The Other Way

Now deposed Ole Miss Coach Houston Nutt said early in the week that "some teams in this situation play lights out and some teams go the other way." The Rebels took the "other way" against Louisiana Tech in a 27-7 loss Saturday night.

"It was just a bad deal," said Ole Miss Coach Houston Nutt. "It's been a difficult week and once we fumbled on the option and they scooped-and-scored, the game slipped away quickly. We thought we could work through the week but we weren't able to. We tried to get them to focus and stay tuned in, and we had a good week of practice, but we didn't take it to the field.

"The kids were in a tough situation, but I thought our defense played hard. The offense just put them in too many bad situations. You have to score points and we didn't. We were bad offensively."

Offensive Coordinator David Lee took it a step further when describing the offensive woes.

"It was a nightmare on our side of the ball, a living nightmare," said Lee. "I'm embarrassed, our offense was embarrassed.

"They had a couple of guys we just couldn't get blocked up and Randall (Mackey) was running around for his life. He's the kind of quarterback that if he doesn't get in a rhythm, he struggles. When he struggled, we went downhill quickly."

Mackey was a meager 8-19 with an interception. His eight completions were only good for 73 yards.

But it wasn't all on Mackey's shoulders and the lack of pass protection. The run game, something the Rebs thought they could do coming into the game, didn't pan out either.

"We went into the game with some run plays we felt good about. We hit the triple option for 13 yards and then Mackey fumbled on the same play a little alter," Lee noted. "Louisiana Tech did a good job - they shut down a lot of things we had designed."

Jeff Scott
Bruce Newman

The Rebs could only muster 128 yards rushing on 43 tries, a shade less than three yards a carry. Not good enough.

"We just got outexecuted. Schematically, we were fine, but they just outplayed us," Lee stated.

Lee appeared to have some of the color drained from his face in explaining his unit's performance.

"We had an excellent week of practice and that is what blows my mind. Mackey didn't miss but one or two passes Wednesday and Thursday in 40-50 passes a day. We caught it well, we were sharp," Lee closed. "It shocked me how we played, but I guess I underestimated the ramifications of what had gone on this week."

On the flip side, the Rebel defense hung in there a long time, but finally bad field position and two defensive TDs by Tech did them in as well.

"We competed. They showed a lot of character under some very adverse conditions," said Defensive Coordinator Tyrone Nix. "When you lose your coach, it's like losing a family member, but besides a couple of big plays, I thought the defense gave us a chance to win the game.

"I was very proud of them."

Nix said one regret he's got for being dismissed this year is the young talent that is coming back next year.

"Senquez Golson played an excellent game, rebounding from a poor outing against Alabama. That shows you his character," Nix stated. "He will be a great player for Ole Miss in years to come.

"C.J. Johnson made one critical mistake tonight, but he played with his heart. The thing I am going to miss is this special group of freshmen when you talk about those two and then Serderius Bryant, Keith Lewis, Cody Prewitt. Cody is playing so well right now that I don't consider him a freshman. Our two redshirt freshmen tackles are going to be real good in time. Nick Brassell can play both ways. Ole Miss has some really good young players they will be proud of in the future."

You can understand Nix's assessment in light of the situation the Rebs are in, but the defense still surrendered another 100-yard rusher. This one - Hunter Lee - was a backup for injured Lennon Creer. Lee gained 127 yards on 24 carries.

But, in the end, the Rebels were - overall - a bad team again. It was so bad, the Black Bear mascot put a box over his head in the third quarter.

Louisiana Tech is a farm team - A or AA - compared to the major leaguers the Rebels will face next week in number 1 LSU.

"I don't know if I have ever faced as many Top 10 teams in one year as I have this year and next week is the best of the best," Nix closed. "I look forward to it, but they are definitely the biggest challengte we have had here, no doubt."

There was no traffic leaving the stadium. The 44,000 in attendance had scattered long before this one ended.

The only ones remaining were the Bulldog fans, gathered around their team buses chanting "SEC, SEC," their band blaring their fight song.

A fitting ending to a woeful night.

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