As Lane Kiffin heads into his third season at Ole Miss, here are a few questions he’s likely to hear during his 2022 SEC Media Days session Monday in Atlanta.
Who is going to start at quarterback?
Given the loss of star Matt Corral — the seventh-place Heisman finisher in 2021 who was taken by the Carolina Panthers in the third round of the NFL draft — the question of who will line up under center against Troy and beyond looms large.
Corral threw for 6,686 yards and 49 touchdowns in his last two seasons as a Rebel. The two leading contenders for the quarterback job are sophomore Luke Altmyer and sophomore USC transfer Jaxson Dart; whoever gets the keys to the car will have a lot on his plate.
Will the offense and defense look different?
With offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby and co-defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin now at Oklahoma and Texas A&M, respectively, it’s reasonable to wonder what the Ole Miss offense and defense will look like this fall. Charlie Weis Jr., most recently at South Florida but was with Lane Kiffin at Florida Atlantic, will call plays on offense while Chris Partridge and former Western Kentucky defensive coordinator Maurice Crum will be co-defensive coordinators (with Partridge calling plays). Throughout the spring, players on both sides of the ball said they didn’t feel a ton of differences with new playcallers, though defensive players said they felt the calls might be more aggressive with Partridge calling plays.
Can Jonathan Mingo take it to the next level?
Mingo has had modest production in his first three seasons, totaling 61 catches for 897 yards and seven scores. He missed a portion of last season with injury but finished with 346 yards and three touchdowns.
Mingo and guard Nick Broeker are representing the offense at SEC media days, which suggests Mingo might see an increase in usage with Dontario Drummond, Braylon Sanders and Jahcour Pearson no longer with the Rebels. Mingo, Dannis Jackson, Bralon Brown and transfers Malik Heath (Mississippi State), Jaylon Robinson (UCF) and Jordan Watkins (Louisville) will all be counted on in 2022.
What is kicker Caden Costa’s status?
Costa was stellar as a true freshman but was suspended late in the season for breaking NCAA protocol involving performance enhancing substances and faces a year-long suspension. The official status of his appeal remains a mystery. Ole Miss brought Charlotte’s Jonathan Cruz in as a graduate transfer, though Costa is still listed on the team’s roster. Cruz hit 41 career field goals with the 49ers.
What does Kiffin think about the current state of college football?
Kiffin has long been outspoken regarding name, image and likeness issues and the transfer portal. With USC and UCLA joining the Big Ten and more conference moves likely coming, odds are Kiffin has some opinions on the ever-changing environment.