OLE MISS NOTEBOOK: Defense loses key players

OleMissLogoBy Parrish Alford

Daily Journal

OXFORD – Stretched thin at defensive end already without C.J. Johnson, one of its top producers, Ole Miss got more bad news when freshman Robert Nkemdiche pulled a hamstring while chasing Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel in the first half.

It was announced in the press box that Nkemdiche’s return was “questionable,” but Nkemdiche did not return.

Defensive linemen Issac Gross and Woodrow Hamilton also left the field with injuries.

Linebacker Serderius Bryant left the field on a stretcher with less than 4 minutes to play.

No status report was available for Bryant or any of the other injured players.

Ritter’s success

Andrew Ritter’s 42-yard field goal with 4:12 left in the second quarter made it a 14-10 game.

It was Ritter’s fifth-straight make, his fourth of 40-plus yards in that span.

The senior from Jackson was redshirted last year and groomed to replace a very reliable Bryson Rose. He went into the game 6-for-8 on the season.

Key number

1,049 – The two teams combined for 1,049 yards.

Key drive

Manziel came back from a tweaked knee to guide the Aggies 75 yards in five plays, the score coming on an 18-yard run by Trey Williams.

The drive answered a 70-yard touchdown connection from Bo Wallace to Vince Sanders who was wide open yards behind the A&M secondary, a score that had tied the game at 7.

Next weekend

The Rebels play the second of six-straight home games against LSU, a 17-6 winner over Florida Saturday. Kickoff is 6 p.m.

Rebel ramblings

The Rebels were called for targeting twice during the game. They endured the penalties, but Trae Elston and Keith Lewis were both allowed to remain in the game after the plays were reviewed. … Freshman Derrick Jones started at cornerback but did not play most of the game. … Texas A&M’s big 6-foot-5 receiver Mike Evans was not a huge factor until late in the game when he took a dump pass 26 yards to the 6 and set up Manziel’s 6-yard scramble for the tying score with 3:07 left.

parrish.alford@journalinc.com

  • Kevin

    With our best freshman out for the season, more JUCO transfers will have to step up. And all this means more losses as the season drags along.

  • VocalCoach

    Kevin,
    I have read more of your comments and I’ve got to say….I think I speak for most all Ole Miss fans (and Alumni) and when I say that you really just need to stop posting….period. Hugh Freeze and the leadership at Ole Miss are exactly what our university needs. What we don’t need is people like you that can’t seem to say anything good unless everything is going right. It’s about more than just winning a football game or putting up big numbers; it’s about changing the lives of the participants and just allowing the boys to play. Take back to the old saying “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

    • Kevin

      I’m an Ole Miss grad, a member of the Ole Miss Athletics Association, and a lifetime member of the Ole Miss alumni club. Given the contributions that I make toward my alma mater’s athletic programs, I believe I have the right to criticize their performances as much as I want to. If you don’t like what I have to say, then maybe you should quit reading what I write. Show some individual responsibility. And I really can’t believe that you buy into what you wrote. it’s not about “changing the lives of the participants…” if you really believe that then you’re quite delusional. I mean, foist that doo-doo onto Marshall Henderson, who is the antithesis of a “student-athlete.” Big time college athletics is about winning, period. That’s why Hugh Freeze is one of the highest paid public officials in the state (and he makes a lot more money than the governor or the Speaker of the House). We need to hold public officials like him accountable when they fail. Moreover, Ole Miss has usually sucked, with the exception of a mediocre season or two. I think it’s about time you wised up and accepted the fact that we’ll never make it to Altanta and never be one of the upper echelon SEC programs.

      • The Ghost of Col. Reb

        It is still America, whether or not we agree, I believe this is a venue for anyone, even the ass-clown Cid Riley, to express his/her thoughts. I don’t agree with everything you say Kevin, but I do believe in free speech.

