Shackelford stands up for coaches on defense

By PARRISH ALFORD / NEMS Daily Journal

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Ole Miss linebacker-defensive end D.T. Shackelford expressed support for the Rebels’ defensive coaches in the wake of Saturday’s 52-14 loss.
Each of the Rebels’ five SEC losses have been by at least two touchdowns.
Ole Miss began the day last in the league in scoring defense, giving up 32.9 points a game. The Rebels allowed almost that much in the first half.
“The only solution to big problems is hard work. You have to work hard every play and go with all you’ve got,” Shackelford said. “We have to keep listening to coach, keep following him. We still trust him. We’re still behind him.”
Vols rule on third downs
n Tennessee was 7 for 16 on third-down conversions, a 43 percent a notable upturn from its average of 34.6, 11th in the SEC.
Ole Miss was 2 for 12 on third down-conversions.
Rebels strong in rushing game
n Ole Miss rushed for 196 yards, 113 of them by Brandon Bolden, an SEC career-high. Bolden scored on runs of 17 and 2 yards.
Backup tailback Enrique Davis added 40 yards on 11 carries, and freshman Jeff Scott carried five times for 31 yards.
“At times we did some good things. We had some holes, and the backs picked up some yards,” co-offensive coordinator Mike Markuson said. “But we’ve got to be better on third downs. Besides turning the ball over, that was the key thing.”
Injury update
n Defensive tackle Lawon Scott left the field on a cart in the fourth quarter with a leg injury, possibly a break. Cornerback Charles Sawyer sustained a knee injury, the severity of which is unknown at this time.
Key play
n Justin Hunter grabbed a tipped ball out of the air and sprinted 80 yards for a Tennessee touchdown. The Vols struck first, struck fast and didn’t let off the gas in the first half.
Key number
n 5 – Ole Miss had shown improvement in taking care of the football but turned it over five times against the Vols.
Key drive
n After the Rebels got on the board with a 17-yard touchdown run by Brandon Bolden it was a 21-7 game with 14:54 left in the second quarter. The Vols responded with an 11-play, 86-yard drive culminating in a 22-yard pass from Tyler Bray to Justin Hunter.
Quotable
n “If it’s 7-0 Ole Miss favor, it might have been a different game. Very few times have we been able to play from ahead. We’re always digging ourselves a hole. Their guy catches the (tipped) ball full stride and goes 80 yards. You couldn’t run that play again.” – Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt.
Next weekend
n The Rebels are back on the road at No. 8 LSU in a 2:30 p.m., CBS television kickoff.
Rebel ramblings
n The loss was the second in 10 November games for Ole Miss under Houston Nutt. … Bolden has five 100-yard rushing games this season and has 11 rushing touchdowns, the fifth-highest single-season total in school history. … Bolden has 20 career rushing touchdowns, tied for fifth on the school’s career list. … Jason Jones started his second game at defensive end and recorded two of the Rebels’ three sacks. … Punter Tyler Campbell averaged 48.4 yards on seven kicks and downed a career-high four punts inside the 20-yard line.
Contact Parrish Alford at 678-1600
or parrish.alford@djournal.com.