Loss for Words

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- David Lee said he didn't have many answers after Kentucky handed Ole Miss a 30-13 loss in Lexington Saturday afternoon.

"I don't know what to say. We felt we had the game under control at different points in the game, but we didn't finish the deal," said Lee, whose offense gained 392 yards on the day but had only 13 points to show for it. "When you are good, you don't have the kinds of penalties we did, you don't have the kinds of decisions we made, you don't play the way we played."

Lee said it was a matter of the Rebels beating themselves, which is doubly frustrating to him as a coach.

It started early when the offense was moving the ball at will but could not stick it in the end zone on two early opportunities. Instead of 14-0, it was 6-0 on two Bryson Rose field goals.

"That's huge. I never dreamed Nick Brassell would get caught from behind on the reverse and the offensive pass interference on Donte Moncrief to nullify a TD catch were killers," Lee said.

Then later in the game, with the game on the line, more trouble.

"We were down 16-13 in the fourth quarter and had the ball in their territory, driving," said Lee. "Then we have a hold and an illegal procedure and it's 3rd-and-21 before we know it. Those things are killers. Nobody practices harder than the kid who held. He's a freshman and is going to be a really good player in time, but we can't have that kind of stuff and expect to win."

The Rebels were able to adjust all night and find things that worked, but when it came time to seal the deal, it was not to be.

Brandon Bolden
Bruce Newman

"They took away our jet sweep, but we adjusted to some inside zone stuff and other things and we were moving the ball, but at the critical times when the game is on the line, we didn't get it done," he continued. "That's what grabs your guts, when you beat yourself."

QB Randall Mackey finished 14-29 for 197, one TD and one pick, and he did a lot of it under duress.

"Randall started hot, but then had some high throws we fixed at halftime. Then, in the second half, the protection broke down at times and he was under pressure at key times," noted Lee. "When he could set his feet, he was pretty good. He wasn't able to set his feet enough and had to throw a lot of balls away. He played hard, but we didn't give him a chance at times.

"I really thought we would be able to block these guys better. We knew they had three or four guys that were very good, but we were aware who we had to block. One of them, Danny Trevathan, still ended up with 17 tackles. We thought if we could keep him around 10, we'd be fine, but we didn't."

It was not a good outing for the Rebel defense either. Kentucky's offense put up 398 yards, a freshman QB threw for nearly 300 and another opposing back had a 100-yard game.

"We competed well for a half, really three quarters, but then they ran by us a couple of times when we were in man coverage," said Secondary Coach Keith Burns. "We had two true freshmen – Cody Prewitt and Nick Brassell – back there and we just got burned a couple of times.

"The great ones will come back from that. I think those guys will be great players. They just have to learn from that and we just have to coach them better."

Defensive Coordinator Tyrone Nix was not surprised the Wildcats tried to go deep a lot.

"They haven't had much success running the ball this year, so I expected them to try to loosen us up with the pass," said Nix. "For over three quarters, we played the long ball well, but in the fourth quarter they got us twice. Then they were able to run on us some.

"Their quarterback is very young, but I have to give him credit. He had poise, he moved his team and he made good decisions and mostly good throws."

The Rebels went with three true freshmen in their defensive lineup – Brassell, Prewitt and Serderius Bryant.

"Serderius and Cody led us in tackles. I thought they played well. I think that's a great sign for the future. They made some mistakes, but you expect that from a true freshman. They will get better each week," Nix closed.

Once again, the Rebels went to the well only to come up short.

Once again, it seemed they were their own worst enemy.

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