        • Kevin

          You don’t agree that we have a sucky team this season? What team have you been watching? We can’t tackle, we can’t run, we can’t consistently pass to the correct team, we can’t block, and the players can’t stay healthy and game ready. All of this indicates to me that we suck and are in the Kentucky, Vandy, Arkansas, and State College crowd–otherwise known as the lower echelon of the SEC–where Ole Miss has consistently been since the end of the Vaught era.

          I mean we had A&M last night when it was 4th and 7 with about 4 minutes remaining and Johnny freakin’ football did what he had been doing all night. He couldn’t find anyone open so he took off running and gained like 15 yards. Two plays later he was in the endzone and it was all but tied up. We had our chance and blew it and this is what Ole Miss is historically known for doing.

          • The Ghost of Col. Reb

            What would you do to fix it? Just not play?

          • Kevin

            The solution is easy. In the era of conference realignment, we should drop down to an easier conference, like the one that Troy and La. Tech play in. We could be the top team in a smaller conference at least until the recruiting drops off. I know you’ll counter with “tradition” but if you look back to history, Ga. Tech was once part of the SEC as was Tulane. Now those teams are in lesser conferences. I think reconsidering membership in the SEC is a viable alternative than forking out millions of dollars for coaches and facilities only to suck up the field each and every year. I mean if 7-6 is the best we can hope for, why do we continue to punish ourselves by playing in the SEC?

          • danny

            you are stupid take your loyalty tulane or troy remember the state vs troy score

          • Kevin

            Well, danny, thanks for chiming in. I don’t remember the score, but didn’t State College trounce Troy by like 50 points or something? Yes, it was one of their few shining moments this season. In any case, Ole Miss, State, and Vandy are the perennial most sucky teams in the SEC and should probably all leave the conference.

            I may be stupid, but at least I can use punctuation and form a coherent thought.

          • Kevin

            By the way, Ghost, I appreciate the level of civility instead of knee-jerk reaction like many others in the ‘fan club.’

  • Roger Davis

    Kevin, I had a strong suspicion, we were dealing with a disgruntled ‘old coon’ since you mentioned the Cooper Years. God, you are tired! But it’s my belief, we got the best recruiting class in the history of Ole Miss. They are not an automatic success, as some would like, but with a little experience they are going to be something special. Those recruits have opened the door for more to get on board and making the Rebels a force to be reckoned with.

    • Kevin

      We won’t win the recruiting battles consistently if we lose on the field. I think you’re a cockeyed optimist. Optimism is great, but after 40+ years of it, I’m tired and sick of sucking.

      • Roger Davis

        Keep thinking. Maybe, you’ll finally get it right.

  • REB

    Well Kevin I noticed from your comments your tired of sucking. Well just stop. No Ole Miss fan wants or needs your opinion. Oh, by the in case you haven’t noticed our recruiting is going fine. From all reports this weekend will soon pay dividends.

    • Kevin

      If you don’t want my opinion, then exhibit some personal responsibility and quit reading my opinions stated on this forum!! It’s that simple, but I doubt you do that. You’re compelled to read what I have to say because secretly you know I’m right and you’re in love with me. Notice that I correctly used the contraction “you’re” which means “you are.” Not “your.”

  • REB

    No I read your post for a good laugh among my friends and I. You have become known as the “Daily Journal Nut” You were the one who said you were tried of sucking. If you don’t want to read my post don’t. I can’t help you are being shown up for what you are.

    • Kevin

      So far you’re my number one fan on here, so I feel obligated to respond. The only thing that makes me angry about you (well, not really angry, but sad is more like)…what makes me sad about you is that you see Ole Miss football with blinders on. Ole Miss is great in your view. The team could go winless and in your view, that would be great because Ole Miss is great and nothing can change that. Another thing that saddens me about you is you have no ability whatsoever to reason. If a person criticizes the team for poor performance, you unreasonably conclude “oh well it must be a fan of State College…” That’s a myopic view. Furthermore, REB, you are one of those bullies who attempts to stifle all contrary opinions and the world is filled with jerks like you, which is another reason that you sadden me.