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Florida players, including quarterback Kyle Trask (11), celebrate in front of fans after defeating Florida State in an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Gators Set to Take on Rebels in Season Opener

The Florida Gators are set to kick off their much anticipated season on Saturday when they travel to Oxford, Mississippi, to take on the Ole Miss Rebels. It will be the first meeting between the two squads in over five years.

High Expectations

There has been a lot of offseason noise surrounding this year’s Gator football team. But this was been in a positive way. After back-t0-back New Year’s Six Bowl appearances and victories, Florida has suddenly found itself back in the media spotlight heading into 2020.

The roster sees numerous talent returning, including starting quarterback Kyle Trask. Because this, Florida has been tabbed by many as a sneaky College Football Playoff team come the end of the season.

In addition to playoff hype, the Gators are also getting a lot of love for conference performance as well. Preseason predictions for the SEC were released on Wednesday. For the first time in over 10 years, Florida was voted as the favorite to finish on top of the SEC East.

All eyes look towards the Gators as they take on the Rebels, but Trask said he’s not getting caught up in all the outside talk and is focusing on his role with the team.

Florida head coach Dan Mullen is eager to see how his team will look when it takes the field on Saturday and what the environment will be like.

Mullen will once again be bringing his Gators’ football team to the state of Mississippi. But this time, it will be against a different opponent looking to start fresh with a new head coach with some SEC experience under his belt.

Scouting the Rebels

Lane Kiffin will make his debut as Ole Miss head coach after spending three years at Florida Atlantic University. Kiffin brings four years of SEC experience and nine years of head coaching experience to the Rebels. He takes over a team that finished the 2019 season with a record of (4-8, 2-6).

Nick Suss is an Ole Miss beat writer for the Clarion Ledger. He noted some of the changes this Rebels’ squad has gone through during the offseason, which included bringing in a new coaching staff.

Furthermore, Suss also talked about some of the defensive and offensive changes within the team, as well. He pointed out two specific players Ole Miss will try to run its offense through this season.

The Rebels will also look to lean on their two returning sophomore quarterbacks in Matt Corral and John Rhys Plumlee. Corral finished his freshman season with 1,362 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions.

Plumlee finished 2019 just as well. He rushed for an SEC-leading 1,023 yards along with 12 touchdowns on the ground.

Many expect Ole Miss to play both quarterbacks in Saturday’s game. So, it will be interesting to see what Florida has dialed up defensively. It will also be intriguing to see how the Gators come out given all the preseason hype surrounding them in the offseason. Kickoff is set for noon on ESPN.

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