Ole Miss bowl X factor

Ole Miss takes on Pittsburgh Saturday afternoon, but we're taking a look at the Rebels' X factor a day early:


Jeff Scott, Jr., RB: Ole Miss' offense has been pretty fun to watch all year, but it will face a Pittsburgh defense that has been pretty stingy this season, despite the Panthers' 6-6 record. Pitt ranks 17th in total defense, so if the Rebels want to open things up offensively, they'll have to get things going on the ground. Scott finished the regular season with 828 rushing yards and six touchdowns. He averaged 4.3 yards per carry, but he has the ability to make big-time plays in Hugh Freeze's spread offense. To crack this Pitt defense, the Rebels will look to run first, and Scott will have to be on his game because the Panthers rank 26th nationally in rushing defense. The Rebels will try to get the running game going with quarterback Bo Wallace and utility man Randall Mackey, but Scott will have to carry the load in order to wear down Pitt's front. He isn't the biggest player out there, but he isn't afraid to deliver a pounding to his opponents. Plus, if he can extend drives with longer plays, he'll keep the ball in the Rebels' hands which will tire out that Panthers defense.