It is a gorgeous day for football and a big opportunity for Ole Miss to measure its journey progress against the team Hugh Freeze has repeatedly called the “gold standard” of college football.
Last year the Rebels played well for stretches of time here, but the game really wasn’t in doubt in the fourth quarter. They hope to change that a year later.
Ole Miss players and coaches often point to last year’s Texas game as a turning point for the program, a time when players began to believe and trust in one another and the coaching staff.
The Tulane game followed, a 39-0 win, but it was Alabama after Tulane, and that was the first chance for the believing Rebels to see what they had against a quality — the most quality — SEC opponent.
This year Alabama has some some measure of vulnerability, certainly not enough consistency to satisfy themselves — Player leadership called out the team’s play following Colorado State — or an ever impatient fan base.
Ole Miss players believe the gap has closed. Later this evening we’ll know more about where the gap stands.
Kickoff is 5:30 on ESPN.