By Brandon Speck
OXFORD – Ole Miss finally won a close – and big – game, a 27-24 win Saturday over No. 6 LSU.
A week after Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M broke nearly 61,000 hearts on a last-second field goal, the Rebels – depleted Rebels – deleted that memory.
“It seems like, with a lot of those that we’ve had, I’ve been here longer than I have,” second-year Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said. “We’ve had quite a bit of those go the other way.”
An 8-point loss at Auburn marred a comeback attempt two weeks ago. Last season, the Rebels (4-3, 2-3) lost games against Texas A&M, Vanderbilt and LSU by a combined 10 points.
Quarterback Bo Wallace had taken much criticism and fans were on edge after the loss to A&M. Wallace was asked about his mindset with the ball starting at his own 15 yard line with 3:15 left to play.
“I’m not letting this happen again,” Wallace said.
It was Ole Miss’ first win over a Top 10 team since a win over No. 8 LSU in 2009. It was also the highest-ranked team Ole Miss has beaten since a win against Tim Tebow and No. 4 Florida in Gainesville in 2008.
Despite the winning effort from the beat-up Rebels’ replacements, Ole Miss isn’t where Freeze wants just yet. But it was a second straight weekend of highly-ranked recruits on campus. They saw the Rebels fall just short seven days earlier, then saw them finally make a climb over the hill that has proved tough footing – a win in a close game.
“There’s some really good recruits in that locker room that see we’re really close and we could use a little help, because we’re not where we need to be depth-wise in certain spots,” Freeze said.