OXFORD – Ole Miss has gotten back in the rankings and has won four straight games.
Winning a fifth one would be really special for the Rebels.
No. 8 Missouri is in town for a 6:45 p.m., ESPN kick on Saturday.
Since splitting with top-10 teams Texas A&M and LSU in the first two games of a six-game homestand, the Rebels have talked about trying to win out.
They became bowl eligible against Arkansas, tacked on a win last week against Troy and have a chance to elevate their bowl standing in their final two games. They finish at rival Mississippi State on Thanksgiving night.
“These next two weeks will be big for us. They will decide a lot,” junior cornerback Senquez Golson said.
“We had some games that we didn’t play as well in that we could have been in,” quarterback Bo Wallace said. “This is kind of our redemption … our redemption game that we can go back and see how good we are.”
No. 24 Ole Miss (7-3, 3-3 SEC) reentered the rankings in the Associated Press Top 25 on Sunday after a 51-21 win over Troy.
Missouri’s rise has been marked by its defense. The Tigers (9-1, 5-1 SEC) have withstood an injury to their starting quarterback with a defense that leads the SEC in sacks, tackles for loss – DE Michael Sam is tops in both individual categories – and turnover margin.
Sam has three career three-sack games and is two sacks from becoming the Tigers’ career leader.
Missouri, in its second year in the league, controls its destiny with regard to the East Division championship and a spot in the SEC championship game.
“This is an exciting week for us,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said. “You get in this game as a coach and as a player at this level to play in exciting atmospheres and against great competition.”