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2017 Ole Miss Rebels football team

The 2017 Ole Miss Rebels football team represented the University of Mississippi in the 2017 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Rebels played their home games at Vaught–Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi and competed in the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). They were led by then-interim head coach Matt Luke. They finished the season 6–6, 3–5 in SEC play to finish in sixth place in the Western Division.

2017 Ole Miss Rebels football
Ole Miss Rebels logo.svg
ConferenceSoutheastern Conference
DivisionWestern Division
2017 record6–6 (3–5 SEC)
Head coachMatt Luke (1st season)
Offensive coordinatorPhil Longo (1st season)
Defensive coordinatorWesley McGriff (1st;2nd overall season)
Co-defensive coordinatorJason Jones (5th season)
Home stadiumVaught–Hemingway Stadium (Capacity: 64,038)
Seasons
← 2016
2018 →
2017 SEC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
East Division
No. 2 Georgia x$^   7 1         13 2  
South Carolina   5 3         9 4  
Kentucky   4 4         7 6  
Missouri   4 4         7 6  
Florida   3 5         4 7  
Vanderbilt   1 7         5 7  
Tennessee   0 8         4 8  
West Division
No. 10 Auburn xy   7 1         10 4  
No. 1 Alabama x#^   7 1         13 1  
No. 18 LSU   6 2         9 4  
No. 19 Mississippi State   4 4         9 4  
Texas A&M   4 4         7 6  
Ole Miss*   3 5         6 6  
Arkansas   1 7         4 8  
Championship: Georgia 28, Auburn 7
    1. – College Football Playoff champion
  • ^ – College Football Playoff participant
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
  • y – Championship game participant
  • *Ole Miss ineligible for postseason due to NCAA sanctions
Rankings from AP Poll

On February 22, 2017, the University of Mississippi self-imposed a one-year ban from post-season play on the Ole Miss football team for the 2017 season, due to alleged NCAA violations.[1] On July 20, 2017, head coach Hugh Freeze resigned in the wake of allegations about repeated calls to a female escort service from his school-issued cell phone. He was given the ultimatum, either resign or be fired.

RosterEdit

2017 Ole Miss Rebels Football

Wide Receiver

  • 1 A. J. Brown - SO-1L
  • 4 Tre Nixon -   FR
  • 5 Demarkus Lodge - JR-2L
  • 11 Markell Pack - SR-3L
  • 12 Van Jefferson - SO-1L
  • 14 D. K. Metcalf - SO-1L
  • 27 Cale Luke - SR-2L
  • 80 Josh Ricketts - FR-HS
  • 81 Trey Bledsoe - SR-3L
  • 82 Jared Farlow - FR-HS
  • 85 Alex Weber - JR-2L
  • 86 Walker Rynd -   FR
  • 88 Garrett Styles - FR-HS

Center & Long Snapper

  • 57 Chadwick Lamar - JR-2L
  • 58 Mike Taylor - SO-Sq
  • 61 Eli Johnson -   FR

Offensive Lineman

  • 50 Sean Rawlings - JR-2L
  • 52 Michael Howard - SO-1L
  • 54 Jack DeFoor -   FR
  • 54 Sam Johnson - SO-Sq
  • 67 Alex Givens - SO-1L
  • 68 Chandler Tuitt -   FR
  • 70 Jordan Sims - JR-2L
  • 71 Bryce Mathews -   FR
  • 72 Royce Newman -   FR
  • 73 Rod Taylor - SR-3L
  • 74 Greg Little - SO-1L
  • 76 Daronte Bouldin - SR-3L
  • 79 Javon Patterson - JR-2L

Tight End

  • 15 Octavious Cooley - SO-1L
  • 16 Jacob Mathis -   FR
  • 43 Ty Quick -   SR-3L
  • 83 Gabe Angel - Freshman
  • 84 Nick Haynes - Freshman
  • 85 Dawson Knox - SO-1L
 

Quarterback

  • 7 Jason Pellerin -   SO-1L
  • 13 Grant Restmeyer -   FR
  • 16 Graham Lindman - JR-JC
  • 20 Shea Patterson - SO-1L

Tailback

  • 21 Keshun Wells - SO-JC
  • 22 Jordan Wilkins - SR-2L
  • 26 Eugene Brazley - SR-3L
  • 24 Eric Swinney - SO-1L
  • 25 D.K. Buford - JR-2L
  • 28 D'Vaughn Pennamon - SO-1L

Defensive Tackle

  • 9 Breeland Speaks - JR-2L
  • 52 Austrian Robinson -   SO-1L
  • 90 Ross Donelly - JR-2L
  • 95 Benito Jones - SO-1L
  • 96 Jordan Hebert - JR-2L
  • 99 Herbert Moore -   SR-3L

Defensive End

  • 14 Victor Evans - JR-2L
  • 19 Markel Winters - JR-JC
  • 34 Shawn Curtis -   SO-1L
  • 38 Marquis Haynes - Senior
  • 84 Ty Reyes -   FR
  • 89 Ryder Anderson - FR-HS
  • 97 Qaadir Sheppard -   SO-1L
  • 98 Charles Wiley -   FR

Punter

  • 94 Will Gleeson - SR-3L
  • 96 Mac Brown-   FR
 

Defensive Back

  • 2 Deontay Anderson- SO-1L
  • 4 C.J. Hampton - SR-3L
  • 5 Ken Webster - SR-3L
  • 7 Jalen Julius -   SO-1L
  • 15 Myles Hartsfield - SO-1L
  • 20 Jarrion Street -   SO-1L
  • 21 Javien Hamilton - JR-JC
  • 23 Breon Dixon - FR-HS
  • 25 Montrell Custis -   SO-1L
  • 26 C. J. Moore - JR-2L
  • 28 Cam Ordway - JR-2L
  • 29 Armani Linton - SO-1L
  • 30 A. J. Moore - SR-3L
  • 31 Jaylon Jones -   SO-1L
  • 32 Jerry Johnson - SO-JC
  • 36 Zedrick Woods -   JR-2L
  • 37 Art Mitchell - SO-HS
  • 39 Kweisi Fountain - SR-SQ.

Linebacker

  • 3 DeMarquis Gates - SR-3L
  • 17 Willie Hibbler - SO-1L
  • 22 Ray Ray Smith - SR-3L
  • 24 Tayler Polk - SR-3L
  • 35 Donta Evans -   FR
  • 41 Brenden Williams - SO-JC
  • 43 Detric Bing-Dukes-   JR-2L
  • 44 Alex Ashlock -   SR-3L
  • 48 Jack Raborn -   JR-2L
  • 80 Elliot Markuson - SR-3L

Place Kicker

  • 92 Luke Logan -   FR
  • 95 Isaac Way -   FR
  • 97 Gary Wunderlich - SR-3L

Sources: [1]-->

Depth chartEdit

RecruitingEdit

RecruitsEdit

The Rebels signed a total of 23 recruits.

PersonnelEdit

Coaching staffEdit

  • Matt Luke, Interim Head Coach
  • Phil Longo, Assistant Coach/Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
  • Wesley McGriff, Assistant Coach/Defensive Coordinator
  • Maurice Harris, Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator For Offense/Tight Ends
  • Jason Jones, Assistant Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator/Secondary
  • Jack Bicknell Jr., Assistant Coach/Offensive Line
  • Derrick Nix, Assistant Coach/Running Backs
  • Jacob Peeler, Assistant Coach/Wide Receivers
  • Bradley Dale Peveto, Assistant Coach/Linebackers and Special Teams
  • Freddie Roach, Assistant Coach/Defensive Line[3]

Coaching staff changesEdit

After the conclusion of the 2016 season, adjustments throughout the coaching staff were made. After defensive coordinator Dave Wommack announced his retirement from coaching,[4] offensive coordinator Dan Werner was fired.[5] The team would hire Wesley McGriff to replace Wommack as the defensive coordinator, Jacob Peeler to replace Grant Heard as the wide receivers coach, Tray Scott to replace Chris Kiffin as the defensive line coach, and Wesley McGriff (who took over as the defensive coordinator) to also coach the safeties, replacing safeties coach Corey Batoon. Also, assistant athletics director Barney Farrar was relieved of his duties.[6]

NCAA investigationEdit

Following a lengthy investigation, the NCAA issued a Notice of Allegations against the Ole Miss football program in January 2016. The university announced that it had received an amended Notice of Allegations on February 22, 2017.

In total, the NCAA brought 21 distinct charges against the football program, individual coaches and athletic department officials, and boosters. These include fifteen Level I violations (the most serious).[7]

Four of the eleven Level I violations occurred or involved coaches employed prior to Coach Hugh Freeze's tenure. The Level I offenses include:

