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Ole Miss faces familiar foe versus Memphis

By By Tony Krausz/assistant sports editor
September 6, 2003
OXFORD Ole Miss' 53rd meeting with the University of Memphis Tigers (1-0, 0-0 Conference USA) pits the Rebels (1-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) against a very familiar foe in the second week of the college football season.
And the familiarity is not just with the team Ole Miss is meeting at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
Eli Manning and the Rebels' offense will be matching wits against former Mississippi State University defensive coordinator Joe Lee Dunn at the Liberty Bowl.
Dunn, who served on MSU head coach Jackie Sherrill's staff from 1996-2002, was hired by Memphis coach Tommy West to fill the same role on the Tigers staff. Dunn is also the linebackers coach.
Ole Miss will not just have to deal with the defensive mind that helped the Bulldogs engineer an upset victory in the annual Egg Bowl two years ago. The defensive unit will contend with a Tigers offense that posted 567 yards of total offense in a 40-10 win over Division I-AA foe Tennessee Tech last Saturday.
Memphis junior quarterback Danny Wimprine passed for 266 yards in the win, connecting on 15-of-21 passes and two touchdowns.
Tigers junior tailback DeAngelo Williams also gained 196 all-purpose yards, 61 on the ground, in the win.
Trying to defend against the pass could be even harder for the Rebels entering this weekend's game.
Ole Miss safety Tavarus Horne, who suffered a knee injury in the first half of the team's 24-21 win over Vanderbilt, is expected to miss the game against Memphis.
The Rebels will have to turn to two true freshmen, Charles Clark and Trumaine McBride, to plug the secondary holes against the Tigers' spread offense that gained 390 yards through the air against Tennessee Tech.
Ole Miss will also have to play in the afternoon heat for a second straight week.
Cutcliffe talked about the difficulty of having to play the team's first two games in the early afternoon at the start of the season, and the Rebels discovered how brutal the sun can be against Vanderbilt.
Ole Miss' game against Memphis will be aired on ESPN2 on Saturday.