Editor’s note: While we have no idea when college football will start, we are bringing you a look at each of the 12 opponents Florida has scheduled to play.
Today: Ole Miss.
When: Oct. 17, TBD.
Where: Vaught Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, Miss.
Last year: The Rebels struggled all season and it culminated with the famous leg-lift by wide receiver Elijah Moore that cost Ole Miss a chance to tie the Egg Bowl against Miss. State. When the public embarrassment got to be too much, the Rebels canned Matt Luke as head coach after he had guided the school through the sea of probation. The Rebels finishing 4-8 didn’t help.
Outlook for 2020: So now, the Lane Train comes to town with head coach Lane Kiffin. He inherits a defense that got better last year but still doesn’t resemble elite SEC personnel. His will be a long term rebuilding job that isn’t helped by a brutal schedule. Four of the first five games are against Baylor, Auburn, LSU and Alabama.
Best offensive player: As a freshman part-time starter, John Rhys Plumlee (an Ole Miss name if ever there was one) was electric. He needs to be a better passer (52.7 percent completion percentage), but he had the most rushing yards per game of any SEC player, finishing with 1,023 and 12 TDs. Of course, he still has to beat out Matt Corral for the job.
Best defensive player: Lakia Henry came to Ole Miss via junior college and made quite an impression. He doesn’t have great range but arrives at the ball with attitude and power. Henry finished the season with 87 tackles, including five games with at least eight.
Fun fact: This is only the eighth time Florida has played in Oxford. The last time was in 2007 when UF won 30-24 as Tim Tebow set the school record for rushing attempts by a quarterback in a game with 27 for 166 yards en route to the Heisman Trophy.
Quote: “I think they will be improved. They will get that bump that a new coach brings and he’s a very good coach. But it’s going to be difficult to see that improvement because of the five-game stretch to start the season.” Parrish Alford, NW Mississippi Daily Journal.