2019 Football Preview – SEC Conference – Ole Miss Rebels
Looking for 2019 Ole Miss Rebels predictions? Matt Luke again helms an Ole Miss program clamped by NCAA sanctions which broke last year during the stretch run, losing its last five. Further, those 2018 Rebels stalled in league play, winning just one SEC contest. Yet, there is growing optimism Ole Miss holds enough incoming talent to vie this year for bowl eligibility. And those newcomers and fresh rotation pieces must perform as the program lost key offensive playmakers from an offensively-charged group.
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2019 College Football Preview – Ole Miss Rebels
Head Coach: Matt Luke
2018 Record: 5-7
Arkansas Razorbacks Odds to win the 2019 FBS Championship: +2300
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The biggest loss from 2018 is prolific QB Jordan T’Amu. T’Amu led Ole Miss’ scoring surge, totaling 3,918 passing yards and 19 scoring strikes against the nation’s stiffest competition. T’Amu even made noise as a potential draft gem before ultimately going undrafted and unsigned by any NFL franchise.
Now, as T’Amu seeks professional employment, redshirt Freshman QB Matt Coral grabs the reigns. Last season Coral provided exciting moments while maintaining his redshirt eligibility through four appearances. Overall, Coral completed 16-of-22 passes for two touchdowns, one interception and 239 yards. The touted 2018 recruit torched Louisiana-Monroe, going 10-of-10 for 143 yards during a 70-21 rout.
Unfortunately, however, last year’s top receiving targets won’t be around for Coral as D.K. Metcalf, AJ Brown and DaMarus Lodge each will now play on Sundays.
The Rebels offensive line returns just two starters, but the rushing attack, led by Scottie Phillips is expected to be solid.
Defensively, Ole Miss welcomes back nine starters from the SEC’s worst point-stopping unit. The 2018 Rebels allowed 467 points, necessitating a major offseason overhaul led by the aquisition of new defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre and his proven 3-4 scheme.
After Ole Miss ceded 228 rushing yards per game last season the hope from MacIntyre is to clog the middle while adding outside pressure. Following their misgivings, at least this Rebels defensive group knows what not to do. But any hopes of drastic defensive gains are premature.
Finally, Ole Miss’ top-25 national recruiting class is led by heralded five-star prep RB Jerrion Ealy. Ealy ranks third among all 2019 running back signees and should form a dynamic pairing with Phillips. A pair of four star receivers, Dannie Jackson & Jonathan Mingo, round out the Rebels’ impact offensive additions.
2019 Ole Miss Rebels Predictions: Team Strengths
Rushing game: Expect Scottie Phillips to enjoy another standout year as he pushes for the 1,000 yard mark he fell just shy of last season due to injury. In 2018, Phillips perfectly complimented Ole Miss’ aerial attack, adding 972 yards and twelve touchdowns through eleven starts.
Phillips will help the team’s new offensive linemen gain confidence by making his own gaps at times. The 5’8 212 lb. Senior will also make Coral’s transition smoother by adding another layer to keep opposing defenses guessing.
And it’s anyone’s guess as to how good newcomer Ealy can become in 2019: The top-30 overall recruit, and 2018 Under Armuor offensive Mvp, is yet a another talented piece in a loaded Rebels backfield.
New Coaching Staff: Matt Luke brought in proven veteran leaders Rich Rodriguez (Offensive Coordinator) and Mike McIntyre (Defensive Coordinator) to revamp his program moving forward.
Rodriguez, if you recall, led West Virginia to national prominence during the mid 00’s and employs a fast-strike, spread offense. Rodriguez’s presence can only further benefit rookie QB Matt Coral this season, and beyond.
Meanwhile, MacIntyre led both San Jose State and Colorado to ten-win seasons with a defensive-minded approach.
Both men should transform the program’s culture from day one on campus.
2019 Ole Miss Rebels Predictions: Team Weaknesses
Defense: Last season, not even Ole Miss’ primed offense, featuring several NFL draftees and prospects, could overcome the team’s non-existent defense.
While mentioned earlier, it bears repeating that until proven otherwise, one must assume the Rebels’ defense will again struggle. The main struggle will be adjusting to a new set. The other barrier, as usual, will be competing in the SEC West.
New Faces: Though Ole Miss boasts a potent coaching staff and skilled youngsters brimming with upside, as with any new endeavor, adjustment time is needed. Further, if the offensive line fails to protect the pocket and open gaps, the Rebels’ main offensive strengths may become watered down.
Ole Miss Rebels Prediction: 5-7
Sporting a difficult schedule, including 2018 bowl teams Cal and Memphis in non-conference play, the win bar likely won’t rise this year for Ole Miss. Additionally, SEC grinders vs. mid-level conference foes Auburn, Missouri and Vanderbilt will test Ole Miss’ mettle. Though, matchups against Alabama, LSU and Texas A&M could demoralize this young Mississippi squad.
Due mainly to a returning porous defense and personnel turnover at key positions, Ole Miss will remain bowl-less in their first year of renewed postseason eligibility.
2019 Ole Miss Rebels Football Schedule
Date Time vs Score
- 8/31/19 12:00 PM ET @MEM
- 9/7/19 7:30 PM ET ARK
- 9/14/19 4:00 PM ET SELA
- 9/21/19 TBD CAL
- 9/28/19 TBD @ALA
- 10/5/19 TBD VAN
- 10/12/19 TBD @MIZZ
- 10/19/19 TBD TAM
- 11/2/19 TBD @AUB
- 11/9/19 TBD NMSU
- 11/16/19 TBD LSU
- 11/28/19 7:30 PM ET @MSST
What do you think about our 2019 Ole Miss Rebels? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2019!
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