The Vitals: The SEC losing streak has reached nine games for Ole Miss, but the Rebels will be playing with house money Saturday when they visit No. 4 Florida at 11:30 CDT. Favored by more than 20 points, the Gators (3-0) have yet to surrender a turnover this season and are highlighted by an improved defense, an exceptional special teams and 2007 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow.
Ole Miss leads the all-time series 11-10-1 and hold a 5-3-1 advantage in Gainesville. Florida defeated Ole Miss, 30-24, last season in Oxford, while the Rebels took three-point wins in 2002 and 2003.
Viewing and Listening Options: The contest will be televised live by Raycom Sports (Dave Neal (play-by-play), Dave Archer (color) and
Dave Baker (sideline) call the action), and the game will replay Sunday at 1 p.m. on CSS. The contest can be heard live on the Ole Miss Radio Network and XM 199. The Rebel radio team includes David Kellum (play-by-play), Pete Cordelli (color) and Stan Sandroni (sideline). The Gainesville station for Ole Miss coverage will be 96.3 FM.
The Ole Miss official athletics web site will display live audio and live stats as well as RebelVision programming.
Saturday Storylines:Can Ole Miss continue improving defensively? The Rebel defense played well on defense against Vanderbilt and carries some momentum into the Swamp Saturday. Greg Hardy saw action on 11 snaps last week and should be out there more this week. He finished with a tackle and a sack in his first game experience this season. The linebackers and safeties will face a fierce test as Florida gashes opponents due to missed tackles and receivers in open space. Tebow hasn't relied on the passing game this season, but even if he does, it is shorter routes that utilize the receivers' athletic ability. The back seven must supply run support and make tackles.
Jevan Snead has regressed the past two weeks but must regain his bearings heading into arguably Ole Miss' toughest game this season. Snead has six interceptions and no touchdown passes the last two Saturdays. Decision making has been sub-par, however, Snead has shown the ability to be spectacular already in his brief career as a Rebel. His play, especially early, may decide what kind of chance the Rebels have late. Florida has outscored its three opponents by a combined score of 112-19.
Ole Miss' biggest weakness is Florida's biggest strength – special teams. Led by Brandon James' big-play ability, the Gators have scored a touchdown every game this season on special teams. Ole Miss has scored on a punt return and kick return thus far, but consistency remains an issue. Improvement has been evident, but any lapses will be exposed by Florida. With solid all-around play essential, the Rebels must play a complete special teams game stay in lanes. James is one of the best at finding and hitting creases.
Ole Miss committed six turnovers last week against Vanderbilt. Florida hasn't committed one all season. You do the math.
Ole Miss Notes
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