The message for the Ole Miss football team is pretty simple.
Wednesday in the TaxAct Texas Bowl against Texas Tech (7-5, 5-4 Big 12), it very well could be the last time many of these players wear a Rebel uniform. There will be departures for the NFL, transfer portal but most importantly some seniors whose football careers will be over after the game concludes.
And of course one of the better streaming options is Sling TV who has ESPN and all its affiliates for keeping up with the Rebels.
The coaching staff seemed to want to hammer home that point with the hype video the program released on Tuesday evening.
Ole Miss (8-4, 4-4 SEC) has brought back former alumni to narrate the hype videos, and appropriately the Houston Texans own Laremy Tunsil dropped his vocal cameo for this game. The Florida native was a first round draft pick for the Rebels who definitely is not remembered for anything other than being very good at football (wink).
Now I mean, the Red Raiders can say the exact same thing about it being some players’ last game, and Texas Tech is one of the hotter teams in the country closing the season on a three game win streak.
And maybe how Ole Miss responds on Wednesday will show if this team is still all in with head coach Lane Kiffin and his staff. The rumors of Kiffin leaving for Auburn seemed to have a perceived psychological affect late in the season, though it could have just been the slog of the SEC conference slate - probably different for every player.
This bowl game or exhibition gives Ole Miss players some extra practice, and for a fairly young team, it benefits in that way without a doubt. Quarterback Jaxson Dart has been solid this season, passing for more than 2,600 yards, 18 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. Freshman running back Quinshon Judkins has rumbled for more yards and touchdowns than any Rebel ever. The youthful Rebels could be primed to come out and rush for 400 yards, which seems to be the soft spot in the TTU defense.
If I had to guess though, the Red Raider coaching staff are going to find some kind of way to shore up its porous rush defense in this game. If it were me, I’d much rather put the game’s outcome in the hands of Dart and what has been an inconsistent wide receiver corps of late than watch Judkins and hometown guy Zach Evans gash my defense.
On the flip side, Ole Miss’ secondary will be tested a lot as TTU averages more than 300 passing yards per game and averages over 80 plays per game. The Rebels have some seasoned veterans it can depend on, but there is a likelihood this game turns into a shootout if Ole Miss leans into the tempo approach offensively.
The Rebels sit at about 3 or 4-point favorites on DraftKings you like to frequent. It would not be shocking to see some red zone struggles yet again for Ole Miss and a 28-24 kind of outcome.
How to watch
Where: NRG Stadium, Houston, Tex.
When: 8:00 pm CT
Online streaming: Check out SlingTV!