The No. 3 Ole Miss Rebels (4-0, 2-0) have the opportunity to solidify their current status as the SEC’s dominant power as they take on the No. 25 Florida Gators (4-0, 2-0) Saturday night at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville.
Still riding high off their upset of Alabama two weeks ago, the Rebels gained sole control of the nation’s No. 3 ranking after taking down Vanderbilt, 27-16, but were also helped by TCU’s three-point victory over unranked Texas Tech.
Both sides will also have their eyes on the major matchup preceding their clash, with Georgia hosting Alabama. Another loss for the Tide opens doors for Ole Miss to rule the SEC West with Texas A&M and LSU serving as the main competition. But the Gators are actually looking for a Georgia loss, which would give them a one-game lead in the SEC East should they prevail over the Rebels.
Ole Miss and head coach Hugh Freeze can take down their second ranked opponent of the season, largely on the laurels of their No. 2 offense netting 54.8 points per game. Junior quarterback Chad Kelly has unleashed a conference-best 1,219 passing yards and 10 touchdowns to only three interceptions, with receivers Laquon Treadwell, Cody Core, and Quincy Adeboyejo accounting for 876 yards and nine touchdowns.
With that trio flying all over the field, Ole Miss has outscored opponents by an average of 35.5 points through the first four games of the season.
But the Rebels meet a difficult and undefeated Gators squad that just made its first appearance in the top 25 this week after quarterback Will Grier fired off two fourth-quarter touchdown passes to beat Tennessee in thrilling fashion 28-27.
It was the redshirt freshman Grier’s third game with at least two touchdown passes, and he overcame his third interception of the year to keep the Gators on pace with also-undefeated Georgia.
Junior running back Kevlin Taylor was a one-man Gator rushing machine, racking up 102 of the squad’s 109 rushing yards to go with two touchdowns, while receivers Antonio Callaway and Brandon Powell each snagged touchdowns.
But Florida’s defense did make several mistakes and didn’t appear nearly as dominant against the Volunteers, a fact that can’t be ignored with the high-flying Rebels coming to town. The Gators allowed a season-worst 27 points and 419 offensive yards, most of which came from 254 Tennessee rushing yards.
The Rebels will try to exploit Florida’s struggles against the run, with running backs Jaylen Walton and Jordan Wilkins leading a ground attack netting 5.5 yards per carry. Kelly is also tied with Walton for the team lead with three rushing scores.
Start Time: 7 p.m. ET
TV Channel: ESPN
Live Online: Watch ESPN