Ole Miss vs. Penn State Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for Peach Bowl

Ole Miss QB Jaxson Dart (2) throws against Mississippi State during the first half of the Egg Bowl
Ole Miss QB Jaxson Dart (2) throws against Mississippi State during the first half of the Egg Bowl / Barbara Gauntt/Clarion Ledger / USA

Ole Miss and Penn State meet in the Peach Bowl on December 30th in a battle of two 10 win teams.

Both the Rebels and Nittany Lions are looking to build College Football Playoff contenders under the new format, but a lower-level bowl will have to do with the 2023 version. Despite some opt-outs on both sides of the ball, there should be plenty of display in this bowl game.

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Ole Miss vs. Penn State Odds, Spread and Total

Penn State vs. Ole Miss Betting Trends

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Ole Miss vs. Penn State How to Watch

  • Date: Saturday, December 30th
  • Game Time: 12:00 PM EST
  • Venue: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
  • How to Watch (TV): ESPN
  • Ole Miss Record: 10-2
  • Penn State Record: 10-2

Ole Miss vs. Penn State Key Players to Watch

Ole Miss

Jaxson Dart: Dart put up similar numbers to his first season with the Rebels, passing for as many touchdowns and nearly the same passing yards, but dropping his interception number from 11 to five and completing more than three percent of his passes. Overall, Ole Miss is an elite offense with Dart at the helm, 25th in yards per play and 28th in points per drive.

Penn State

Drew Allar: The first-year starter was potent at times, but overall struggled to stretch the field with his arm against the elite opponents on the Nittany Lions schedule. Allar passed for 1,982 yards with 20 touchdowns and only one interception but only passed for about six yards per dropback. The defense helped offset some of Penn State's lack of explosiveness, but the team will try to get Allar's confidence going into next season against Ole Miss on a fast track to the Superdome.

Ole Miss vs. Penn State Prediction and Pick

There are some opt-outs on both sides of the ball. For Penn State, the team likely won't have the services of future NFL Draft picks in offensive lineman Olu Fashanu and cornerback Kalen King in addition to the already opted-out pass rusher Chop Robinson. Further, the team won't have its defensive coordinator Manny Diaz (head coach of Duke) and won't have the full services of new offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki, who is coming from Kansas.

Meanwhile, for Ole Miss, will be down the likes of starting offensive linemen Micah Pettus and a few depth pieces at safety, but Dart will start alongside running back Quinshon Judkins. As of now, the Rebels will have the opt-out edge, but will it matter?

The Ole Miss defense has been overrated by most metrics for much of the season, below the national average in success rate allowed and 86th in EPA/Rush allowed, a big issue against a Penn State offense that is 20th in success rate with a pair of stud running backs in Kaytron Allen and Nicholas Singleton.

However, given the loss of Robinson on the team's pass rush, I believe the Penn State defense which is tops in EPA/Play this season, may struggle to get margin on the Ole Miss offense that is 26th in EPA/Play against difficult SEC schedule.

Further, after battling injuries down the stretch of the season, Dart will have more than a month to get healthy and ready for this bowl game with a host of weapons at his disposal.

Penn State's defense grades out as elite, but will be down a few key contributors and Allar hasn't proven he can outduel elite offenses just yet. I'll take the underdog to keep this game close.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Track Reed's bets here!