Coordinators -

After three quarters of 'hanging in there' in the hostile environment that is Death Valley, the Rebs wilted in the end, losing to 14th-ranked LSU 27-24. Coordinators John Latina and Chuck Driesbach were not consoled with the close-and-almost performance.

The Rebel fans at the Ole Miss-LSU game - which ended 27-24 in favor of the homestanding Tigers - gave their team a standing ovation for their effort last night.

Ole Miss coordinators Chuck Driesbach and John Latina were pleased with the pride exhibited by Ole Miss' players, but they weren't into the "moral victory" line.

"We gave up a ton of yards rushing. You can't do that and expect to win," said Defensive Coordinator Driesbach, whose unit gave up 360 yards on the ground. "We saw all kinds of unbalanced sets today and we give up a third-and-27 on a counter run. I don't know how we can't get him on the ground there - ridiculous, but we didn't."

Driesbach claims the defensive staff did a good job adjusting, but they ran out of ammo.

"We were putting fingers in the dike, but we couldn't get it done in the end. They started out with three offensive linemen to one side and scored on us quickly. We made the adjustments and got that fixed, then they went to something else we'd have to plug up," he explained. "Then, in the end, with our top three DEs (Jayme Mitchell, Cory Robinson and Corvelli Haynes) out, we had no answers for the edge rushes. They just kept pounding us on the edges - there was tremendous significance in that. They (LSU) saw it and we couldn't do anything about it."

Driesbach did find some bright spots in the outing.

"We scored a touchdown on Trumaine's (McBride) interception and return. We gave ourselves a chance to win at the end by getting ourselves off the field the last two LSU possessions. A lot of guys made plays tonight, but we just could not get (Alley) Broussard and (Joseph) Addai bottled up," Driesbach stated. "It wasn't a lot of fun. Those tosses and counters were deadly to us."

Driesbach was also pleased with the effort of his team.

"We weren't very effective at times - they ran through us at times, but our kids fought their hearts out, to the last play," he stated. "I know the objective is to win, and we didn't do that. That is troubling, but I can't fault the kids for their effort. At times, our performance wasn't good, but our effort was there from the first snap to the last."

On the offensive side of the ball, the Rebels did some good things in the first half, but in the second half they could not dent the relentless Tiger defense.

"We moved the ball very well in the first half, but we could not sustain anything in the second half," Offensive Coordinator Latina noted. "We had way too many three-and-outs and we had poor field position two or three times. That is difficult for a good offense, let alone an offense that has sputtered a lot this year.

"It's unfortunate for our team and senior class because we had opportunities to win this game and to get it done, but we came up just a little short."

Like Driesbach, Latina had no problems with the energy and emotion and intensity and effort displayed by his troops.

"We did not give the effort necessary a week ago. We were embarrassed as coaches and as players. We knew we were playing an outstanding team this week - a team that held Auburn to three offensive points for 58 minutes - but we felt we had some things that would go and the kids accepted the challenge. They played their hearts out."

In the end, it was LSU's pressure that was the Rebs' undoing.

"We had our chances to win this game, as I said, but at the end, with the game on the line, we could not slow down their rush and get anything going. We gave up way too many pressures and sacks when we needed time to throw," he continued. "They came after us hard, knowing we would be in the dropback game, and we just didn't hold up."

The Reb offensive coaches made a decision fairly early to go with QB Robert Lane, for the most part.

"We think Robert is getting better and better. This was his kind of game - hard and physical. We felt we could run some things with him that would work against LSU - some QB runs, some option, directing the stretch play that worked well for us in the first half," Lats stated. "He was effective with those things in the first half. He's going to be fine.

"We were concerned with second and third level pressures going into the game. We didn't know how Robert would handle those situations, but he did fine in the first half. In the second half, they started bringing more people from different angles. We picked some things up in the first half, but we miscommunciated with the backs some in the second half and didn't give ourselves a chance. If you get beat on a block, you just get beat, but we didn't do that on two occasions tonight. We miscommunicated with out backs and got sacked with nobody blocking their rushers."

The Rebs got the stretch play, stretch option and QB draw working in the first half, but they didn't stick the entire game.

"LSU adjusted and we didn't have anything that we could get clicking after that. They knew we were struggling throwing the ball and overloaded the run. Then when we had to go to the pass, we couldn't handle the pressure," Latina said. "That's a great defense we faced.

"But there is no doubt we responded with fire tonight and that's one plus we didn't have last week. We will have to do the same in The Egg Bowl. We have to do everything we can to win this game for our senior class - they deserve that much."

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