Ole Miss stood toe to toe with powerful Georgia all night long Saturday but couldn't complete the deal and fell 14-9.
Vaught-Hemingway Stadium was a sea of red where an announced crowd of 57,184 watched as the Rebel defense rose to the occasion but the offense continued to struggle to put points on the board. Ole Miss scored 28 points in the first game of the season, a 3-point victory over Memphis. In four games since then, the Rebels have scored a total of 33 points.
"I'm proud of my team," said Ole Miss head coach Ed Orgeron. "We thought we could beat Georgia. We fell just short."
Georgia used two quarterbacks in the first half - starter Joe Cox and also Matthew Stafford. The coaches settled on Stafford in the second half.
Ole Miss freshman placekicker Joshua Shene missed a 53-yard field goal on the Rebels' second possession of the contest. Later in the first quarter, the Rebels appeared set up for points as Dustin Mouzon blocked a punt of Bulldog Gordon Ely-Kelso, and it was recovered at the Georgia 5-yard line by Kendrick Lewis for Ole Miss. But a flag way back near midfield for holding cost Ole Miss any chance of scoring as the Bulldogs got the football back.
The only points of the entire first half came on a Shene field goal from 23 yards out with 4:12 to go in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs came out on fire in the second half. Georgia's Thomas Brown returned the kickoff from his end zone to his own 46-yard line. On fourth and 1 from the Ole Miss 46, the Bulldogs went for it with tailback Kregg Lumpkin picking up 23 yards around left end to the Rebel 23.
Later, on a third and 7 from the Rebel 9, Stafford went back to throw, was pressured, took off running up the middle to the UM 1 for a first down. On the next play fullback Brannan Southerland took it in for the touchdown. The extra point by Brandon Coutu was good, and Georgia led 7-3 with 10:58 to go in the third period.
On the next drive for Ole Miss, Green-Ellis ran the Rebels downfield into the red zone. But on fourth and 5 at the Bulldog 19, Schaeffer's pass for Dexter McCluster was incomplete at the 8-yard line.
After the Bulldogs took over and moved it to near midfield, the Rebs stopped them at their own 45. But after Georgia returned the favor by allowing the Rebs nothing deep in their own terrritory, a Rob Park punt put Georgia at its own 49. The third quarter ended and on the second play of the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs' Demiko Goodman caught a pass from Stafford at the UM 3-yard line. After a two-yard gain, Southerland took it in from the 1-yard line for a Georgia TD. The Coutu kick was good, and the Dawgs led 14-3 with 14:01 left in the game.
The Rebels closed the gap a couple of possessions later. Being heavily chased at midfield, Schaeffer rolled right and threw complete to an open McCluster at the 20. The freshman receiver raced into the end zone for the score with 6:17 to go. The Rebs went for two points, and Schaeffer was incomplete to tight end Robert Lane.
On the kickoff Georgia was called for a block in the back and started at its own 5-yard line. On the first play, Stafford connected with Demiko Goodman for a 29-yard gain to the 24 and a first down. Then on third and 7 from its own 27, an 18-yard gain by Lumpkin gave the Dawgs first down at their own 45.
On third and 13 from the 42, Nate Banks sacked Stafford at the 37. After a 36-yard punt, the Rebs took over at their own 27 with 3:22 left.
Schaeffer went back to pass but kept it up the middle for a 9-yard rush to the 36. Green-Ellis then got four yards and a first down at the 40. Scaheffer to Lane for eight yards was next, followed by a pass intentionally thrown away with 1:44 to go in the game. It was third and 2 at the UM 49.
But Schaeffer was intercepted on a pass for McCluster 20 yards downfield as Paul Oliver picked it off for the Bulldogs and returned it into Ole Miss territory. A flag for unsportsmanlike conduct against Georgia brought it back to the Dawg 45. With 1:02 left, the visitors ran out the clock.
Georgia had 248 total yards to 243 for Ole Miss. Through the air Georgia had 115 yards to 87 for UM. Ole Miss rushed for 156 yards and the Bulldogs 133. The Rebs had 15 first downs and the Bulldogs 14.
Green-Ellis led the Rebel ground attack with 135 yards on 24 carries. Schaeffer was 6-of-15 with one interception and had 17 net yards rushing on 11 carries.
Ole Miss, which fell to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in SEC play, hosts Vanderbilt for Homecoming Saturday at 1 p.m. Georgia, now 5-0 and 2-0, hosts Tennessee in an SEC East showdown also Saturday.
Rebs fall to Dogs 14-9
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