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Ole Miss Football Game Notes: vs. Indiana

WHAT TO WATCH FOR
• Ole Miss is making its first bowl appearance since the 2015 season (2016 Sugar Bowl).
• Lane Kiffin has the Rebels playing in a bowl game in his first season at the helm in Oxford.
• The Rebels ranks 25th all-time among Division I teams with 37 bowl appearances.
• Ole Miss is 16th all-time among Division I teams with 23 bowl victories.
• The Rebels’ .639 bowl winning percentage is second in the NCAA, trailing only USC’s mark of .642.
• Ole Miss is 11-2 in its last 13 bowl games on the field dating back to the 1992 Liberty Bowl.
• The Rebels will play in a Jan. 2 bowl for the seventh time and will make its first-ever Outback Bowl appearance.
• Ole Miss and Indiana are meeting for the first time on the football field.
• The Rebels broke the SEC record for total offense in conference games (562.4 ypg), besting LSU’s mark of 550.0 yards per game set last season during the Tigers’ run to a national title.
• Ole Miss ranks top 20 in the FBS in 10 separate categories: total offense (562.4), scoring offense (40.7), rushing offense (217.7), passing offense (344.8), passing yards per completion (14.99), team passing efficiency (183.5),completion percentage (.714), first downs offense (249), third down conv. (.504) and kick return defense (17.1).
• QB Matt Corral ranks No. 1 in FBS in total offense per game (384.9), No. 5 in passing yards per game (332.8), No. 6 in passing TDs (27), No. 8 in passing yards per completion (14.9) and No. 8 in passing efficiency (182.2).
• Corral needs five more yards to become just the fifth Rebel ever to pass for more than 3,000 yards in a season.
• RB Jerrion Ealy’s nine rushing touchdowns are the fifth-most in the SEC and No. 22 in FBS.
• WR Dontario Drummond ranks No. 8 in the SEC with six receiving touchdowns on the season.

OLE MISS HEAD COACH LANE KIFFIN 
Lane Kiffin (Fresno State, 1998) is in his first season at Ole Miss, taking the reins for the Rebels as the 39th head coach in program history. Kiffin, who won two Conference USA titles in three seasons at Florida Atlantic, has more than 10 years of head coaching experience, including eight years at the NCAA level where he has posted an all-time record of 65-39. In December 2016, Kiffin took over an FAU program that had won a total of nine combined games over the previous three seasons. Kiffin proceeded to take the Owls to new heights over the last three years, including two conference titles and two 10-win seasons. In his head coaching stops at USC, Tennessee and FAU, Kiffin has shown a propensity in helping turn programs around. In his first season at all three locations, Kiffin’s team improved in win differential (+3.33), scoring (+10.2), passing (+34.5 ypg) and rushing (+51.3 ypg). Kiffin graduated from Fresno State in 1998 after playing quarterback for three seasons (1994-96) for the Bulldogs. He began his coaching career as a student assistant at Fresno State under Pat Hill in 1997 and 1998. He moved on to Colorado State in 1999 as a graduate assistant. He spent the 2000 season as defensive quality control assistant with the Jacksonville Jaguars under Tom Coughlin.

INDIANA HEAD COACH TOM ALLEN
Tom Allen (Marantha Baptist, 1992) is in his fifth year – fourth full year – as Indiana’s head coach and has a 24-21 record with the Hoosiers, including a 6-1 mark this season. Allen has helped guide Indiana to a No. 7 ranking in 2020, its best in the AP Poll since Nov. 27, 1967 (No. 4). The Hoosiers have been ranked in the top 10 six times in 2020, the most for the program since 1967. One of 22 semifinalists for the 2019 George Munger College Coach of the Year Award, Allen’s 18 wins are the most for an Indiana head coach over his first three seasons. Last season, Allen guided IU to a 8-5 record and a 5-4 Big Ten mark. Indiana reached eight wins for just the eighth time in program history and the first time since 1993, and finished one win shy of matching the school record (1945, 1967). A 28-year coaching veteran, Allen was named the program’s 29th head football coach on Dec. 1, 2016. Allen joined IU’s staff as associate head coach/defense on Jan. 15, 2016, and he promptly went on to become a Broyles Award nominee. Over the past 25-plus seasons, the teams for which Allen has been a member of the coaching staff have posted a combined record of 246-89 (.734).

