The most current info is at 2011 Ole Miss Rebels Football Preview
Losses to Vandy and Jacksonville State -- both at home started the season out badly. There were a couple "brighter moments" such as nearly beating LSU in Death Valley. But, the big loss at Tennessee and then losing to Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl at home -- really ended the year on a sour note. It appears former coach Ed Orgeron's sound coaching and recruting has worn off and the team is now "all-Nutt." Will Houston Nutt survive the year? Should he? Comment below. Check out our preview of each Ole Miss Rebels Football Game at SEC Football Blog.
The proof of whether head Coach Houston Nutt had successful recruiting seasons the past three years may lie in the win-loss record of the Rebels at the end of the 2010-11 season. Entering his third season after taking over Ole Miss in 2007 from Ed Orgeron, Nutt's recruiting ability now needs to support his back-to-back nine wins seasons. The talent that Orgeron captured has moved on and Houston Nutt is now working with the product of his own enlistment. So just how well has he done?
Leading up to the 2010 season there are questions on either side of the ball including the quarterback position after Jevan Snead's early exit to the NFL draft. While Snead had 20 touchdowns in 2009 and joins Eli Manning as the second Ole Miss quarterback to throw for at least 2,000 yards in consecutive seasons, he also had 20 interceptions. The QB come fall will come from an assortment of underclassmen including sophomore Nathan Stanley, redshirt freshman Raymond Cotton and junior college transfer Randall Mackey. Despite the fact that offensive coordinator Dave Radar said, “When they walk in the door, you say, 'That's what they are supposed to look like.' So that has me fired up." They are still young, very young.
Replacing standout wide receiver/running back Dexter McCluster will prove to be a tough task. He is the only player in SEC history to rush for over 1,000 yards and receive for 500 yards in a single season, along with his 23 career touchdowns, make walking in his shadow pretty intimidating. To replace his talent and production make take a complete revamp of the offensive plan. A player of keen potential is Markeith Summers who is naturally gifted with size and speed but needs to develop his consistency in moving the chains down the field. Then there is Shay Hodge who comes into the 2010 season as the only conference receiver with over 1,000 yards (1,135 to be exact in '09) with career to date at 2,646 yards. Fans at Oxford should look for possible big play time from Brandon Bolden provided he can come up to expectations and wide receiver Jesse Grandy who has materialized as a go-to kick returner. Bobby Massie is also one to watch on the offensive line as left tackle in 2010.
On the defense the Rebels took some hits but return plenty of experience. The defense was one of the positives of last season and it will need to stay that course to reinforce the offense coming up to speed with a youthful quarterback at the helm. Tyrone Nix will need the strength of his defense to maintain in returning senior players like Kentrell Lockett, Jerrell Powe and Ted Laurent but without Kendrick Lewis, Marshay Green and Cassius Vaughn. Lending some help to the defense's stance will be junior college transfer defensive end Wayne Dorsey. Standing at 6'8", this four-star standout will exude experience over some of his teammates.
"Re-structuring, re-establishing, and re-building" are all words fans hate to hear going into a new season but Ole Miss does have a lot of.... "re" something to do when you have a quarterback, all star athlete and a plethora of other prominent slots to fill on both sides of the ball. The confidence of a winning season and bowl appearance may ride on the previous actions of head Coach Houston Nutt. Did he or didn’t he recruit the talent in the past 36 months to sustain and propel forward Ole Miss in the SEC? Despite the answer to that murky question, the Rebels start the season at #6 overall in the SEC.
Mississippi Rebels 2010-11 Football Schedule
Bold = Home Game. * = Conference
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