Ole Miss Football: Grove Bowl Set For 11am CT Saturday April 8

Oct 15, 2016; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Ole Miss Rebels head coach Hugh Freeze during the first quarter against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 15, 2016; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Ole Miss Rebels head coach Hugh Freeze during the first quarter against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports /

Spring practice has been wide open for Ole Miss Football. The Grove Bowl is always a unique experience, and this year is highly anticipated among the Rebel faithful. Next Saturday April 8 is the day we get our first look at this coming season’s team. Oh, this going to be good.

Ole Miss fans get ready. Since our last game, we have awaited the chance to cheer on our Rebels. Next Saturday will give us a glimpse at the future of Ole Miss football. The spring is here and after almost a month, the 2017 Regions Bank Grove Bowl is only a little over a week away. What will we see? How different will it all look? And then, after all is over, what lies ahead for us?

One thing is for sure. Regardless of all the questions we may have. We have a Ole Miss team who is going to dress out for Rebel nation. For everything which is Ole MIss, on a spring day, they finally get to step out in front of us. The Grove Bowl in the Vaught? Like I said earlier, this is really going to be good.

A Look Back

Many spring games can be very vanilla when it comes to contact. In recent years, spring games across the SEC have become nothing more than glorified practice in front of a crowd of fans. In an age where numbers mean everything, it would be great to see Rebel faithful fill the stadium. Regardless, of where we are as a program and unanswered questions, we need to support this Rebel team and coaching staff.

One thing is for sure, Hugh Freeze has never been accused of being slow. Certainly, that will not be the case this coming Saturday as we see a new era begin in Ole Miss football. We Are Ole Miss.

You Should Be There

Ole Miss Rebels Football
Ole Miss Rebels Football /

Ole Miss Rebels Football

Why? Well simply put, it’s the Grove Bowl, period. Hugh Freeze will be coaching his 6th Grove Bowl in his tenure as head coach of the Ole Miss Rebels. Of course, Coach Freeze is entering his 6th season as well.

In his five seasons as Ole Miss head coach, he has compiled a 39-25 record. He has made the Ole Miss football program into a force to be reckoned with in the SEC, and on a national level in recruiting.

Behind the quarterbacks of Bo Wallace and Chad Kelly, Coach Freeze had offenses which shattered almost every offensive record in Ole Miss football history.

The New Freeze Era

Now, we have entered a new era of Ole Miss football, the Shea Patterson era. Coming off the 2016 campaign, in which he had incredible numbers, Shea is learning a new offense once again.

However, this offense under a new offensive coordinator could prove to be the most productive in his career. Coach Phil Longo comes to Ole Miss with crazy numbers while he was at Sam Houston State. As Sam Houston OC, Longo’s 2016 offense put up over 4,500 yards passing while also rushing for over 2,000 yards!

With new WR coach Jacob Peeler working with receivers, we can expect to see the thrills of a pass happy offense. Peeler had his work cut out for him, but has shined in his practices. Word is the receiving corp is healthy, fast, reliable, and always open. TE had been a question mark coming into spring with the loss of senior Evan Engram, however Rebel fans can expect to see more athletic TE play under Peeler.

Jordan Wilkins returned to the backfield this spring and could easily run wild. Eugene Brazley, DK Buford, D’Vaunte Pennamon and Eric Swinney add back-up for Wilkins. Knowing Freeze and his love for speed, I believe we see some amazing improvements over last season. Longo is already giving us hints during the spring as reported by OleMissSports.com.

"“I think when we go live or up-tempo, I’ve been happy with how fast we’re moving and how quickly we’re making decisions,” Longo said. “I’m happy with how physical we are up front.”"

Like I said before, this is going to be good.

Not All Offense

Of course, the game won’t be all offense. We had noticeable issues on the defensive side of the ball last season, and now we have new coaches there as well. Coach Wesley McGriff is the new defensive coordinator and brings a fire to the defense we’ve missed. Alabama great Freddie Roach is the new defensive line coach, along with Bradley Dale Peveto as LB coach help shore up a struggling defense from last season.

More Than Spring Game

The Grove Bowl is way more than just the annual Ole Miss football spring game. It is an entire day filled with Rebel red and blue festivities. Beginning with the Chucky Mullins breakfast, the game will kickoff at 11am CT. Following the Grove Bowl game, Ole Miss baseball will be hosting the Alabama Crimson Tide at Swayze Field at 4pm CT.

Admission for the Grove Bowl is free. Tickets are still available for the Ole Miss/Alabama baseball game. The Grove Bowl will be televised live on SEC Network and will be hosted by the SECN team of Joe Tessitore, Greg McElroy, and Laura Rutledge.

Are You Ready?