– Punter Tyler Campbell averaged 47.2 yards on eight punts with two inside the 20. Freshman Jeff Scott had another nice night on kick returns, averaging better than 30 yards on four attempts.
– Offense, which has been the unit to give the Rebels a chance to win this season, struggled when the game was on the line in the first three quarters. The defense gave up 498 yards to a team that was averaging 311.9 yards in SEC play.
Keys to victory
– Evaluating the keys to victory in Saturday’s GameDay section:
1.Slow the run: Mixed results. The Rebels gave up one long run to QB Chris Relf, and they held State’s leading rusher, Vick Ballard, to 43 yards. But LaDarius Perkins got to the edge and finished with 99 yards.
2. Force turnovers: The Rebels finished plus-1 in turnover margin. The first Ole Miss touchdown came one play after cornerback Jeremy McGee forced a fumble and recovered it at the MSU 16.
The problem was, there was too little achievement for the Rebels’ offense in the first half for a couple of turnovers to matter.
3. Be the emotional team: Sometimes that matters in a rival game. Ole Miss did not appear to be flat, but did appear to be slower than MSU and was not as physical with its offensive line against the MSU defensive front.
– Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli. In his final game, Masoli completed 24 of 44 passes for 261 yards, a touchdown and one interception.
– This rivalry isn’t such that you can win this game alone and call your season successful. But it is the game that you can’t lose consistently without taking a long hard look at your program. Tack that on two five-straight SEC losses going into the game. Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt said he’ll have some statements to make regarding the future by the time he meets with media today. Football season is over for Ole Miss, but it looks like the program will still make news for a few days.
Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal