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Monday, December 8, 2008
AT&T Cotton Bowl: Ole Miss (8-4) vs. Texas Tech (11-1)

By Chris Low
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

Ole Miss was the breakthrough team of the year in the SEC. The Rebels (8-4) won their last five games and did it in impressive fashion.

This is the same program that went winless in the SEC the previous year. But first-year coach Houston Nutt brought his "can do" attitude to Oxford, and the players responded. They were the only team to beat Florida and did it at the Swamp and routed LSU at Tiger Stadium.

It could have been even better had Ole Miss not fumbled away home games against Vanderbilt and South Carolina during the first half of the season.

The Rebels were more than happy to accept the AT&T Cotton Bowl bid, but they didn't get the easiest draw. Texas Tech (11-1) and its high-flying offense will be the opponent on Jan. 2 in Dallas. The Red Raiders' spread offense put up outrageous numbers with quarterback Graham Harrell throwing for 4,747 yards and 41 touchdowns.

Ole Miss has the defensive line to put pressure on Harrell, especially if Greg Hardy shows up to play. But the Rebels have been vulnerable at cornerback and don't have much depth there. This has a chance to be one of the more entertaining games of the bowl season, the kind of game where the team that has the ball last wins.