As Ole Miss camp begins Thursday why not look even further ahead with a few notes on Memphis …
In spite of recent success for Memphis and the projections by many that this could be the best Tigers team ever, there are some similarities.
Quarterback is not one. Memphis is established there with fourth-year junior Brady White – an Arizona State graduate -- who threw for 3,296 yards with 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions last year, his first with the Tigers.
Ole Miss will start redshirt freshman Matt Corral.
However, like Ole Miss, Memphis will have new offensive and defensive coordinators in their first game.
The Tigers lost their top running back in Darrell Henderson but return Patrick Taylor, a big back, who rushed for 1,122 yards and 16 touchdowns a year ago.
Behind Taylor the Tigers, like Ole Miss, have a collection of promising but unproven players.
White has a couple of solid targets in WR Damonte Coxie and TE Joey Magnifico but not a lot of proven WR depth.
Both teams are rebuilding on the offensive line. Ole Miss could be rebuilding a little more than expected if Alex Givens doesn’t make it back for the first game.
On the other side, a Memphis defense that was just OK last year returns a lot of people.
Ole Miss’ coordinator hires have been around the block more than Memphis’. If Ole Miss is going to reach or surpass six wins these guys are going to have to make quick impacts and in some cases do more with less.
That applies to Rodriguez in the opener as he runs his offense with a redshirt freshman QB, not an established starter with a degree in business.
A side note …
When college football opens in the Mid-South the quarterbacks will be two guys who played high school ball less than an hour from one another on the outskirts of Los Angeles.