OXFORD, Miss. — The Ole Miss Rebels have a new defensive coordinator.
Although no official word has been made on the future of current DC Chris Partridge, Chris Low of ESPN reports that recent rumors are true: Alabama’s Pete Golding is joining the staff in Oxford.
Rumors have swirled in recent days that Ole Miss could make a move at defensive coordinator, vacating the spot held by Partridge in favor of a new face, namely Pete Golding with the Alabama Crimson Tide.
These rumors reached the ears of national media, including The Athletic, who had this to say:
Even after Pete Golding said before the Sugar Bowl that he plans to be back in Tuscaloosa as defensive coordinator in 2023 — correctly pointing out that he’s under contract — there have been rumors swirling that he’s in play at other locales. Is Ole Miss calling? Or Texas or Maryland? These days, it’s hard to tell rumor from reality.
But the reality is this: Alabama hasn’t had a top-five total defense since Jeremy Pruitt left in 2017. That season, it finished No. 1 in total yards allowed and won a national championship. During the five-year stretch since, it’s had only one top-10 defense (2021, ranked seventh). Is it a coincidence that Alabama has won only one national championship during that time period?
Can Golding revitalize an Ole Miss defense that struggled at times during 2022? The Rebels surrendered over 380 YPG this fall, but he and Lane Kiffin will be tasked with getting Ole Miss back in the 10-win conversation in 2023.
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Obviously, the Rebels have a tough schedule ahead of them this fall. Road trips to Alabama, Auburn and Mississippi State are paired with a road trip to Athens, Ga., to face the back-to-back national champions.
Golding has a tough slate ahead of him this season, but he will now take the reins of the Rebel defense to try and slow down potent SEC offenses.
You can follow John Macon on Twitter at @JMakeGillespie.
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