In light of Texas A&M offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury being named head coach at his alma mater, Texas Tech, I recalled the Rebels’ 42-28 loss there in 2002
There was some discussion about this on the blog earlier this week. It is indeed true that Ole Miss had recent bowl success against Texas Tech with wins in the Independence (1998) and Cotton (2008) bowls, but the Rebels and Red Raiders had a home-and-home contract when I changed over to the Ole Miss beat beginning in 2002, and Tech outscored Eli Manning twice.
Manning threw for 374 yards – I was thinking it was more than that – and three touchdowns to Kingsbury’s 270 yards and two touchdowns, but Manning had an interception by a defensive end returned for a touchdown, and Kingsbury did not throw an interception.
When Tech came to Oxford in 2003, the Red Raiders rallied from a 45-34 deficit as B.J. Symons threw two of his six touchdown passes in the final five minutes. Symons passed for 661 yards. Manning threw a touchdown pass and two interceptions to go along with 409 passing yards, but the Ole Miss offense too often settled for field goals as Jonathan Nichols kicked six of them.
It was after the Tech loss that the 2003 Ole Miss team went on a six-game win streak and didn’t lose again until it faced LSU in Oxford with the driver’s seat for the Western Division title on the line.