Ole Miss had a down season last year, and it’s not in the best of positions going into the 2017 season. With an interim head coach in Matt Luke and an NCAA verdict on the horizon, the Rebels have their work out for them.
Still, Ole Miss isn’t devoid of talent and there could still be some positives that come out of the season to come.
Here are five bold predictions for Ole Miss entering the 2017 season.
1.) Between Auburn, LSU or Arkansas, Ole Miss will beat one of them. The Rebels play at Auburn on Oct. 7 and host LSU and Arkansas in back-to-back weeks on Oct. 21 and Oct. 28.
2.) Shea Patterson will be named a first-team All-SEC selection. After starting the final three games of last season, the former five-star prospect should already feel comfortable at the college level. He also has a talented receiving corps with A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf and Van Jefferson that looks to be near the top in the SEC, if not in all of college football.
3.) Eric Swinney will become the starting running back by Week 3 against Cal. Swinney tore his ACL on the first carry of his career last season as a true freshman, but he looks to be healthy again. For now, he’s the backup behind senior Jordan Wilkins, though he likely has more upside. Known as a bruising back, Swinney is listed at 214 pounds but will play more like 225 pounds.
4.) D.D. Bowie will be named to the SEC All-Freshman team and named SEC Freshman of the Week multiple times this season. The true freshman from Morton, Mississippi has seen time at multiple positions in the secondary and currently is pushing for a starting role. But his most important role could come in the return game. He is electric with the football in his hands.
5.) Matt Luke will have the interim tag removed. Whether it be during the season or after it, Luke is the epitome of what Ole Miss needs: stability. With 14 years as an assistant, he is ready. The schedule is manageable if Ole Miss can find some semblance of a defense. Home games against South Alabama, UT-Martin, Vanderbilt, Louisiana and Texas A&M give Ole Miss a ray of hope. One thing is evident, it will be fun for the Ole Miss fans on the scoreboard. No matter who’s the winning team, the offense should put up big numbers.
(You can follow Brad Logan on Twitter @BradLoganCOTE)
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