HOOSIER SCOUTING REPORT
Indiana is 6-1 overall entering the matchup vs. the Rebels in the Outback Bowl. The Hoosiers are ranked inside the top 10 in both the Associate Press Poll (No. 7) and Coaches Poll (No. 8), while sitting at No. 11 in the College Football Playoff Rankings. The Hoosiers’ 6-1 record is their best overall start since 1993 (7-1) and their best conference start since 1967 (6-1). Indiana is averaging 358.1 yards of total offense per game, with 258 through the air and 100 yards coming on the ground. Indiana lost its starting quarterback, Michael Penix Jr., to an ACL injury in its sixth game of the year. Redshirt sophomore Jack Tuttle earned his first career start in Indiana’s last game vs. Wisconsin in place of Penix Jr.. Tuttle completed 13 of his 22 passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns. Indiana’s receiving production comes from Ty Fryfogle and Whop Philyor. The duo combined to average 10 catches and 157.3 yards per game. Fryfogle, a Lucedale, Mississippi, native has hauled in 34 catches for 687 yards and seven TDs this season, which ranks No. 3 in the Big Ten. Stevie Scott III leads Indiana on the ground with 462 yards rushing and eight touchdowns. Defensively, the Hoosiers rank No. 1 in the FBS in both interceptions and red zone defense. Indiana also leads the country in turnovers forced per game, 2.9 per game. The Hoosiers have allowed 11 or fewer points in three of its last four contests. Jamar Johnson and Jaylin Williams are both tied for fifth in the country with four interceptions on the season. Junior linebacker Micah McFadden leads the team in tackles (52), tackles for loss (8.5) and sacks (5.0).

OLE MISS-INDIANA SERIES HISTORY
• This game will mark the first meeting all-time between Ole Miss and Indiana.
• The Rebels will take on a current Big Ten opponent for the third time in their bowl history.
• Ole Miss fell 35-3 to Michigan in the 1991 Gator Bowl and beat Nebraska, then part of the Big 12 Conference, 27-23 in the 2002 Independence Bowl.

RECENT BOWL SUCCESS
• Ole Miss is 11-2 on the field in its last 13 bowl games dating back to a 13-0 win over Air Force in the 1992 Liberty Bowl.
• The Rebels had a streak of six straight bowl wins snapped at the 2014 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl with a loss to TCU.
• Ole Miss’ only other loss in the last 13 came during the 2000 Music City Bowl, falling 49-38 to West Virginia.

OLE MISS EARNS 37TH ALL-TIME BOWL APPEARANCE
• The 2021 Outback Bowl appearance will mark Ole Miss’ 37th all-time bowl appearance, which is 25th on the all-time NCAA Division I list … It will be the Rebels first-ever time playing in the Outback Bowl.
• The Rebels have actually appeared in 37 bowl games already, with the Outback to be the 38th, but the appearance  and win in the 2013 BBVA Compass Bowl was vacated due to NCAA ruling.
• Ole Miss is 23-13 in bowl games, with the 23 wins ranked for 16th-most in history … Original record is 24-13.
• The Rebels’ .639 winning percentage in bowl games ranks second-best nationally behind USC (.642) among teams with at least 25 appearances.

