In 2013, the Ole Miss Rebels showed some improvement from the previous season. The 8-5 record was the program's best mark since 2009, and the year culminated with a second consecutive bowl appearance and victory.
Looking ahead to the 2014 campaign, the Rebels would love to turn the corner and become one of the upper echelon teams in the SEC. Head coach Hugh Freeze seems to have the long-term mission in mind with this tweet:
Anything worthwhile takes time to build. If we have immediate success, we wouldn't develop the character needed 2 sustain true success 4life— Hugh Freeze (@CoachHughFreeze) April 1, 2014
That said, every stakeholder would like to see things progress sooner rather than later.
The spring game will give fans their first opportunity to see this year's squad in action. Here's how you can watch:
|Date||Time||TV Network and Live Stream|
|Sat., April 5||1 p.m.||CSS/ESPN3|
Players to Watch
The junior quarterback certainly had his moments in 2013. He nearly out-dueled Johnny Manziel in a 41-38 loss to Texas A&M on October 12. The following week, Wallace helped guide the team to its biggest win of the season.
He threw for 346 yards as the Rebels knocked off No. 6 LSU 27-24. In order for the Rebels to become part of the SEC elite, they need for Wallace to become a star. As an upperclassmen, he must take an even bigger role as a leader of the team.
Jon Cooper of Saturday Down South wrote this about the quarterback's maturation and upcoming campaign:
Wallace made strides and better decisions from 2012 to 2013; still, there’s much more he can improve upon. Wallace is one of the handful of proven veteran returning quarterback starters, and the amount of success the Rebels’ team achieves will be resting on Wallace’s shoulders.
All eyes will be on him during the spring practice as well as during the season.
The Rebels' prized recruit from 2013 is heading into his sophomore season in Oxford. With Jadeveon Clowney moving on to the NFL, Nkemdiche could make strides toward becoming the SEC's top pass-rusher.
If Nkemdiche can become an elite force on the defensive line, the Rebels can take that next step. His play is to the defense what Wallace's performance is to the offense.
As a freshman, Nkemdiche had just two sacks. He'll need to be close to double digits in 2014 to satisfy critics and pundits.