About the only bright spot on former head coach Ed Orgeron’s resume at Ole Miss was three straight wins over Memphis with two of those coming at the Liberty Bowl.
While that sounds good on paper, fans that watched the games know that Orgeron could have lost all three just as easily as he won them. The wins included a four point win in 2005, a three point win in 2006, and two point win last year. In each game, the Rebels had to fight off late fourth quarter drives or storming comebacks.
Memphis finished 7-5 in the regular season last year and had impressive road wins over Southern Miss in Hattiesburg and at Rice, but lost a couple it could have won including at Arkansas State and at home against Middle Tennessee.
With Memphis having 18 returning starters, new Rebel head coach Houston Nutt’s debut at Ole Miss appears set to be anything but a cake walk.
Still Memphis has some holes. On offense, the strengths appear to be three returning starters on the offensive line and perhaps one of the best wide receiver corps in the country led by junior Duke Calhoun, who Ole Miss recruited hard, but lost out to the Tigers. Calhoun is joined by 6-foot-8 Carlos Singleton and 6-foot-4 Maurice Jones – a tall group that Ole Miss had difficulty defending last year when Memphis racked up 343 yards through the air against the Rebels.