What’s to like
Things have to start with the two coordinator hires that Matt Luke made in the offseason. There is talent on the roster, though some spots are much younger and thinner than others. So, with new hires, and thus a new direction, on both sides of the ball the hope that lies buried beneath the talent has a chance to shine.
Then there’s Scottie Phillips, who almost rushed passed the thousand-yard mark in 2018, despite injury keeping him out of more than a game and a half. He is the piece Rich Rodriguez’s new run-heavy spread will have to feature, at least early on.
It does look like now the Rebels will get the services of five star running back Jerrion Ealy who arrived on campus, and that will give the Rebs a one, two punch like they haven’t had in a number of years at running back.
Defensively, the Rebels should be better than expected, with many faces back at all three levels, plus a new 3-4 scheme to boot. The offense is still talented at receiver, though the new faces of the nWo are hardly recognizable even to the polished recruiting buff. And quarterback Matt Corral brings the chance that his personality could bleed into the fabric of this team if he has enough success.
What to be concerned about
There’s plenty to be said here. For starters, the offensive line will be replacing starters at left tackle, left guard and center. That position will have to be nearly completely rebuilt, all while a young offense finds its footing.
The defense faced a collection of injuries last season, which led to overly-poor results. But that side of the ball is still full of guys that have to step up and show they can play, despite having many familiar faces back.
What the HourGlass says
According to HourGlass projections, it could be a long year for the Rebels. Like Houston Nutt-era long. The HG says the Rebels will finish 3-9, with just one SEC victory, good enough for last in the SEC West.