Jared Ivey transferred to Ole Miss to play in big games such as Saturday’s against Alabama
OXFORD, Miss. – This time last season, Jared Ivey’s Georgia Tech team was 3-6 and preparing to play Boston College, a team that would beat the Yellow Jackets, 41-30.
In the offseason, the defensive lineman transferred to Ole Miss — a team in the Southeastern Conference where the saying is, “It just means more.”
It does mean more in Oxford Saturday as Ole Miss hosts No. 6 Alabama in the kind of game Ivey has wanted to play his entire college career. The Crimson Tide (7-2, 4-2 in the SEC) is coming off a loss to LSU and the Rebels expect a hard-fought game. That is just what Ivey wanted in his new conference.
“It’s been good, it’s been more physical,” Ivey said.
“It’s been more of a challenge, but that’s what I wanted. Obviously, that’s what me and my teammates want. You don’t want to go out there and play patty-cake games, you come here to play big games.”
This is a big game. Should Ole Miss win, it will be the Rebels’ first victory over Alabama since 2015. But the Tide has not lost consecutive league games since 2007 and the college football world took notice of how they lost last week in overtime.
“I mean, this is the SEC you know, teams lose big games, teams win big games,” Ivey said. “This is a great team that we’re going to go play you know, their record means absolutely nothing and our preparation, we’re just looking at personnel, players and how we can fit everything up and scheme it to give them the best challenge that we can possibly give them.”
Ole Miss is 8-1, with its lone loss to LSU. The Rebels face Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi State to close the regular season. Saturday, Ole Miss gets the first of two home games to finish the schedule.
“I’m very excited, I’m glad we’re playing at home,” Ivey said. “We try to take the mindset that they’ve got to come here and play us. You know we try to flip the script on that.”
Even though he was not at Ole Miss last year, Ivey realizes the Tide appeared on the schedule earlier last year and will appear early again next season. The Rebels will travel to Tuscaloosa in September next fall.
“It’s super exciting and you know and I’m almost glad we get to play them later in the season and just be as comfortable as possible and obviously we’re playing at home. It was a great experience playing in College Station and playing in Death Valley, so you know that’s a piece of what you come here for and I’m very thankful to have experienced that.”
Jared Ivey on playing Alabama
The game will be at home, but it will still be Alabama, a team that has lost two games this season and both were decided on the final play of the game. But according to coach Lane Kiffin, the Rebels do not let the opponent dictate their thoughts.
“I’m sure it sounds crazy, we don’t sit and talk about Bama week and all that that everyone else in the country seems to do,” Kiffin said.
“We’ve got a lot of things to work on to get better. It really doesn’t matter. It matters that you do things really well. That’s how you win games. I didn’t notice anything different (at Monday’s practice), but I’m glad I didn’t because that’s not how we train. We don’t want to be a program like that (up and down)—oh we get up for these games, but we don’t for these. That’s what I get mad at our fans for doing, so we’re not supposed to do that.“
Head coach Lane Kiffin
That crowd is expected to be a sellout at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and the game is the national feature on CBS. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers.
He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio.
A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series.
Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time.
He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk.
Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.