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College Football Preview 2024: Ole Miss Rebels win projections, strengths and weaknesses, quarterback spotlight and more

2WA2RAA ATLANTA, GA ? DECEMBER 30: Ole Miss quarterback Jaxson Dart (2) leads the team onto the field prior to the start of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl game between the Ole Miss Rebels and the Penn State Nittany Lions on December 30th, 2023 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

Last season, Ole Miss won 11 games for the first time in program history. But even after a historic season, 2023 still feels like a mere appetizer for what the Rebels can accomplish in 2024.

Lane Kiffin will be back with most of the top offensive talent from last year’s team, including quarterback Jaxson Dart, wide receiver Tre Harris and tight end Caden Prieskorn. All three are among the top-10 players at their respective positions.

The Rebels were also one of the biggest winners from the transfer portal, completely revamping their defense with stars like edge defender Princely Umanmielen and interior defensive lineman Walter Nolen.

Ole Miss should be seen as a legitimate contender to not only make the College Football Playoff but also make a deep run.


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Biggest Strength: A top-tier quarterback with elite skill-position players

Ole Miss has a top-10 quarterback in Jaxson Dart, the second-best receiving corps in the country and a top-five running back unit, even after losing Quinshon Judkins. With Lane Kiffin drawing up plays, the Rebels offense should be incredibly difficult to handle.

Biggest Weakness: Will the offensive line hold up?

The only area of concern offensively is the big guys up front. Ole Miss’ offensive line ranked just 105th in PFF grade as a unit last season. All four additions in the transfer portal posted sub-65.0 PFF grades last year, with three falling below the 60.0 mark.

2023 Team Overview

Offense
EPA per play Yards per play Successful play rate Explosive run play rate Explosive pass play rate
0.134 6.5 38.5% 17.0% 22.8%
18th T-21st 33rd 46th 1st
Defense
EPA allowed per play Yards allowed per play Successful play rate allowed Explosive run rate allowed Explosive pass rate allowed
-0.033 5.5 34.2% 14.7% 14.3%
57th T-63rd 57th 57th 70th

Three Notable Transfer Portal Additions

  • EDGE Princely Umanmielen (Florida): 76.5 PFF grade
  • DI Walter Nolen (Texas A&M): 72.5 PFF grade
  • WR Antwane “Juice” Wells Jr. (South Carolina): 58.6 PFF grade

Three Notable Transfer Portal Losses

  • RB Quinshon Judkins (Ohio State): 83.4 PFF grade
  • WR Zakhari Franklin (Illinois): 54.4 PFF grade
  • S Isheem Young (North Texas): 61.1 PFF grade

Quarterback Spotlight: Jaxson Dart

2023 Grade: 91.2
Key Stat: 1,412 passing yards and 12 TD on intermediate throws (both second in the Power Five)

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