Matt Luke preparing for his first Grove Bowl spring football game as Ole Miss head coach

Matt Luke preparing for his first Grove Bowl spring football game as Ole Miss head coach

OXFORD, MS (Ole Miss) - Ole Miss football coach Matt Luke if finalizing his final week of spring football practice with the annual Grove Bowl set for a 1 p.m. kickoff Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford.

It's been a dream come true for Matt Luke.  The former Gulfport high standout had the interim tag taken away from his title and was named the 38th head football coach at Ole Miss after the 2017 season.

He guided the Rebels to 6 wins and 6 losses...3 and 5 in the SEC after taking over from Hugh Freeze, who was forced to resign.

Luke says when he was named interim head coach, he did his best in keeping the Rebels unified and it paid off with a 31-28 win over arch-rival Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl game.  He says a number of coaches have been major influences in his coaching career.

"David Cutcliffe was a huge influence on me, on my life and my coaching career, "said Luke.  "But I think you take a little big from every coach you're around.
 There is a little bit of coach Cutcliffe, a little bit of Phillip Fulmer.  A little bit of Ed Orgeron, a little bit of Hugh Freeze.  So you take the best from everybody and then you put your own style with it and that's your coaching style."

In Saturday's spring game, the Ole Miss defense will be spotted a 27-0 lead as the offense hits the playing field.

Quarterback Jordan Ta'amu returns after starting the last five games.  He completed 66 percent of his passes for 1,682 yards and 11 touchdowns.  The Rebels return three solid receivers, led by A.J. Brown.

If the Rebels can develop a consistent defensive unit, Ole Miss can make some noise in 2018, thanks to a quick striking offensive attack.

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