This story is courtesy of Dylan Rubino, the Sports Editor at The Daily Mississippian, Ole Miss’ student newspaper.
As Ole Miss and Boise State meet in Atlanta to kick off the college football, both teams look to start off the season with quality wins. Returning experience will be huge for the Rebels; they return 15 starters overall. However the Broncos are returning 15 starters as well.
This season is a fresh look for Boise State as they lost long-time head coach Chris Peterson, who took the head coaching job at Washington during the offseason. Under Peterson, the Broncos went 92-12 in eight seasons. New head coach Bryan Harsin will fill the head coaching nicely, as he was the offensive coordinator for Peterson when at Boise State.
In his third year as head coach for Ole Miss, Hugh Freeze looks to turn the corner and be a contender in the SEC. With the recruiting class this offseason focusing on depth and speed, and the exposure of playing in two NFL stadiums to start the season, the Rebels are looking forward to a new season starting off with Boise State.
One matchup I’m looking forward to is the Ole Miss pass rush against the Boise State offensive line. With CJ Johnson returning from injury and with Robert and Denzel Nkemdiche, the Ole Miss pass rush looks to improve from last season, where getting pressure in the opposing backfield was a question mark. The offensive line for the Broncos is a cause for concern also, losing three starters up front.
Boise State was known for having dominating defenses under Peterson, but that started to slow down in 2013. High-powered offenses gave the Broncos fits, giving up 38 points to Washington and Oregon State, and 37 to BYU, all resulting in losses.
How will the Bronco defense stack up against the up-tempo offense that Freeze and the Rebels run? Both teams will be ready for this much-anticipated showdown to start the season. Playing in Atlanta will certainly give the edge to the Rebels, as fans will travel well from Oxford. The Ole Miss offense and depth on defense will prove to be too much for Boise State to handle.
Prediction: Ole Miss 35, Boise State 21 -Dylan Rubino Sports Editor The Daily Mississippian