BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Ole Miss football has been in the news since the Rebels closed out a 10 win, 3 loss season in 2015. That news has centered on an NCAA investigation into the Rebels football program.
Head coach Hugh Freeze has had to endure question after question and can't wait for the 2016 season to kickoff.
The Rebels are a dangerous team, thanks to the return of senior quarterback Chad Kelly.
Coach Freeze returns the fewest starters in the SEC..4 on offense and 5 on defense.
Kelly is the top returning quarterback in the conference and led the SEC in passing with 310 yards per game, 4,542 total yards, 31 touchdowns and broke or tied 14 Ole Miss single-season records in 2015.
Kelly is the first quarterback to lead Ole Miss to wins over Alabama, Auburn and LSU in the same year and the first quarterback to lead the Rebels to five wins over Top-25 ranked teams.
He's on the Maxwell Award Watch List, the Davey O'Brien Award and Walter Camp Player of the Year list.
The Rebels can make a big statement on September 5th when Ole Miss battles the Florida State Seminoles in Tallahassee.
"Well it's going to be huge, "said Kelly. "Anytime you can play a team like Florida State, I mean, they've had some great years and in order to be the best you've got to beat the best. It's going to be a great game. They've got some great players on defense. They're offense is pretty good too. So, we've got to make sure we score more points than they do."
After Ole Miss battles the Seminoles on the road, the Rebels will play three straight home games. On September 10 Ole Miss faces Wofford and the following week the Rebels take aim on a third consecutive win over Alabama. After the Crimson Tide, the Georgia Bulldogs come to Oxford on September 24.
Three of the four first games will be a challenge. On the plus side, Ole Miss has three of those games at home and have a legitimate shot at going 2 and 2.
Kelly believes Ole Miss can win all four and if he picks up from where he left off in leading the Rebels past Oklahoma State in the Sugar Bowl, Ole Miss has a shot at winning all four games.
Replacing five starters on defense is the big question mark.