This is one of those games that Ole Miss fans cannot help but have a strange feeling about. Ole Miss is a damn good football team, having beaten Alabama in Tuscaloosa to prove as much. Elite wide receivers, a gutsy (if not crazy) quarterback, and a fierce defensive line have led the Rebels to a 4-0 record and a No. 3 ranking. They are a touchdown favorite against a ranked Florida team in the Swamp, which would be crazy talk in most any season in the past few decades.
But Ole Miss, like every other team, is a flawed one. A thin, banged up offensive line that is without its best player is likely to struggle against a strong Florida defensive line. The Rebel offense has not consistently put together a rushing attack all season. Chad Kelly, after a masterful (and, to be frank, fortunate) performance against Alabama, looked rattled against Vanderbilt in an unconvincing win last weekend.
Ole Miss currently sits atop the SEC West alongside Texas A&M and LSU, both of whom are also undefeated. An Ole MIss win today allows the Rebs to hang on to that spot for a few more weeks. A loss tonight doesn't doom the Rebels, but it does set the team back in their bid for an SEC Championship berth, and would do a lot to temper Rebel fan optimism.
So of course we're nervous about tonight's game. It's rare for the Rebels to have had two games within the first five weeks that are so important to the season's final outcome, and the levels of expectations we have had for this program over the past couple of seasons are unprecedented in recent memory. This game is as close to a must-win as a non-must-win can be. We must remember, however, that the team we've seen take the field in the red and blue this season has had poise and moxie where we fans have had nerves. They'll come to play with a purpose tonight in Gainesville, and if they keep their game efficient and effective, they will win handily.
How to watch
When: 6 p.m. CT
Where: Gainesville, Fla.
Online streaming: WatchESPN
- Our in-depth game preview looks at Florida's loaded defense and calculates how many tears Tim Tebow has shed over the last seven years.
- It's been a long seven years since The Upset and The Promise. Jim Lohmar takes a look at the very different paths the Florida and Ole Miss programs have taken since that day.
- SB Nation's Florida blogger dished on redshirt QB Will Grier, the Gators' O-line trouble and the one-man wrecking crew that is Jonathan Bullard.
- This expedited episode of Podcast Rebellion tells you everything you need to know about the game.
- Let's take a look back at the absurdity that was the 2008 upset in the Swamp.
- Here's why Ole Miss has to fix it's running game to have a shot at the Playoff.
Open Thread Guidelines
Check in with us. Let us know where you're watching from and what you're drinkin' on. If you're in Gainesville, please pay attention to the game itself and not this dumb website. Other than that, have fun.