MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - With the calendar finally flipped to August, the shrill of the coach’s whistle is being heard on campuses across America as football practice is finally underway.
The University of Memphis opens fall camp at the Murphy Athletic Complex with a target squarely on its back.
The Tigers are picked to get back to the American Athletic Conference Championship game for a third year in a row.
Plus, SB Nation has Memphis favored to win every game, including the opener against Ole Miss.
That suits redshirt Freshman Defensive End Kayode Oladele just fine.
KO had an offer from the Rebels coming out of high school.
“It’s a really important game for me,” Oladele said, “because I was recruited by Ole Miss, and I’m ready to put my fee on their face when we play them.”
Why do you want to do that?
“I want the coach that was recruiting me to remember my name again,” he said.
What will it take for him to remember you?
“Make plays. Tackle his quarterback, and stop them,” he said.
While the Tigers do have plenty to say about the rivalry, more words came out of Ole Miss, as Jaylon Jones told a news outlet he doesn’t consider Memphis a problem, calling the Tigers “Ole Miss’ Little Brother."
U of M Head Coach Mike Norvell says, “Hey, the game is still almost a month away.”
He wants to put the Kibosh on all the pre-game chatter.
“Guys that have been here understand talk is cheap. Anyone can stand in front of a camera, and say something. We have guys that say things that are still young and immature, and other teams have guys that say things, but I don’t care. At the end of the day it’s about what you do, and what you put on the field. Everybody wants to win, and is dreaming about being successful, but it’s about what you do between now and then,” said Norvell.
Down in Oxford, the Ole Miss Rebels come into the season, just like Memphis, with new players and coaches all over the place.
The Rebels have a new Defensive Coordinator in Mike MacIntyre, a new Offensive Coordinator in Rich Rodriguez and a new Starting Quarterback in Matt Corral.
The Rebels and Tigers meet up in Memphis for the season opener on August 31 at the Liberty Bowl.