The Rebels, up 14-0 in the first quarter and 31-10 at halftime, gave it all back and more to the visiting Gamecocks, a FCS team that has a knack for coming close in games like this but not winning them.
Until Saturday in Oxford before 55,768 mostly disappointed Ole Miss fans.
Here are the third-year UM head coach's comments after his record at Ole Miss fell to 18-9.
"Obviously that was very disappointing. That's not the way we wanted to start out. You're up 31-10, but the turnovers were what really, really bothered me. You can't let a team like that hang around. They scored the first one by a gift. They knocked the ball up, the ball bounces just right and he runs it in. Really they hadn't gotten anything in the first half until that happened. Then we throw an interception, Grandy fumbles, and then they had momentum. I've been on that other side as a I-AA coach. When you score and you stay in there, especially in the second half, it just energizes that sideline and they say ‘Hey, we're in it.' They have nothing to lose and they turn it loose. Jack Crowe's group did a good job. We knew they were a good football team, picked to win the OVC this year and you see why. The bottom line is we've got to watch this tomorrow, get better, correct some things, and get back to work. It's important how we handle things here in the next 48 hours.
Q: Were you surprised they went for two at the end (in overtime)?
Nutt: No. When you're on the road, and I coached with Jack long enough, when you're on the road, there was no doubt in my mind he'd go for two to try to end it right there.
Q: You weren't able to stop them at all in the second half.>/b>
Nutt: Not looking at the film yet, I know we're better tacklers than that, and we've been a lot better in coverage than that. They hit us in the back of the end zone on fourth and 15, fourth and goal, I thought the game was over. The guy scrambles out and throws it in the back of the end zone and comes down with one foot in bounds. They were hitting on all cylinders today. There were some missed tackles, but I know we're better than that. It makes you sick because you can't get that one back.
Q: Why did you like Masoli in the overtime?
Nutt: The first play I knew I was going to run a naked keep, and I knew I wanted him to do it. Everybody was going to gang up on the run. So he'd been in some situation before, little bit more experience. But I was really proud of Nathan. He was well prepared. Three touchdown passes.
Q: Were you fearful of this game because of the focus factor for your team and with them being a I-AA team?
Nutt: I tried to really hit hard with them Thursday night that these guys won't be intimated by the arena. They had Florida State beat last year. So with all that's going on, you still just can't make excuses.
Q: Could you envision a better start than 14-0 less than six minutes in?
Nutt: No. That's the way you want to do it. Everything was perfect. You can't stop there, though.
Q: Were the distractions of the week with Jeremiah Masoli and Kentrell Lockett a problem?
Nutt: I'm sure it was. You try to coach against that though. You try to coach hard. You try to prepare them the right way. It's easy to say that but you've got to give Jacksonville State credit. My hat's off to Coach Crowe. They've got a good football team, and I applaud them. But I'm ready to get back and get our guys going.
Q: Is this one of the toughest losses in your career?
Nutt: Yeah, without a doubt. You don't like to get started like this.
Q: What's the status of Randall Mackey?
Nutt: I talked to him last night. He's a winner. He's a really good football player. Great future. Instead of being a spot player here or there, I've asked him to consider being a redshirt and he agreed. He's really improved for just getting here in the summer. Really strong arm. What a great young man and just appreciate his attitude. I think he knows he was the best.
Q: How was the postgame locker room?
Nutt: Nothing was being said. It was pretty quiet. It was a disappointing locker room as it should be. It's just sad.
Q: What did you say to the team?
Nutt: I told them this is the time we find out what everybody's about now. Anybody can be pretty good in a celebrated locker room when you're winning. Just make sure you don't listen. There will be people on the outside that will try to say things to you and try to make you into a locker room lawyer. Don't disrupt. Just come back and go to work.
Q: How do envision your quarterback play next week in terms of who starts and who plays?
Nutt: It will probably be along the same lines. We've just got to get everything worked out. Jeremiah didn't practice very much this past week. I was proud of both of them. But for a guy not practicing very much this week, I thought he did good. Just can't turn it over.
Q: How much gameweek preparation did Jeremiah have?
Nutt: Just the week before. Maybe a little bit this Thursday and Friday.
Q: Talk about Jeff Scott.
Nutt: He gives you a chance. He's another speed type of back that gives you some speed on the edge. Does a good job on kickoff returns.
Q: What was the most disappointing thing about today?
Nutt: Besides the loss? I don't know. Turnovers. Fourth and 15. Make you sick.