Ole Miss football coach Houston Nutt learned a valuable lesson Saturday afternoon in his team’s 49-48 overtime loss to Jacksonville State: You can’t be Mr. Nice Guy all the time.
There seems to be a sizable portion of Ole Miss fans who believe that Nutt was being a nice host by not running up the score on his former boss, JSU coach Jack Crowe. Whether Nutt intentionally called the dogs off or not, the perception of the fan base is the Rebels coasted in the second half so the Gamecocks wouldn’t be destroyed on the scoreboard.
Running back Brandon Bolden may have said it best when he said, “Sometimes you just let go of the rope.”
At the half, the Rebels held a commanding 31-10 lead. Not only was the Ole Miss offense scoring almost at will, but the Rebel defense was thwarting its Football Championship Subdivision opponent’s best efforts to march down the field.
Then, for whatever reason, the Rebels let go of the rope as Bolden simply put it. (more…) (September 6, 2010)
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)
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)
The Water Valley defense did it’s best on Friday night to come away from Calhoun City’s “Boneyard” with a victory, holding a prolific offense that had averaged 47.5 points to just 10 points.
It wasn’t enough in the end, however, as the Wildcats were able to score a go-ahead touchdown late in the third quarter and hold on for a 10-7 victory.
“The simple answer to the night is we just have to get better on offense,” WVHS coach Brad Embry said. “That’s all I told the kids. It was a great effort, a championship effort against a championship-caliber team, but offensively we have to get better. That’s on me, I know that, and we will (get better).” (September 6, 2010, Page 4B)
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)