  • Two former coaches conspired with an ACT testing supervisor to manipulate tests so prospective players could qualify.[8]
  • Coaches arranged for a booster to provide "free housing, meals and transportation to then football prospective student-athletes" in connection with a program established to help prospects qualify under NCAA guidelines.[9]
  • A "huddle leader" who was also a booster under NCAA guidelines provided numerous impermissible benefits to three prospects in 2012 and 2013, including paying for several trips to Ole Miss, lodging, game tickets and concessions, merchandise, tutoring assistance, and ACT exam preparation.[9]
  • A booster gave a football player's family member $800.[9]
  • A booster provided at least three different prospects with free athletic merchandise.[9]
  • A hotel owner in Oxford provided impermissible lodging to various prospects and their friends and family members.[10][9]
  • Two boosters (Boosters 12 and 14) had several improper contacts with a prospect (Student-Athlete 39) and made multiple cash payments to him, totaling between $13,000 and $15,600. The NCAA alleges that an Ole Miss assistant athletic director "initiated and facilitated [Booster 12] and [Booster 14’s] recruiting contact and communication with [Student-Athlete 39], and knew at the time that [Booster 12] and [Booster 14] provided [Student-Athlete 39] with cash payments."[9]
  • This assistant athletic director intentionally misled the NCAA concerning these allegations.[9]
  • Hugh Freeze "violated NCAA head coach responsibility legislation as he is presumed responsible" for 16 violations "and did not rebut that presumption."[9]
  • "[B]etween May and June 2010 and from May 2012 through January 2016, the institution failed to exercise institutional control and monitor the conduct and administration of its athletics program."[9]

Ole Miss announced several self-imposed penalties in May 2017, including a post-season ban in 2017, three years of probation, a reduction of 11 scholarships, and a variety of recruiting restrictions.[7][11]

The NCAA Committee on Infractions hearing concluded on September 12, 2017.[12]

ScheduleEdit

Ole Miss announced its 2017 football schedule on September 13, 2016. The 2017 schedule consists of 7 home and 5 away games in the regular season. The Rebels will host SEC foes Arkansas, LSU, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt, and will travel to Alabama, Auburn, Kentucky, and Mississippi State.[13]

The Rebels will host three of the four non-conference opponents, Louisiana–Lafayette (ULL) and South Alabama which are both in the Sun Belt Conference and Tennessee-Martin (UT Martin) from the Ohio Valley Conference and will travel to Berkeley to play their first ever Pac-12 Conference opponent, the California Golden Bears.

DateTimeOpponentSiteTVResultAttendance
September 26:30 p.m.South Alabama*ESPNUW 47–2762,532
September 911:00 a.m.UT Martin*
  • Vaught–Hemingway Stadium
  • Oxford, MS
SECNW 45–2360,476
September 169:30 p.m.at California*ESPNL 16–2737,125
September 308:00 p.m.at No. 1 AlabamaESPNL 3–66101,821
October 711:00 a.m.at No. 12 AuburnSECNL 23–4486,700
October 142:30 p.m.Vanderbilt 
  • Vaught–Hemingway Stadium
  • Oxford, MS (rivalry)
SECNW 57–3560,157
October 216:15 p.m.No. 24 LSU
ESPNL 24–4064,067
October 2811:00 a.m.Arkansas
  • Vaught–Hemingway Stadium
  • Oxford, MS (rivalry)
SECNL 37–3855,684
November 43:00 p.m.at KentuckySECNW 37–3455,665
November 1111:00 a.m.Louisiana–Lafayette*
  • Vaught–Hemingway Stadium
  • Oxford, MS
SECNW 50–2251,618
November 186:00 p.m.Texas A&M
  • Vaught–Hemingway Stadium
  • Oxford, MS
ESPN2L 24–3155,880
November 236:30 p.m.at No. 16 Mississippi StateESPNW 31–2859,345
  • *Non-conference game
  •  Homecoming
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to game
  • All times are in Central time
Schedule Source:[14]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Schlabach, Mark (February 22, 2017). "Ole Miss football self-imposes one-year postseason ban for 2017". ESPN. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "An updated look at Ole Miss football's depth chart". Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  3. ^ "Football Coaching Staff". CBS Interactive. May 1, 2017. Archived from the original on May 10, 2017. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  4. ^ "Ole Miss DC Dave Wommack to retire". Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  5. ^ "Ole Miss fires co-offensive coordinator Werner". Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  6. ^ "A full breakdown of Hugh Freeze's new coaching staff". Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Mississippi concludes NCAA infractions hearing". ESPN.com. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  8. ^ "The NCAA's 21 Ole Miss charges, ranked by zestiness". SBNation.com. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Information about NCAA Case | 2017 Notice of Allegations". athleticsworking.wp2.olemiss.edu. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  10. ^ "Ole Miss responds to NCAA NOA, imposes double-digit scholarship reduction in football". Red-Cup-Rebellion. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  11. ^ Thamel, Pete. "What will happen to Ole Miss, Hugh Freeze in NCAA case?". SI.com. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  12. ^ "Ole Miss completes its Committee on Infractions hearing, waits for ruling". The Clarion Ledger. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  13. ^ "2017 Ole Miss Football Schedule Announced" (Press release). University of Mississippi Department of Athletics. September 13, 2016. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  14. ^ "2017 Ole Miss Rebels Football Schedule". FB Schedules. Retrieved January 9, 2017.