Phil Longo’s first season as Ole Miss’ offensive coordinator served as affirmation that there’d be no departure from the high-flying unit Oxford had grown accustomed to in the Freeze era. In a year dominated by bigger headlines both on and (mostly) off the field, one of the more overlooked areas of improvement was a revamped ground game—the Rebels cracked the top 35 in both rushing efficiency and explosiveness in 2017.
Much of Ole Miss’ 2017 ground success could be attributed to a veteran offensive line and the hiring of former NFL coach Jack Bicknell. It may have also had something to do with the resurgence of senior Jordan Wilkins, who became the team’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Dexter McCluster in 2009.
Wilkins is now an Indianapolis Colt, and the Rebels will have to pick up the pieces with a group of capable, but unproven group of backs.


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