Bolden Opportunity

Ole Miss junior running back Brandon Bolden will by vying for history against his hometown LSU Tigers Saturday.

With two games to play, the Baton Rouge, La. native is 160 yards shy of becoming the fifth 1,000-yard rusher in school history.

His 113-yard performance in the Rebels' previous loss at Tennessee was his second-straight 100-yard rushing game, as well as his fifth this season. Bolden has 11 rushing touchdowns this season, taking his career total to 20, which is tied for fifth in Ole Miss history.

Brandon Bolden

"I really didn't know I was close to 1,000 yards," Bolden said. "It's big ups to the offensive linemen. To think, we started out with such a young group and to have the shuffling thing going one, they've all been doing great; getting better as the season's going on. (Ole Miss head) Coach (Houston) Nutt trusts in me to put the ball in my hands. I have to thank him, too."

Bolden has been one of the few bright spots for Ole Miss in a forgettable season.

The Rebels are 4-6 overall with a paltry 1-5 league record. They round out the regular season at LSU and back at home for the annual "Battle of the Golden Egg" vs. in-state rival Mississippi State. Ole Miss has to win out to attain the designated number of wins, two, for bowl eligibility.

"Everybody's real disappointed we lost (at Tennessee), but everybody's really got their heads up," Bolden said. "After we kind of got in there and watched the film, everybody just had a short memory about the whole game. We're looking forward to LSU."

Ole Miss is 4-3 in the last seven games in Tiger Stadium, including Bolden's freshman season, a 31-13 win in 2008. With many of his family members in attendance, Bolden scored on a three-yard touchdown in the game.

"It was very special for me to score two years ago down in LSU being from down there," he said. "It was great to score period but there with all my family in the stands, I was just happy.

A two-game season:

D.T. Shackelford is a passionate player.

He's animated on the field and in interviews. Big plays incite many emotions from him, as do questions inquiring the status of his team. Actually, he's become the go-to player for interview requests. Why? Well, because though he's only a sophomore, Shackelford has already established himself as a leader.

And he's not afraid to share his thoughts on a disappointing season.

"A lot of people would think that losing to Tennessee in that manner is a dagger, but it ain't," he said.

D.T. Shackelford

"We've still got two games to play. We got to come prepared and come to work, and not let that game deter our future. It's gone now. There's nothing you can do about it. Let's move on right now."

Shackelford was, to say the least, thrilled with Nutt's colorful Monday press conference. He fully supported it. Shackelford, like Nutt, is quickly turned off by negativity. He's often called out his teammates this season when he sees spirits low or heads dropping.

"That's something called the human nature," he said. "We all don't respond the same way. You have 80 something people on a team. Everybody's not the same. But what Coach Nutt tries to teach us is we've got to be on one accord to accomplish a goal. It's all about the team. All championship teams have been as one."

Shackelford, who ranks eighth on the team in tackles with 34, said there's no easy solution in reversing the team's fortunes. All Ole Miss can do, he said, is work harder.

"I had a Colonel in high school who used to always write on the board," he said. "He used to always come in and say, ‘What's it going to take for you to succeed in life?' We'd have a bunch of guesses. But all he'd put on the board was ‘work hard.' Stuff's not going to always go your way on every play and every down. But you gotta keep working. Before long, it's going to cut through. We've just gotta keep believing and pressing on.

"Let's forget the past. It's a two-game season now. We already know how the SEC is. It's like this every year. Florida, they're kind of down; Georgia, they're kind of down; Tennessee. It's the SEC. Now we've got to focus on going all out these last two games."

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