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Ole Miss’ Grove Bowl, spring practice start dates set

Ole Miss’ annual Grove Bowl will cap an early start to spring practice this year.

The Rebels’ annual spring football game will be held April 7 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Admission is free. Television information for the game will be released at a later date.

Ole Miss will open practice Feb. 27, a day earlier than the Rebels began spring drills last year. Practices on March 3 and March 24 will be open to the public, the school announced. Start times for those practices will be announced at a later date.

The Rebels are entering a new era under Matt Luke, who took over following Hugh Freeze’s sudden resignation last summer and led Ole Miss to a 6-6 record under the cloud of an NCAA investigation before having the interim tag removed in November. Luke has added two new on-field assistants in safeties coach Charles Clark and linebackers coach Jon Sumrall, who’s replacing Bradley Dale Peveto after the veteran assistant left to join Jimbo Fisher’s staff at Texas A&M.

It will also be the first spring as the permanent starter for quarterback Jordan Ta’amu, who stepped in for an injured Shea Patterson, who’s since transferred to Michigan, and helped lead the Rebels to a 3-2 record over the last five games. The rising senior completed 66.5 percent of his passes for 1,682 yards and 11 touchdowns against just four interceptions while accounting for 15 total touchdowns last season.

Ole Miss also has to replace the production of 1,000-yard rusher Jordan Wilkins, leading tackler DeMarquis Gates and sack leader Marquis Haynes, who are all out of eligibility.