REBEL-HOOSIER CONNECTIONS
• Indiana head coach Tom Allen served as linebackers and special teams coach at Ole Miss from 2012-14.
• IU offensive coordinator Grant Heard was a four-year letterwinner for the Rebels and had two separate stints on the coaching staff at his alma mater … Heard served as an offensive graduate assistant during the 2005 and 2006 seasons, and then he coached wide receivers at Ole Miss from 2012-16.
• Kane Wommack, Indiana’s defensive coordinator, worked for his father and former Rebel defensive coordinator Dave Wommack, as an Ole Miss graduate assistant from 2012-2013.
• Current Indiana assistant coach Jason Jones spent time on the Ole Miss staff for five seasons (2013-18) working with defensive backs and safeties … Jones was also on Lane Kiffin’s staff at FAU during the 2019 season.
• Lee Wilbanks, Indian’s senior director of recruiting, spent 2016-18 as the Rebels’ assistant athletics director for player personnel and 2013-15 as the coordinator of recruiting development at Ole Miss.
• TE D’Vaughn Pennamon was teammates with Indiana’s Mackenzie Nworah and Alfred Bryant at Manvel HS in Texas.
• Ty Fryfogle, the leading receiver for Indiana is from Lucedale, Mississippi, and his father Trey Fryfogle played at Ole Miss from 2000-02.

MOORE, YEBOAH END OLE MISS CAREERS 
Prior to Ole Miss’ game against LSU, WR Elijah Moore and TE Kenny Yeboah elected to forgo the remaining games of their Rebel football careers in order to begin preparation for the 2021 NFL Draft. Moore, a finalist for Biletnikoff Award, currently leads the country in both receiving yards (149.1) and receptions per game (10.8). He ranks No. 16 nationally with eight receiving touchdowns and No. 12 in all-purpose yards (158.3 ypg). Moore’s 1,193 receiving yards this season ranks No. 3 in Ole Miss’ single season record books. Yeboah has hauled in 27 catches for 524 yards and six touchdowns in his lone season at Ole Miss after transferring in from Temple. Yeboah’s receiving yards and six receiving TDs rank eighth and fifth respectively amongst FBS tight ends.

REBELS ADD NEW DEFENSIVE ADDITION FOR FINAL FEW GAMES OF 2020
Defensive back and Georgia transfer Otis Reese was recently granted a transfer waiver and ruled eligible to play the remaining two games of the 2020 regular season, plus the Rebels’ bowl game vs. Indiana. Reese has earned the start in both games he’s seen action. In his season debut vs. Mississippi State, Reese tallied eight total tackles and one pass breakup vs. the Bulldogs. He followed that up with six total tackles in Ole Miss’ regular season finale at LSU.

CORRAL NAMED MANNING AWARD FINALIST
Ole Miss sophomore quarterback Matt Corral was recently named as one of 12 finalists for the Manning Award on Thursday. The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that takes the candidates’ bowl performances into consideration in its balloting. Corral currently ranks top 10 nationally in passing yards (2,955), passing TDs (27), completion percentage (.713), passing efficiency (182.2) and yards per pass attempt (10.6).

RETURN OF THE MAC
Punter Mac Brown is no stranger on Rebel special teams. The senior from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, has appeared in 37 career games for Ole Miss and continues to be a special weapon for the Rebels. Brown is averaging 46.4 yards per punt, with 10 punts greater than 50 yards.

REBELS SIGN TOP 20 CLASS ON EARLY SIGNING DAY
The first full recruiting class of the Lane Kiffin era is off to a strong start as the Ole Miss football team inked 24 signees for the Class of 2021 and closed the day at No. 18 in the team rankings by both 247Sports and Rivals. The Rebels boast 12 signees with a four-star rating and 12 three-star prospects according to the national recruiting services. Of the 24 total signees, 16 will be mid-year enrollees and will get a head start on their careers in Oxford.

MAC BROWN RAISES OVER 100K FOR ALS RESEARCH
When he was in seventh grade, Ole Miss punter Mac Brown had a modest goal of raising $500 for a childhood friend’s   dad who had been diagnosed with ALS. Along with a group of neighborhood friends, Brown started a lemonade stand, Awesome Lemonade Stand, in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, to help his friend’s family. Eight years later, that $500 goal has ballooned to over $100,000 raised by Brown and his friends for ALS research. The Awesome Lemonade Stand is held on a late day in June, and this year’s fundraiser raised more than $30,000 alone.

