Mouzon knows near-perfect game necessary

Dustin Mouzon remembers the heartbreaker in Baton Rouge last season. It gives him confidence, but he also knows the current challenge is an enormous one.

Ole Miss takes on No. 1 LSU Saturday at 2:30 in Oxford for a nationally televised CBS contest. Close losses have occurred two of the last three seasons against the Tigers, and the Rebels desperately need a victory, considering they are fighting to avoid being the first Ole Miss team to go winless in the SEC since Steve Sloan's squad in 1982 finished 0-6.

Shocking the country Saturday would erase some of the frustration of the season.

"It would make up for a lot," Mouzon said. "We have been waiting a long time for something big to happen. I think a win against LSU would give us that satisfaction."

However, a win will be easier said than done. LSU is led by a rushing offense ranked 13th nationally and a ferocious defense that is No. 3 in stopping the run. Playing near perfection will be required for Ole Miss.

"I've seen them," Mouzon noted. "They are undoubtedly a talented team. Especially for me at the wide receiver position. We have to be somewhat perfect in every facet of the game, especially special teams. They are a great team in all phases. We have to play great everywhere."

The talk of putting up a goose egg in conference play has intensified recently and is something always in the front of the players' minds. Ole Miss will have two more chances to avoid matching the futility that was last achieved 25 years ago.

"It does motivate," Mouzon said. "If someone is on the team that doesn't get motivated by it, they shouldn't be on the team. I think we can pull the upset here against LSU, and then come back and get us another Egg Bowl against Mississippi State. A lot of people talk down on us, but we have some games left, so we just need to win. That is what I look forward to."

Mouzon registered eight tackles in last season's 23-20 overtime loss, including a team-high seven solo stops, and the experience is allowing him to be prepared to face Tiger receiver Early Doucet. The speedy Doucet has four scores and 30 catches in only six games played.

"Early has speed and can go get the ball. Last year was my first year starting, so I have a feel about how he plays." Mouzon said.

Ole Miss' recent history of playing up to big-time opponents will be tested again Saturday in front of a sold out stadium. Mouzon hopes the atmosphere and energy will give the Rebels an extra gear.

"It is the same thing as when Florida came in. We have to get in that mindset that we have a chance run with these guys and finally get an upset and get us an SEC win.

"Playing against a big team gives everyone a mindset to jump into it and play at their best ability. Maybe it is the name. Maybe it is the game. We have played great against big teams lately, but we have fallen short."

Another chance to change that is hours away.

OM Spirit Top Stories