Tick Tock

Bet I know what some of you were thinking after time ran out on LSU Saturday.

Anytime there's a single tick left on a game clock when Ole Miss and LSU are playing anything, one game comes to mind. The Tigers' 17-16 win in 1972, the game LSU's media guide said during its 100th year of football was the greatest ever played in Tiger Stadium.

I heard Harry Harrison's postgame remarks on the radio Saturday night. Something like "Now 37 years later we get that second back." Something along those lines.

Harry should feel some form of vindication. The All-American was playing defense for the Rebels when the Tigers won that game years ago.

Enough of the past. For those too young, some of you older Rebels help ‘em out. Saturday's Ole Miss victory, the dramatic 25-23 win against LSU, is all about the future. And maybe the present.

Ole Miss has one game left this regular season. And it is as important as any so far.

No need talking about Orlando for New Year's yet, Rebs. Try to refrain.

Talk only of the other "O."

Oktibbeha County.

For that is where every Rebel should focus their attention.

Ole Miss is now 8-3 overall and 4-3 in SEC play. So is LSU. The Rebels and Bulldogs play Saturday morning. LSU and Arkansas play later that day.

Two years into his tenure at Ole Miss, is there any doubt Houston Nutt is the November man? That's 7-0 in two seasons as the Rebel head coach in the month of Thanksgiving.

He doesn't win every game he coaches like the one played Saturday, it just almost seems like it. And especially this time of the season.

But it took a lot of craziness in the last quarter of Saturday's dramatic victory to put this one in the win column for the Rebs.

Nutt said he was disappointed the Rebels didn't capitalize down deep with a touchdown that could have made it 29-17 instead of having to go the field goal route for an eight-point edge.

There was only 3:42 left, but who among the nearly 62,000 in attendance and millions watching on CBS didn't know there was going to be a flurry to the finish line?

Everybody did. (If they said differently they're lying.)

I had a pretty good seat for the ending. I actually wasn't using it. I was standing against the wall on the photo deck just outside the press box.

That was after the Tigers had made it 25-23. Sometimes you have to slip out of the confines of the work area to absorb the moment.

So there's the onsides kick and the Tigers get it. How about that rush the Rebels then put on Jordan Jefferson? The vaunted Ole Miss defense and its coaches weren't thinking prevent.

There was a bit of a breath-holding moment when Jefferson hit Brandon LaFell for 26 yards down to the Ole Miss 32. But the Rebel defense continued to do its thing.

Marcus Tillman had already hurried Jefferson the play before the 26-yard gainer. Kentrell Lockett got in on the act of bothering Jefferson on an incompletion. Emmanuel Stephens, one of the team's best in the quarterback sack department, did just that to Jefferson for a 9-yard loss.

That's when LSU used its next to last timeout. Jefferson then swung one out to Stevan Ridley for a loss of seven yards, thanks to Louisiana native Patrick Trahan's sure-handed stop. There were 26 seconds left.

And the clock kept going. And going. And finally LSU called its last timeout with nine seconds to play.

I wasn't sure, though. The scoreboard said the Tigers still had one more timeout and did so the rest of the way.

Obviously they didn't the way things turned out.

Then Jefferson heaved it toward a pack of golds and reds and blues and purples. And Terrance Toliver came up with it, somehow, at the 5.

The clock showed one second left. Without a timeout, there wasn't enough time for the Tigers to do anything – spike it, get the field goal unit out. Nothing.

As for the Rebels, let the celebration begin as the stadium erupted in euphoria.

On to Starkville now, as 1972 seemed a little more distant than ever.

Don't necessarily agree? Just ask Harry.

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