OPPOSING COACH'S TAKE
"They try to spread you out to make you think pass, pass, pass, but they're a run-first team—it's all smoke and mirrors. You want to hit [senior] Chad Kelly because he's not just a running quarterback; as he's running, he's always looking downfield. And he's got good receivers—Laquon Treadwell wasn't the only guy they had. Damore'ea Stringfellow is big and physical. Evan Engram is a tight end, but he'd be a receiver at a lot of other places. That makes him tough to cover. So when Kelly is running around behind the line of scrimmage, your cover guys have got to keep covering. Your linemen have to keep their feet on the ground and not go for the pump fake. If you get a chance to hit him, you've got to make him think about running again.
On defense they'll get after your ass. They're faster than Alabama. Where Bama will just play you straight up, Ole Miss will run a lot of stunts and twists on their line because those guys move so well. Their rotation guys at tackle were pretty good last year, but this year they'll have to make up for not having Robert Nkemdiche. [Junior end] Marquis Haynes is really fast off the edge. And getting [senior] safety Tony Conner back [from a right-meniscus tear] is huge. He makes plays everywhere."
Returning starters (three on offense, five on D), the fewest of any SEC team.
Thousand-yard rushers since '09; senior Akeem Judd (421 yards, 5.5 yards per carry) and junior Jordan Wilkins (379, 5.3) will try to end the streak this year.
Quarterback Chad Kelly's preseason Heisman odds. As a junior he threw for 4,402 yards, with 31 touchdowns and 13 picks.
Points by which the Rebels outscored foes in the first quarter in '15 (147--39).
Yards per catch in 2015 for receiver Damore'ea Stringfellow, a junior who has to replace the departed Laquon Treadwell (1,153 yards), who was the No. 23 pick.
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5 YEAR TREND
When the Rebels signed the nation's top-ranked offensive tackle recruit in 2013, Laremy Tunsil, he started on the left side immediately. Now the No. 1 tackle from the class of '16, 6'6", 326-pound GREG LITTLE, is poised to succeed Tunsil. If Little doesn't line up at left tackle for the season opener, he'll probably be starting on the right side.
FLORIDA STATE [KEY MATCHUP]
ALABAMA [BIGGEST GAME]
AT TEXAS A&M
MISSISSIPPI STATE [KEY MATCHUP]