Last year, the Ole Miss Spring game, known as the Grove Bowl, was canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic. So this will be the first scrimmage under the Lane Kiffin coaching era. The game will be played Saturday at 4 p.m. CT in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Earlier this week, Kiffin explained how the game will have a similar format to some of the Rebels open practices: first-team offense and second-team defense will be on one team against the second-team offense and first-team defense. The remaining players will then be divided up via a draft.
“We work on that actually today and tomorrow after this practice here to make sure with injuries and medical report we’ll have that,” Kiffin said Tuesday. He was also asked if he believes there is any value in holding a Spring game or if it was simply another practice in his eyes.
“I think the only difference is just to see if kids get nervous. It’s a little more like a game, obviously, with some crowd and more build-up to it, anxiety,” Kiffin responded. “So, I think that sometimes you can see that with guys you haven’t played before to see how (they perform). Some guys just play better in an atmosphere like that and some guys struggle. I think that’s the difference.”
Questions To Be Answered
What about QB2?
Earlier this month, SEC Network asked the Twittersphere one question:
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) April 6, 2021
In one year under Kiffin and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach, Jeff Lebby, Corral finished with 3,843 yard and 33 touchdowns. I think that answer is yes. But what about the quarterbacks behind him? Luke Altmeyer, a true freshman, enrolled at the beginning of the year and sophomore Kinkead Dent has made strides, while John Rhys Plumlee’s future remains unknown as he is playing baseball.
Freshmen Braylon Brown and J.J. Henry will arrive this summer, however as of Saturday, wide receivers Jonathan Mingo, Dontario Drummond, Dennis Jackson, and Jadon Jackson will be the ones to watch for in the spring scrimmage.
Last season, kicker Luke Logan was just 6-of-10, kicking only one beyond 30 yards. While Logan has since graduated, Cale Nation and Land Gebhart are the only kickers on the Ole Miss roster. Caden Costa will join in the Fall. It remains yet to be seen who lines up to kick this Saturday or this upcoming season.
The biggest question for Ole Miss football right now is the defense. While the Grove Bowl is not an in-depth look at the defensive efforts in its entirety, it will be interesting to see what happens on that side of the ball on Saturday. Where will safeties coach, Chris Partridge, and linebackers coach, D.J. Durkin, place JUCO transfers Isaiah Iton and Jamond Gordon?
Ole Miss Grove Bowl Game Day Info
Admission is free for the annual scrimmage, and there is no capacity limit. The game will kick off at 4 p.m. CT at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. It will be televised by SEC Network+ with announcers Dave Neal and D.J. Shockley. Ole Miss Radio Network will broadcast the game across its full affiliate list. Gates will open to family, fans, and prospects one hour prior to kickoff. Fans are required to wear a face covering upon entry into the facility, while walking around, and may only remove them when at their seat. Hand sanitizer stations and other safety measures from the fall remain in place. For complete fan information, visit www.olemissgameday.com/springfootball.