Ole Miss debuted in both the Associated Press and the USA TODAY Coaches Poll today, coming in at 20th fresh off a 43-24 win over Louisville.
The Rebels are among six SEC schools ranked in the poll. Alabama (1), Georgia (2), Texas A&M (5), Florida (13) and Auburn (25) also made the top 25 with LSU slightly out of the mix in the others receiving votes category.
As the first full weekend of college football played out, it would have been shocking if Ole Miss hadn’t gotten a lot of respect nationally. Several ranked teams fell flat on its collective face, making room for the Rebels to move up, and frankly, Ole Miss looked fantastic on Monday against Louisville.
Quarterback Matt Corral went 22-of-32 passing for 381 yards and a touchdown plus another score on the ground. Dontario Drummond led all receivers with 177 yards on nine catches and one touchdown seemingly taking up a good bit of volume that Elijah Moore collected last year.
The real story though was the unbelievable transformation of the Landshark D. Yes, I think we can start calling them that again.
Ashanti Cistrunk notched eight tackles including 2.5 tackles for loss, and there were three other Rebels who also chipped in eight tackles — Otis Reese, AJ Finley and Tysheem Johnson. Reese missed most of last season due to a slow NCAA eligibility process, and Johnson, a freshman, made his Ole Miss debut in helping transform this defense.
Transfer linebacker Chance Campbell grabbed seven tackles, and he seemed to be all over the field all night giving Louisville QB Malik Cunningham lots of issues when trying to scramble and create chaos.
The layoff is very short for this team, however. Saturday brings Austin Peay to Oxford, Miss. for the first home game of the year. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m.