Record vs Ole-Miss: LSU has the advantage 59-40 in one of the more intense rivalries for the Rebels. Hugh Freeze led teams have played LSU extremely close all three years (all three games have been decided by 6 or fewer points) squeaking out a win in 2013 over what was then the #6 team in the country 27-24.

2015 Advantage: Slight Ole Miss

I could see this game going a hundred different ways. As I said above, the success of the LSU regime depends as much on the play of Brandon Harris as it does Leonard Fournette. He doesn’t have to be great, just consistent. With that being said, Ole Miss has one of the top defensive secondaries in the SEC and it will be an all day challenge for Harris to get the ball down field with a veteran front seven down on his back all day. This will be the Rebels “revenge game” for the 2003 heartbreaking loss that kept the Rebel faithful from the Georgia Dome. At the end of the day, LSU will not be able to keep up with the Rebel offense. The Rebels gets it done Ole Miss 31 – LSU 17

If the Rebels can get these two wins, they would not only have grips on the SEC West, but likely we are talking about an Ole Miss squad contending for a national title on Thanksgiving weekend in “Stark Vegas.” Oh what a weekend that will be!