Ole Miss-Florida State tops ESPN slate

Ole Miss-Florida State tops ESPN slate

Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly grins in bemusement while Laquon Treadwell looks on after the Rebels beat Oklahoma State in the 2016 Sugar Bowl. (Source: AP/Bill Feig) Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly grins in bemusement while Laquon Treadwell looks on after the Rebels beat Oklahoma State in the 2016 Sugar Bowl. (Source: AP/Bill Feig)

Ole Miss vs. Florida State (Orlando, FL, Camping World Stadium)

(RNN) - This is not your 2015 Ole Miss football team.

Conversely, you could use last year’s Florida State depth chart and not miss much.

The Rebels lost Laquan Treadwell. He caught 83 balls for about 30 percent of Chad Kelly’s 4,032 yards.

They also lost offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil and defensive end Robert Nkemdiche.

These guys were so good they still went in the first round even though Tunsil got videoed smoking weed through a gas mask and Nkemdiche admitted he got so drunk he fell out of a fourth-floor hotel window in Atlanta.

Kelly is back as one of most electrifying quarterbacks in the college game – he ran for 500 yards and accounted for 10 more touchdowns with his legs. A good game here would improve his Heisman Trophy chances.

Treadwell will be catching passes for whoever winds up playing quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings. But Chad’s still got a flock of huge and ridiculously talented receivers to throw it to.

Florida State counters with seven returning defensive starters, including a bushel of defensive backs who are gigantic, fast and rotate in and out like they were on a carousel. 

Throw in a defensive front that will collapse a pocket in a heartbeat.

The Rebels have Rod Taylor, a converted guard, starting in place of Tunsil at left tackle. Three other new guys will join him.

Florida State has 10 starters back on offense, but the one guy who isn’t is quarterback Deondre Francois, who is also the only freshman.

When in doubt, he can hand it to Dalvin Cook, who last year gained about 1,700 yards, more than any other Florida State running back ever, ever - and Warrick Dunn was a Seminole back in the day.

FSU coaches are certainly aware that the Rebels had to replace every single one of the front five starters. These kids are good, but green as five big, old gourds.

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