Ole Miss Football: Grove Grinder, Rebels back to bowling

After a very strange 2020 Ole Miss football season, coach Lane Kiffin and the Rebels are headed to face Indiana in the Outback Bowl.

Ole Miss football is headed bowling. The Rebels (4-5) will be traveling south to Tampa, Florida to face off against the Indiana Hoosiers on January 2nd in the Outback Bowl. In his first season as Ole Miss head coach, Lane Kiffin has done well. He won some games fans didn’t expect to win and got enough out of the 2020 Ole Miss football season to do what the former head coach couldn’t.

Ole Miss football will see postseason action for the first time since 2015 and put Ole Miss back on the national stage. Some armchair college football pundits may criticize Kiffin and the Rebels saying they aren’t worthy or have a good enough record to be in a bowl game. However, the entire 2020 college football season comes with an asterisk. Don’t listen to the pundits.

Ole Miss Is Deserving

Let’s take a look at what Lane Kiffin and the Rebels have accomplished this season. Number one, the Rebels won 4 games. Those games came against three SEC East teams and one SEC West team.

Then there were the games Ole Miss was in a position to win and fell short. While no fan wants a moral victory when there should have been a win, there are losses in which you can positives.

Despite losing 51-35 to Florida in the season opener, some positives pointed to improvements from the 2019 season. As well as the loss to the 63-48 loss Crimson Tide which showed how solid the Rebels were on the offensive side of the ball.

Growing Pains

Of course, there were growing pains in the 2020 Ole Miss football season. We all know it’s difficult to find positives when you give up 99 points in two games. Naturally, there were also close losses that should have been won with the offense that the Rebels had. That falls on the defense and some of those issues have already been addressed by Kiffin since the end of the regular season.

And then there was Covid-19 and the effects it had on the defensive side of the ball. Several defensive players missed out on games and practices. When you add to that the fact the Rebels defense is relatively young it puts pressure on a new coaching staff. This defense will get better and having the extra game and practice time will help facilitate improvement.

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We know the Rebels have the offense to win in Tampa and we know the Rebels will need a solid defense. The Ole Miss defense improved throughout the season and played well enough to wind up with four wins and a bowl game. We’ll find out on January 2nd. Please be sure to check back here and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the preview of the Rebels and Hoosiers. Until then stay safe and Hotty Toddy!