The shock on Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt’s face following Saturday’s loss to Jacksonville State was as apparent as the 49-48 score posted on the Jumbotron at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium following the second overtime period.
The Rebels, a team that was riding a wave of positive emotion after Friday’s announcement that quarterback Jeremiah Masoli would be allowed to play this season, have suddenly gone from a team that some thought would win eight or nine games to one that some think may finish below .500.
Losses in the season opener always hurt, but a loss to a lower division team coached by Nutt’s former employer hurt even more, especially when the Rebels led 31-13 after the third quarter and had their chances to stop the Gamecocks in both the late stages of regulation and overtime. (September 6, 2010, Page 1B)
The annual matchup between Lafayette and Oxford is called the Crosstown Classic for a reason and the latest installment in the series played Friday night at Oxford’s Bobby Holcomb Field definitely lived up to the moniker.
In a game that is usually decided by just one play, it was Lafayette junior defensive end Keeyon Tyson that produced the single-biggest play in a 21-14 win for the No. 1 Commodores. Just a little over a minute after the Commodores (3-0 overall) scored the game-winning touchdown on a 12-yard run by Demarkus Dennis at the 2:13 mark of the fourth quarter, Tyson was able to thwart a potential game-tying scoring drive for the Chargers (2-1) by slapping the ball away from quarterback Guy Cameron Billups at the LHS 13-yard line. (September 6, 2010, Page 1B)
After holding Jacksonville State’s offense to just three points — the Gamecocks touchdown in the first half was scored by the defense — and 70 yards in the opening 30 minutes of play, the Rebels defense was shredded by JSU in the second half and subsequent overtime period.
Ole Miss ended up allowing 355 total yards, 21 points in the fourth quarter and 15 points in the overtime periods, including a 30-yard touchdown pass from Coty Blanchard to Kevyn Cooper on a fourth-and-15 situation and the game-clinching two-point conversion. (September 6, 2010, Page 1B)
Sunday was a day of heavy evaluation for Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt and his staff. Besides getting back to the practice field to correct things physically, Nutt was able to talk about Saturday’s 49-48 loss to Jacksonville State in double overtime a little better after watching the tape.
“I thought we played a very good first half of football. The second half of the third quarter and fourth quarter was not good. We’ve got to be better, we’ve got to be better with our eyes, assignments, tackling, the whole bit,” Nutt said. “We did not play well, we didn’t make plays on the ball and along with that you can’t turn the ball over. We felt the momentum slipping away as the game went into the fourth quarter and we had a real lull offensively as well. We had some turnovers at critical times that really hurt us.” (September 6, 2010, Page 3B)
SPORTS EDITOR BLOG — Friday night’s Crosstown Classic matchup between the Lafayette Commodores and Oxford Chargers had a little bit of everything. (more…) (September 4, 2010)
Two of the most competitive players for Oxford are two of the most enjoyable to be around. Demarius and Demarcus Pegues, a lineman and linebacker for the Chargers, are brothers that have the equal ability to light up a room as easily as they do an opposing ball carrier.
For Oxford coach Johnny Hill, the brothers represent everything he loves about high school football. They are great players, great teammates and great to be around. (September 3, 2010, Page 8A)
The Rangers mauled their way to a 27-17 win over No. 13 Pearl River by clamping down on the Wildcats when the going got tough and utilizing a team-first concept that coach Ricky Woods has tried to instill into his players all offseason. (September 3, 2010, Page 8A)
Lafayette’s football team has always been about family. Throughout the program’s history, family members have been playing for the red and gold in the hopes of carrying on a tradition that has been set years prior.
This year’s group of Commodores is no different as brothers Jamel and Demarkus Dennis support one another on the field in the attempt to make LHS a better team.
Demarkus, the team’s leading running back, and Jamel, the team’s leading tackler at linebacker, have combined to make a formidable tandem for opposing teams to try and slow down each Friday night. (September 3, 2010, Page 9A)
Six weeks after being hired to his first head coaching position since high school, Vanderbilt’s Robbie Caldwell is ready to lead a team through the tunnel and on to the field Saturday night. All Caldwell is hoping for is not to trip and take out his Commodores before they can begin play against Northwestern. (September 3, 2010, Page 9A)
It may be a while before Derek Dooley can revive the Tennessee Volunteers into a championship contender, but he is trying and doing everything he can to make it happen sooner rather than later.
Dooley was hired from Louisiana Tech in January to clean up the mess left by former coach Lane Kiffin. The Volunteers may have gone 7-6 overall last year, but the way Kiffin departed, and the amount of damage he did to the program’s reputation in recruiting with the NCAA, left many feeling like the Volunteers were a sub .500 team. (September 3, 2010, Page 9A)