College Football: Top 25 Entering 2021 Season

25. Ole Miss Rebels

2020 Record: 5-5 (4-5 SEC West)

How much will Ole Miss improve in Year 2 under Lane Kiffin? That is the question all Rebel supporters are asking themselves ahead of the 2021 season. In Kiffin’s first year, Ole Miss stumbled out of the gates to a 1-4 record — including losses to Alabama and Florida — but won four-of-five to close the year. Led by QB Matt Corral, All-SEC rusher Jerrion Ealy, and a very good offensive line, the Rebels should have no trouble putting points on the board. Last year, the offense led the nation with 384.3 yards per game.

However, Ole Miss’ defense must vastly improve if the team wants to contend with the top dogs in the SEC West. A season ago, the defense allowed 38.3 PPG and 6.7 yards per play — allowing seven opponents to score 30+ points and five to top 40 points. Ole Miss returns six starters on that side of the ball, but that doesn’t necessarily guarantee more success. Kiffin signed 14 defensive players in the recent recruiting cycle in an effort to help the struggling unit.

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