With a 5-1 record and two-straight wins in SEC competition, the Ole Miss Rebels entered their matchup with the LSU Tigers riding high off their recent success. Success which came at a good time, as Ole Miss honored one of their most successful players ever on Saturday with tributes that went all the way up to the head coach.
Prior to Eli Manning Day at Ole Miss, Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin arrived at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium wearing an Eli Manning New York Giants jersey. Kiffin's choice of pre game apparel came on the day that Ole Miss will retire Manning's No. 10.
Manning will become only the third player in Ole Miss history to have his number retired, joining his father Archie Manning (No. 18) and defensive back Chucky Mullins (No. 38), who returned to school to continue earning his degree despite being paralyzed as a result of a horrific injury suffered in a 1989 game against Vanderbilt.
A four-year letterwinner at Ole Miss, Manning followed in his famous father's footsteps by becoming the Rebels' star quarterback in a career that culminated with him leading the team to one of their most successful seasons in recent memory. With Manning at quarterback, the Rebels went 10-3 in a 2003 season that was punctuated with a Cotton Bowl victory and Manning being named the winner of the Maxwell Award. Manning was subsequently chosen by the San Diego Chargers with the No. 1-overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft before being traded to the New York Giants, where he spent his entire NFL career.
This will be the second time this fall that Manning's No. 10 is officially reserved in his honor. In Week 3 of the NFL season, the Giants officially retired Manning's number in a halftime ceremony of their own.