Bowl berth is music to Rebels’ ears

By Parrish Alford

Daily Journal

OXFORD – Week-long speculation for Ole Miss about the Music City Bowl became official Sunday evening.

The Rebels will play in their second bowl game in two years under Hugh Freeze when they take on Georgia Tech on Dec. 30 at 2:15 p.m., on ESPN.

Both teams are 7-5.

The Rebels will return to the city where Jeff Scott’s 75-yard touchdown run lifted them to a 39-35 win over Vanderbilt on the season’s opening night.

It will also be the second of three games in Nashville in slightly more than a year. Ole Miss will open SEC play at Vanderbilt again in 2014, a necessary quirk to help balance the league schedule.



Unlike last season when the Rebels carried momentum into a Compass Bowl appearance in Birmingham this time they will use the bowl game to try and snap a two-game losing streak.

“None of us are happy with the way the season ended, but if you step back and look at the progress that has been made, particularly with the injuries we suffered this year … to look at the totality of the journey in two years we’re real pleased,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said.

One big difference in rising in the bowl pecking order is tickets.

They were plentiful last year, and with an easy drive Ole Miss fans dominated the landscape in a crowd of 59,135 at Legion Field.

The initial ticket allotment for the Music City Bowl – played at the Tennessee Titans L.P. Field – will be 12,000.

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Ole Miss says it has 126,000 alumni within a day’s drive of Nashville.

Athletics director Ross Bjork said the school will work to gain extra tickets as the process moves along.

“It’s hard to say we’ll have exactly what we did last year, but I know fans will gobble up tickets and support this team,” Bjork said. “They love Nashville, and they love what’s happening with this program. It’s a great time of year to be in the Music City.”

Ole Miss lost 49-38 to West Virginia in their first Music City Bowl, in 2000, as Eli Manning came off the bench to throw three TDs.

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