No. 5 Florida @ Ole Miss: Game Day Information
Where: Vaught Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, Miss.
When: Noon ET
Radio: Gators IMG Sports Network, Sirius Channel 137/191 [XM]
Odds: Florida is currently favored at -13.5 points, according to OddsShark. The over/under is set at 58.5 points.
Series history: Ole Miss leads, 12-11-1. The last meeting between Florida and Ole Miss was October 3rd, 2015, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla. The No. 25 Gators defeated the No. 3 Rebels, 38-10.
- Ole Miss named its starting quarterback on Friday night
- Gators injury report. Any injuries announced on game day will be covered in a separate story
- Sports Illustrated-AllGators staff game predictions and takes
- Four key personnel matchups that could decide Florida vs. Ole Miss
- Know your enemy: Q&A with Sports Illustrated-The Grove Report
- Linebacker Ventrell Miller will be the Gators' X-Factor against the Rebels
- Gators legendary RB Emmitt Smith previews Florida's season
Florida looks to build off of another successful season under head coach Dan Mullen, where the Gators owned the No. 16 passing offense in the nation thanks to the emergence of quarterback Kyle Trask. The redshirt senior enters the season as a starter for the first time since he was on his high school freshman team, returning weapons such as Walter Camp First Team All-American tight end Kyle Pitts, wide receivers Trevon Grimes and Kadarius Toney, and several other intriguing young targets. Four starters return on the offensive line along with Mississippi State graduate transfer guard, Stewart Reese.
Defensively, the Gators return starters on all three levels and have numerous high-potential new starters mixed into the lineup. Kaiir Elam and Marco Wilson headline the secondary as starters at outside cornerback, with C.J. McWilliams taking over at nickel corner a year removed from a torn Achilles and a safety room filled with experience but looking for consistency. Three-year starting middle linebacker David Reese II has been replaced by 2019 starting weak-side LB Ventrell Miller, following Reese's graduation. Up front, Georgia transfer Brenton Cox Jr., Zachary Carter, T.J. Slaton, Jeremiah Moon, Khris Bogle, and others look to wreak havoc within a rotation at each position.
Ole Miss enters its first season under head coach Lane Kiffin, who spent the last three years in charge at Ole Miss and has SEC experience, serving as head coach at Tennessee and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Alabama. Redshirt sophomore Matt Corral will start in Kiffin's first game calling the shots, but expect sophomore John Rhys Plumlee to receive snaps with emphasis on the run. Running backs, sophomores Jerrion Ealy and Snoop Conner and freshman Henry Parrish Jr. should receive opportunities while Elijah Moore serves as an electric playmaker out of the slot.
On the other side of the ball, the Rebels struggled immensely in 2019 and is looking for new contributors. The Rebels return zero full-time starters on the defensive line, however, edge defenders Tavius Robinson (2020 Canadian JUCO transfer) and Sam Williams offer intrigue at the Buck position. Defensive tackle Ryder Anderson started in a few contests but tore his ACL and missed eight games. The linebacker group is sound returning two starters who combined for 158 tackles in 2019 in Jacquez Jones and Lavia Henry, with plenty of depth. The secondary is filled with experience, namely cornerback Keidron Smith and safety Jaylon Jones, but the unit put together the worst passing defense in the SEC last year.
This game could be a shootout if rust needs to be shaken off defensively, as we're surely promised some fireworks on offense. At the end of the day, however, continuity and simply having more talent across the roster should give the Gators the edge.