MOORE ADDS BILETNIKOFF FINALIST TO 2020 RESUME
WR Elijah Moore was recently named one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s most outstanding pass catcher. Moore, who elected to forgo the remaining games of his Rebel football careers in order to begin preparation for the 2021 NFL Draft, leads the nation in receiving yards per game (149.1) and receptions per game (10.8). The Biletnikoff Award candidate is No. 16 nationally with eight receiving touchdowns and No. 12 in all-purpose yards (158.3 ypg).

BROWN NAMED TO SEC COMMUNITY SERVICE TEAM
Ole Miss senior punter Mac Brown was selected to the Southeastern Conference Community Service team, the league office announced Thursday. The SEC names a Community Service Team for each of its 21 league-sponsored sports, looking to highlight an athlete from each school who gives back to his community through superior service efforts.

REBEL DEBUTS
Twenty-two different Rebels have made their Ole Miss debuts this season: Eli Acker (OL), Derek Bermudez (DB), Marc Britt (DB), Jakivuan Brown (LB), Kentrel Bullock (RB), Demon Clowney (OLB), Carter Colquitt (OL), Lakevias Daniel (DB), Jalen Denton (DB), Daylen Gill (LB), Cedric Johnson (OLB), Austin Keys (LB), Deane Leonard (DB), Brandon Mack (OLB), Henry Parrish Jr. (RB), Otis Reese (DB), Jamar Richardson (DB), Tavius Robinson (OLB), Chase Rogers (TE), Urriah Shephard (RB), Jakwaize Walker (DB), Kenny Yeboah (TE).

FIRST-TIME STARTERS
Sixteen different Rebels have started their first game in an Ole Miss uniform this season: Nick Broeker (OL), Sincere David (NT), A.J. Finley (FS), Daylen Gill (LB), Jakorey Hawkins (CB), KD Hill (NT), Jeremy James (OL), Casey Kelly (TE), Deane Leonard (CB), Brandon Mack (Buck), Reece McIntyre (OL), Hal Northern (DE), Otis Reese (DB), Tavius Robinson (Buck), Caleb Warren (OL), Kenny Yeboah (TE). QB John Rhys Plumlee, who started eight games at quarterback in 2019, registered his first career start at wide receiver in the season opener vs. Florida.

4TH AND GOING FOR IT 
On average, Ole Miss goes for it on fourth down 3.4 times per game, the most of any team in the country. Ole Miss has 31 fourth down attempts on the season, the fourth-most in the country and the most by any team who has played nine games or less. The Rebels are 20 for 31 on fourth down conversions (.645) in 2020.

STRONGER TOGETHER INITIATIVE 
During the 2020-21 academic year, college and university athletics programs in Mississippi will incorporate a special logo on their uniforms, equipment, warm-up gear or bags. The logo will serve as a visual representation of the state’s schools coming together and will feature school-specific branding with the words “Stronger Together” inside the outline of Mississippi. Alcorn State, Blue Mountain College, Delta State, Jackson State, Millsaps College, Mississippi College, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Southern Miss, Millsaps College, Mississippi University for Women, Mississippi Valley State, Rust College, Tougaloo College and William Carey University are among the schools that are taking part in the “Stronger Together” initiative this season.

SEC CREATES COUNCIL ON RACIAL EQUITY, SOCIAL JUSTICE
The Southeastern Conference recently announced the creation of the SEC Council on Racial Equity and Social Justice, a league-wide body consisting of a diverse group of student-athletes, administrators, coaches and SEC staff. LB MoMo Sanogo and punter Mac Brown will represent Ole Miss on the council that will identify resources, outline strategies and assist with implementation of efforts that, when taken together, will promote racial equity and social justice. The council will also foster diversity, helping overcome racism and pursuing non-discrimination in intercollegiate athletics.

