Florida Gators 2008 Season Preview: Game Four Vs. Ole Miss

Joe MorganSenior Analyst IJuly 23, 2008

My name is Joseph Morgan and I'll be breaking down each of the 2008 Florida Gators' opponents and making predictions game by game. Please feel free to give your input and make your opinions known throughout the series. I am happy to discuss the games.

Game Four vs. Ole Miss, Sept. 27, 2008

"Hotty Toddy"

Are you ready?
Hell yes! Damn Right!
Hotty Toddy, Gosh almighty
Who the hell are we? Hey!
Flim Flam, Bim Bam,

Info: The Ole Miss Rebels are “egged” on by their fans with arguably the most vulgar but spirited cheer in college football. However, Hotty Toddy was unable to bring success to the 2007 Rebels.  

Led by Coach Ed Orgeron, the Rebels limped, staggered, and stumbled to a paltry 3-9 record and finished winless in SEC play for the first time in 25 years. After three disappointing seasons as Ole Miss’s head football coach, Orgeron was fired on Nov. 24, 2007—shortly after their loss to rival Mississippi State in the “Egg Bowl.”

Former Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt was named the University of Mississippi’s 36th head football coach three days later.

Offseason: Under the direction of new head coach Houston Nutt, the Rebels pulled in a recruiting class that ranked No. 22 and No. 34 on Rivals.com and Scout.com, respectively.

However, Nutt will have to harness that talent and put a winner on the field. Ed Orgeron gained fame for his recruiting prowess, but it never translated into success for Ole Miss on the football field.

The biggest story of the Rebels’ offseason is the recent eligibility of sophomore quarterback Jevan Snead for the 2008 season. Snead, a top recruit who originally signed with Texas, sat out the 2007 season due to NCAA transfer rules. Snead is the current favorite to win the starting job after the departure of senior quarterbacks Seth Adams and Brent Schaeffer.

Unfortunately for Snead, he has a large task ahead of him as he prepares to take over the dismal Ole Miss offense. The 2007 Rebels ranked last in the SEC with 20.1 points per game and second to last with 1,578 rushing yards.

Fun fact: Florida quarterback Tim Tebow accumulated 4,181 yards of total offense in 2007, only 126 yards fewer than the Rebels’ 4,307 yards of total offense.

2008 Outlook: The Rebels haven’t had a winning season since Eli Manning was the Rebels’ quarterback and don’t look for that change in 2008. Ole Miss is simply a very small fish in the big ocean that we call the Southeastern Conference.

However, Houston Nutt worked wonders during his tenure at Arkansas and should return the Rebels to SEC title contention. The Rebels will improve from last season, but in my opinion, a .500 season is out of the question in 2008.

Game Prediction: Florida 42, Ole Miss 10

Florida’s 30-24 victory in The Grove last season was a lot closer than it should have been. There is absolutely no way that the Rebels can keep up with Florida in this year’s contest, offensively or defensively. The Gators are too fast and too good for Ole Miss to even stay on the same field with them, let alone have a chance to win.

Look for a breakout game from Gators running back Emmanuel Moody. By the end of September, Moody should have a much better grasp of Urban Meyer’s spread offense and be a lethal threat in the Gators’ already very dangerous backfield.

Florida now sits at 4-0 and will welcome the defending champion LSU Tigers to Gainesville. The Gators look to avenge their heartbreaking loss to the Bayou Bengals in 2007, but Les Miles and the Tigers have other plans. Stay tuned!


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