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)
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)
Under the empty stands of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Saturday, Jack Crowe tried to downplay what his team had just accomplished. The Gamecocks had done what was virtually unthinkable prior to the game and defeat ed the Ole Miss Rebels 49-48 in double overtime.
During his postgame press conference, Crowe spoke of how much respect he has for Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt, how they “probably took advantage” of an Ole Miss team searching for itself and how he’d be surprised if the Rebels were not “in the running for the (SEC) West.”
“I think there were some circumstances that we probably couldn’t probably repeat in 100 years if we tried to do it again,” he said.
But it is hard to downplay what actually occurred during an otherwise pleasant day in Oxford.
If nothing else, Crowe’s hat — or absence of one — said it all. (September 6, 2010, Page 2B)
Two weeks ago Callaway offensive lineman Justin Bell gave his verbal commitment to Ole Miss and said he looked forward to attending his first game on Saturday.
On Sunday, Bell said he wasn’t swayed by Jacksonville’s 49-48 upset of Ole Miss. (September 6, 2010, Page 2B)
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)
Hello from beautiful Oxford, where the weather is in the high 70s and there’s not a cloud in the sky. Kickoff against Jacksonville State is set for 2:35 p.m. (more…) (September 4, 2010)
College football is finally back. Last night kicked off the college season with several good —and not-so-good — games, including South Carolina’s 41-13 romping of Southern Miss on national TV. (more…) (September 3, 2010)
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)
But for the past two seasons, Ole Miss receiver Melvin Harris remained hidden — whether because of depth at the position or an inability to “put it all together” — at the end of the Rebels’ sideline waiting for mopup duty.
At some point during the offseason the Buford, Ga., native finally began to put it all together and on Saturday the redshirt sophomore will make his first career start when the Rebels host Jacksonville State at 2:30 p.m.
For Harris, finally getting his shot against the opposition’s best has been a long time coming. (September 3, 2010, Page 10A)
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