After a 22-month hiatus, the Grove is back at Ole Miss.
For the first time since November of 2019, the nation's most recognized tailgate was re-opened to the public on Friday, after being closed for the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thousands of Rebel fans from all walks of life and from all around the United States are expected to enter the 10-acre patch of grass at the heart of the Ole Miss campus on Saturday, re-igniting a tradition that spans more than 70 years.
While it is undoubtedly a big deal for Rebel fans everywhere, it might be even bigger for Lane Kiffin and his new-look program.
Saturday will mark the first time Kiffin, offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby, and the rest of the coaching staff will make the famed march down the Walk of Champions to the stadium.
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"I'm excited for the first walk that we've had through The Grove," Kiffin said. "It's my first time actually stepping foot in the Grove. I'm personally excited for that."
It will also be the first time the Rebels have made the walk through the Grove as a ranked team since October 1 of the 2016 season, when Ole Miss took down the Memphis Tigers 48-28.
And it is something that Kiffin is desperately trying to re-establish in Oxford as soon as possible.
"We need people to come out," Kiffin said. "Everybody wants a Top-25 program. Well, let's put an atmosphere like a Top 25 program so players feel that and recruits see that, as well."
If Friday's frenzy was any indication, that is exactly what is about to happen.
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