Ole Miss football fans are restless, and rightly so. The Rebels have not been getting it done this year and are sporting a 3-5 record as they head into a critical - to salvage the season - November. Reb Coach Houston Nutt knows the score better than anyone.

Ole Miss Coach Houston Nutt is not going to throw anyone under the bus.

The only purpose that would serve would be to torpedo what remains of the ongoing season and cause dissension from within.

He's been around long enough to know the only thing that can truly dismantle a team is internal turmoil, so he is preaching staying together and unity to his team in an effort to salvage a winning record and get to some postseason action in a year he declared last July would be "our toughest challenge at Ole Miss."

Of course, nobody - even Nutt - thought "our toughest challenge" would include losing the opener or losing a home game to Vanderbilt.

That wasn't supposed to happen in anyone's nightmares, but the reality is it did and there are no do-overs in college football.

So instead of sitting here at, say, 5-3 with some minor grumbling and criticism, the Rebs are 3-5, staring at an uphill battle and fans of the Red & Blue are just this side of doing a Billy Joe McAllister off the Tallahatchie bridge.

Houston Nutt has been through the gauntlet a time or two, so it was not surprising to hear what he had to say in his Monday press conference.

He used words like "unacceptable" to describe the Rebs' results to this point. Accurate, for sure.

Houston Nutt

He said there are no excuses, despite fighting a rash of injuries and youth issues at several positions.

He did not try to rationalize anything about the Rebs' failures. He, his staff and the players were to blame, end of story.

But he did not and will not throw any individuals or one group to the wolves.

Nutt said, however, that "everyone" has to do better to finish things off with success - starting with him and trickling on down the proverbial totem pole.

He addressed some areas, but in a general sense.

The Rebs, he noted, have to tackle better, have to line up correctly, have to do their assignments properly, have to produce to their capabilities and stop underachieving, have to eliminate turnovers, big plays on special teams and explosion plays on defense.

But he did not and will not single anyone out as a scapegoat, stating instead that better performance "starts with us as coaches."

The issues are clear, even to the layman.

The Rebel defense has tackled poorly and is seemingly out of position way too many times to develop much consistency, hence the explosion plays.

When everyone is lined up right and executing, they can be effective, but several busts a game translate into several big plays for the opposition.

The punt and kickoff coverage units seem to be giving up one back-breaking play a game, minimum. Why? Not a clue, but it has to stop.

The offense, despite seven different starting lineups in eight games on the line, has not done poorly.

Masoli, offense aren't free of issues

But there are certainly areas they can shore up as well, i.e., short yardage situations, pass protection, third-down production and catching the ball more consistently come to mind quickly.

Better than anyone, Nutt knows these things and so do his staff members. They weren't dummies when they came in here and raised this program from the worst in the SEC to a moderate level of prominence in their first two years and they aren't dummies now when things aren't going well.

But if you expect him to come out blasting, with four very important, and winnable, games remaining, you are, excuse the saying, whistling Dixie.

Two points were made abundantly clear in his presser.

One, he gets it. He understands the frustration and the teeth gnashing. He's ground a couple of his molars down here lately as well.

Two, it ain't over until it's over and he's not giving up on his team nor is he going to come out in public and take them to the wood shed.

"Right now, it's all about what's happening in this team meeting room," he closed. "We love our fans and appreciate them, but this is about the guys in this room, coaches, players, managers and trainers.

"We are going to stick together and keep fighting. We are going to keep letting these players know we believe in them. That will not change. We know the reality of what we have done so far, but we also know there is an opportunity to turn it around. We are going to stay unified and we are going to get it done."

As Houston said, thus far the season has been "unacceptable."

There are four shots left to make it acceptable.

And he's going to make sure all hands on board are rowing the boat in that direction.

That's where we are. That's as real as it gets.

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