Like Nutt says, time to handle things right

I wrote Tuesday in a column about Houston Nutt making the Rebels a factor again. Wondered when that would happen. Now he's gone and done it.

Gone out and got Ole Miss folks all excited about football again. And just a week after they were feeling about as low as low can go.

Went to the Swamp and shocked the world, in his words on the radio postgame from Gainesville, Fla., after Ole Miss' huge 31-30 upset of No. 4 Florida at The Swamp.

I don't know why we should be all that surprised. Nutt wins games like this regularly. So does Ole Miss when playing Florida.

Three of the last four times the Rebels have played in Gainesville, they've come out victorious. Three of the last four times they've played Florida on any field, Ole Miss has won.

The Rebels lead the all-time series with Florida by two wins. This latest was made even more significant in that it was Ole Miss' 600th win ever. I'll have to look up how many Division I-A, or FBS as I think it's now called, football schools have won 600. I'm pretty sure it's around 30.

There ought to be a lot of excitement now heading into the homecoming game Saturday in Oxford with South Carolina. Heck, bring everybody you know. As Nutt said postgame today, we can build on this – but only if we handle it right.

That goes for everybody. The Rebels deserve a full house. Ole Miss needs a full house.

The Rebels are a factor again.

It happens this way sometimes, the low before the high, the calm before the storm. Thank Kentrell Lockett for that beautiful block of the point after, the knocking of Jonathan Phillips' kick back down to the ground.

You know how they say it usually comes down to four or five plays. This one, with its 61 total points, surely did, and Lockett's play might be called the gamewinner.

But a lot had to happen before that and even after that for it to be so noteworthy. How about that fourth and 1 stop of Tebow at the Rebel 32 when Lord knows the game's outcome hung in the balance?

How many teams stop Tebow in just that type scenario? My guess is there might not be another team all year that will do that to him and the Gators in that late-game type situation.

But the Rebels did, and how sweet it was.

Ole Miss may never have needed a football victory as badly as it did today at any time in a long time. After last week's loss and after the past four years following the Eli era, Ole Miss and its fans were not only due but dang near desperate. Some had thrown in yet another towel.

This one came on the same field that the Rebels got a huge victory in a special season in 1989 when they pulled it off 24-19, and where in 2003 a special season was saved with a 20-17 dramatic win late.

The Rebels now have a chance at another one of those special seasons. But, as Nutt said, only if they handle things the right way.

I think that goes for everybody in Rebel Nation. Friday put Ole Miss on the world-wide stage with the Presidential Debate. Saturday's win at Florida gave Ole Miss national sports attention it hasn't had in quite a while.

Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks are up next on Saturday. TV didn't want it but should have.

Football at Ole Miss is all of a sudden fun again. The Rebels are indeed a factor once more.


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