Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News
BYU football team practices in front of several hundred eager fans Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011.

The Brigham Young University Cougars and the University of Mississippi Rebels will be facing each other for the first time in a football contest this Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:46 p.m. CDT, 2:46 p.m. MDT, from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Miss. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN, with Bob Wischusen and Bob Davie covering the play-by-play and color analyst roles respectively, with Jessica Mendoza on the sidelines. Television coverage will begin at 2:45 p.m. MDT and will also be rebroadcast on BYU-TV at 9:30 p.m. MDT.

Ole Miss has fielded a football team since 1890, first joining the South Eastern Conference (SEC) in 1932. It claimed three national titles under legendary coach John Vaught in 1959, 1960 and 1962. The Rebels have played in the Vaught-Hemingway Stadium (original called Hemingway Stadium) since its opening in 1915. In 2002, it was expanded to its current capacity of 60,580 (LaVell Edwards Stadium holds 63,725).

Ole Miss head coach Huston Nutt is in his third season leading the Rebels, during which time he has posted a 22-16 record. Prior to his time at Ole Miss, Nutt was head coach for the Arkansas Razorbacks (also a member of the SEC West Division with Ole Miss) from 1998-2007, Boise State in 1997 (this was the first season Boise State played in Division I for football) and Murray State from 1993-1996. He has a 133-86 record all time as head coach.

The University of Mississippi has several unique traditions surrounding its football program. The Grove, located in the center of the Ole Miss campus, is a legendary and extremely popular tailgating spot, with people often setting up the afternoon before. Frequently considered one of the best, if not the best, college football tailgating scenes in the country, tens of thousands of fans gather under red, white and blue tents and canopies with plenty of food, some even dressed in their Sunday best, serving elaborate meals with fine china and silverware. Several hours before kickoff, the football team makes its way through “The Walk of Champions,” which passes through the Grove and all the tailgaters.

Ole Miss also plays in the “Egg Bowl” game, formally known as the Battle for the Golden Egg. This annual game, played annually since 1927, is played each year against in-state rival Mississippi State during Thanksgiving weekend, the winning team claiming the coveted Golden Egg trophy.

Distinguished alumni of Ole Miss include former NFL quarterback Archie Manning and his son, current New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning; Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle and subject of the film “The Blind Side,” Michael Oher; and author John Grisham.

Ole Miss Quest for a Rebel Leader

Ole Miss Football has not fielded a mascot since 2003. This is their quest for a new one.

Chris Allen has a degree in electrical engineering from BYU and has four children. Contact him at or visit