OFFENSIVE NOTES
• Ole Miss ranks top 20 in the FBS in nine separate offensive categories: total offense (562.4), scoring offense (40.7), rushing  offense (217.7), passing offense (344.8), passing yards per completion (14.99), team passing efficiency (183.5), completion percentage (.714), first downs offense (249), and third down conv. (.504).
• The Rebels broke the SEC record for total offense in conference games (562.4 ypg), besting LSU’s mark of 550.0 yards per game set last season during the Tigers’ run to a national title.
• On average, Ole Miss goes for it on fourth down 3.4 times per game, the most of any team in the country.
• The Rebels have 184 plays of 10 or more yards and are the only team in the FBS with 155-plus such plays in nine or less games. • Six different Rebels have made their first career starts on offense this season: [Nick Broeker (OL), Jeremy James (OL), Casey Kelly (TE), Reece McIntyre (OL), Caleb Warren (OL), Kenny Yeboah (TE)].
• Seven offensive players have made their Ole Miss debut in 2020: [Eli Acker (OL), Kentrel Bullock (RB), Carter Colquitt (OL), Henry Parrish Jr. (RB), Chase Rogers (TE), Urriah Shephard (RB), Kenny Yeboah (TE).].
• WR Elijah Moore and TE Kenny Yeboah have elected to forgo the remaining games of their Rebel football careers in order to begin preparation for the 2021 NFL Draft.
• QB Matt Corral ranks No. 1 in FBS in total offense per game (384.9.9) No. 5 in passing yards per game (332.8), No. 6 in passing TDs (27), No. 8 in passing yards per completion (14.9) and No. 8 in passing efficiency (182.2).
• Corral needs just five more yards to become just the fifth Rebel ever to pass for more than 3,000 yards in a season.
• RB Jerrion Ealy’s nine rushing touchdowns are the fifth-most in the SEC and No. 22 in FBS.
• Ealy recently earned third team All-America honors from Pro Football Focus and All-SEC second team honors from the league’s coaches, Associated Press and PFF.
• WR Dontario Drummond ranks No. 8 in the SEC with six receiving touchdowns on the season.

DEFENSIVE NOTES
• The Rebel defense has forced a turnover in eight of its nine games this season.
• DB A.J. Finley leads the Rebels with three interceptions on the season.
• LB Jacquez Jones ranks No. 13 in the SEC with 7.8 tackles per game.
• Ten different Rebels have made their first career starts on defense this season: [Sincere David (NT), A.J. Finley (FS), Daylen Gill (LB), Jakorey Hawkins (CB), KD Hill (NT), Deane Leonard (CB), Brandon Mack (Buck), Hal Northern (DE), Otis Reese (DB), Tavius Robinson (Buck)].
• Fifteen defensive players have made their Ole Miss debut this season: [Derek Bermudez (DB), Marc Britt (DB), Jakivuan Brown (LB), Demon Clowney (OLB), Lakevias Daniel (DB), Jalen Denton (DB), Daylen Gill (LB), Cedric Johnson (OLB), Austin Keys (LB), Deane Leonard (DB), Brandon Mack (OLB), Otis Reese (DB), Jamar Richardson (DB), Tavius Robinson (OLB), Jakwaize Walker (DB)].

SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
• P Mac Brown is averaging 46.4 yards per punt.
• Ten of Brown’s 24 punts have gone for 50 or more yards.
• K Luke Logan currently sits fourth in the Ole Miss career record books in PATs (132) and fifth in points kicking (249).
• Jerrion Ealy has two career kick returns for touchdowns, including a 100-yard return vs. LSU … It was the sixth 100-yard touchdown return in school history and  the longest since 2012 (Jaylen Walton vs. Texas, 100 yards).
• Ole Miss ranks No. 14 nationally in kickoff return defense (17.1) and No. 24 in kick return average (23.8).