Well, it was a great first half. As the third quarter started, I looked at my friend and said: “this place is dead. I hope it stays this way.” And it did for the first couple posessions.
But when Ole Miss scored to take the 20-21 lead on the flukey fumble into the endzone (that looked to me like it was going to bounce through the endzone) that was recovered by a Rebel, it was the start of the downward spiral of blown first down plays, a key penalty against us and tiredness.
That was quickly followed up with a great first down play call that only resulted in a complete pass. The drive quickly went 3-and-out, and the Rebs scored quickly on what turned out to be the first – if I have the order right – of two pretty bad defensive drives for one of our cornerbacks. The first resulted in a pretty easy 53-yard TD – even though he pushed the receiver in the back before he caught the ball. (Side note: If you’re going to get flagged for interference, just go ahead and tackle the guy so he can’t catch the ball please.)
But it was still just 28-20 at the end of the 3rd quarter. The Rebs had all the momentum, but it was certainly not a done deal. The “Rebel D” continued dialing up the pressure on Wynrick. Ole Miss started pulling away after a big 3rd down sack to start the 4th quarter and by scoring on their first two possessions of the quarter. The second came after a forced Wynrick pass that was tipped up and intercepted. Our defense had been set up the entire game for the play Ole Miss scored on from 25 yards out.
Things got even worse as the Bear defense appeared to have forced an Ole Miss punt. I was excited until I turned and saw the flag in the backfield… and the defensive end that was standing beside it… and I knew what had happened. I had told my friend before the game that that DE was a high motor guy that was also good for one roughing the passer penalty a game. It was at this point where I was sadly able to say – I told you so.
What was a defensive stop by the defense turned into Ole Miss’s final score to make it 49-20. The offense ended the second-half shutout on the next possession with a good 75-yard drive that included two good third-down conversions. And that ended effectively it, 49-27.
My players of the game:
- Offense: Dezmin Lewis – 6 catches for 41 yards and 1 touchdown; Al Lasker – 3 catches for 81 yards, 1 touchdown
- Defense: Justin Heard – 9 tackles, 2 tfl, a dominating first half; Rojae Jackson – 10 tackles, 2 tfl, 1.5 sacks
- Special Teams: Kevin Buford – 7 punts, 41.3 yd avg, 54 yard long, pinned their returner back every time – even when his teammates let the returner leak out once.
- Rojae Jackson appeared at first to have a pretty serious left shoulder injury, but after they got the pads off and ice on it, he looked like he wasn’t in as much pain as before. Had 10 tackles before he came out.
- Similar situation with Zach Bush. Right shoulder injury that – if I remember correctly – happened on special teams just like Jackson’s.