OXFORD, MS (WLOX) - The expression on Matt Luke's face as he locked arms with his Ole Miss players preparing to enter the playing field at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium said it all. This was not a dream; it was reality.
Rebel Nation is alive and well under his coaching leadership and the players responded.
Quarterback Shea Patterson rifled the football for 429 yards and four touchdowns. His ability to break away from the rush, resulted in a school record for wide receiver A.J. Brown. The sophomore phenom snagged 8 passes for 233 yards, and two touchdowns of 71 and 77 yards.
More performances like the one on display on Saturday will surely remove the interim from Matt Luke's head coaching title.
Luke said, "Very emotional coming through the Grove. Very emotional walking out on the field for the first time. But very very special. I really appreciate Rebel Nation. They made this a very easy transition. It's not about me. It's about us as a family and doing things together."
Luke also remembers his roots when he played at Gulfport High School under head coach Ronnie Cuevas, who was in attendance on Saturday. Cuevas said, "I didn't want to miss the opportunity to see Luke coach his first game at Ole Miss and I believe he's going to do a great job."
He did. Matt Luke goes after his second consecutive win Saturday morning at 11 hosting UT-Martin.