Coach Johnny Vaught arrived at Mississippi in 1947 and forthwith converted the Rebels into a perennial Southeastern Conference contender. This year Ole Miss wound up second in the tough SEC behind bowl-ineligible Auburn and thus earned its fourth major bowl bid in six years. The Rebs are a fast, relatively light split-T team, using flankers liberally. Their running average of 305 yards per game was one of the best in the country this year. Yet the offense tends to bog down close to the goal line when the going is tough. Defensively, Ole Miss with its 5-4 basic alignment is superb, having yielded only eight TDs all year, but is vulnerable to the long pass. The first two units are about the same offensively, but the second is weaker on defense.
MEN TO WATCH
6 ft. 1 in., 190 lbs.
As the SEC leader in total offense, he must be watched both as a passer and runner. He is a truly adept ball handler and will frequently fool both the spectator and TV camera. Does team punting. Tackles hard on defense but can be outrun and fooled with good pass patterns.
68 LEFT GUARD
6 ft., 202 lbs.
This All-America is just about the ideal college guard—too big to be overpowered yet small enough to move quickly. As defensive linebacker he has been in on nearly half his team's tackles this year. He starts plenty of fumbles with his arm tackles and recovers a lot with his alert reactions.
32 RIGHT HALF
5 ft. 10� in., 177 lbs.
This 19-year-old sophomore has inherited the starting assignment of the Rebs' great Billy Lott, who broke his collarbone against Tennessee. He is very fast and an elusive hip-swinger who is hard to get a solid crack at. He may hurt the team a bit on pass defense through lack of experience.
79 RIGHT TACKLE
6 ft. 2 in., 225 lbs.
One of the best SEC tackles, he is quicker and faster than many backs. His hair-trigger charge from scrimmage gives him a huge advantage on offense. His blocking can be heard in the stands, but also watch him occasionally trap a defensive guard or tackle. Slides expertly with the play on defense.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]