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Ole Miss Cruises 43-24 Over Louisville In Season Opener

Despite being without their head coach, the Ole Miss Rebels cruised to a 43-24 win in their season opener

On Monday night, the Ole Miss Rebels kicked off the 2021 season in impressive fashion, dominating the Louisville Cardinals 43-24 in front of a national audience at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. 

Even more impressive?

They accomplished the route without the help of one of the nation's best and brightest offense minds, Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin. 

The entire nation knew what to expect from Kiffin's offense heading into Monday night's game, with Ole Miss projected as one of the top units in the country, and quarterback Matt Corral projected as a Heisman Trophy dark horse. 

READ MORE: A Focus On Mississippi: 10 Takeaways From the 2022 Ole Miss Football Commitment List

And to no one's surprise, that offense showed up, blitzing the Cardinals defense for 568 total yards, including 381 yards and two total touchdowns on 22-of-32 completions through the air from Corral. 

A good portion of that production went to All-SEC candidate Dontario Drummond, who had 102 yards receiving by halftime, and finished the game with 177 yards and one touchdown on nine receptions. 

What the majority of college football fans didn't expect, was the performance of the Ole Miss defense, which shut down the Louisville offense in every aspect of the game. 

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For the night, the Rebels would hold the Cardinals to 355 total yards (120 yards at halftime), including just 200 through the air, while forcing two turnovers, and making quarterback Malik Cunningham's life an absolute nightmare for most of the evening. 

As a result of the combined offensive and defensive dominance, the Rebels looked every bit the part of an SEC West contender. 

Whether or not that kind of defensive production can continue, is anybody's guess. 

But if it can?

The Rebels will be a team to be reckoned with -- not just in the SEC, but nationally. 

Following the win, the Rebels will return home for their season debut at Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium in Oxford, where they will take the field against Austin Peay at 6:30 PM.

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