The Rebels, it appears, are developing a personality. They've won the last two weeks with an offense that was supposed to gradually gain footing while the defense did the dirty work.
Instead, defense has been sporadic, big points have been allowed, and were it not for the offense scoring big points the last two weeks, things could be a lot worse.
Instead, an offense that was itself erratic in three games has made strides on the offensive line and has sent messages that it may be turning a corner.
The Rebels have rushed for 646 yards over the past two weeks and now rank second in the SEC with 232 yards a game.
More importantly transfer quarterback Jeremiah Masoli had his first turnover-free game in the 42-35 win over Kentucky, and the defense that has given up yards and points was at least opportunistic, a higher level of physical play leading to three forced turnovers.
The Rebels have scored 97 points the last two weeks against defenses better than they faced in the first three. Tests in the coming weeks will be much more revealing. Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt, however, approaches the meat of the schedule with this thought in mind.
"We can score more," Nutt said Saturday as he all but apologized for how little he's involved a productive group of receivers.
The passing game will expand, he says. Masoli has been effective when asked to make throws, and he'll be asked to make them more next week at No. 1 Alabama.
With two weeks to prepare and Nutt's itch to get his receivers the ball, a new wrinkle against the Crimson Tide, an offensive look as yet not shown, is practically a given - and is necessary.
Back in August, many looked at the Ole Miss schedule and thought "fast start," meaning 4-1 or for the extremely hopeful 5-0.
The Rebels are perhaps just one game off their pace.
But it's been an unforeseen path to 3-2, a taxing bout with the NCAA over the certification of Masoli, then embarrassment in the opener against I-AA Jacksonville State, key players on both sides of the line losing time to injury and on defense, the season-ending loss of end Kentrell Lockett, arguably their best player.
A lot of emotion has been spent in five games, and the Rebels truly need this bye week to regroup mentally as well as physically.
What remains is a workable road map to six wins and bowl-eligibility, a goal no doubt lower than the vision many had in place when Masoli was added on offense to support what was supposed to be a pretty solid defense.
The reality is Nutt's third season at Ole Miss is a transitional one, his key inherited players gone, his key recruits taking on new roles. Rebuilding is such an ugly word, but it fits.
If the Rebels can win the remaining games in which they're evenly matched or slightly favored - and if Nutt can find the "unexpected" win he's found many times before - a season that once had train wreck potential can find a comforting postseason depot. And if the train keeps chugging till late December the route it took to get there will become less important.
For now, though, December is a long way away, and October and November beckon with traps and pitfalls.
This much we know at the open date. A personality is coming into view, and the Rebels are not who we thought they were.
Parrish Alford (email@example.com) covers Ole Miss for the Daily Journal. He blogs daily about Ole Miss athletics at NEMS360.com.