Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze has reached a bowl in his first year after a two-win fallout for the Rebels in 2011. While the team has struggled at times, getting to six wins is a major accomplishment.
Facing attrition from a coaching change, injuries and playing a large number of young players, Ole Miss won three SEC games against Arkansas, Auburn and instate rival Mississippi State. The Rebels held leads in the fourth quarter against Texas A&M, Vanderbilt and LSU.
First-year Pittsburgh coach Paul Chryst has seen his team make some strides, and the Panthers were able to take Notre Dame to the wire near the end of the season. Chryst is the third coach in as many years, and he has Pitt fans excited about a consistent presence in the future.
In addition to nearly beating Notre Dame on the road, the Panthers also beat ranked teams Rutgers and Virginia Tech at home. They did have some bad losses with Youngstown State early and Connecticut in November, though.
Continue reading as we evaluate the individual units in this first-ever meeting between Ole Miss and Pittsburgh.