Rebels overcome crucial mistakes to stun No. 6 Tigers

Lauren Wood | Buy at photos.djournal.com Ole Miss players, coaches and staff celebrate their 27-24 win over LSU Saturday night in Oxford.

Lauren Wood | Buy at photos.djournal.com
Ole Miss players, coaches and staff celebrate their 27-24 win over LSU Saturday night in Oxford.

By Parrish Alford

Daily Journal

OXFORD – Andrew Ritter’s 41-yard field goal with two seconds on the clock overcame a couple of crucial mistakes in the second half, and Ole Miss knocked off No. 6 LSU 27-24 before a crowd of 61,160 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Saturday night.

A defense missing four starters because of injury and one – cornerback Senquez Golson – because of a suspension that came to light early Saturday morning, intercepted LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger three times in the first half and helped the Rebels built a 17-0 lead.

But an Ole Miss fumble, a muffed punt by the Rebels and Mettenberger’s poise helped the Tigers tie the game at 24 with 3:19 to play.

The Rebels (4-3, 2-3 SEC) snapped a three-game losing streak.

“I’ve dreamed about this since I was a little kid, back in high school. Laying in bed this is what I would dream of,” Ritter said.

Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace completed 30 of 39 passes for 346 yards and drew praise from his coach, Hugh Freeze, who said hugging Wallace’s neck in the locker room was made all the more special by the criticism of his quarterback’s performance after the Rebels’ 41-38 loss to No. 9 Texas A&M last week.

“The criticism that young men take in today’s game because of social media, people feeling that they can take shots at them, is not just. For him to put blinders on, ignore the critics and the cheap shots that people may take … I just know it was good to hug his neck tonight,” Freeze said.

Short-handed Rebels

It wasn’t just Wallace. The Rebels, who were missing starting tailback Jeff Scott, rushed for 176 yards, 105 by sophomore Jaylen Walton who also scored on runs of 2 and 26 yards.

I’Tavius Mathers rushed for 52 yards, including 21 on four carries on the winning drive. His 12-yard run to the 30 with seconds ticking away earned him two more carries to make sure the ball was positioned just right for Ritter’s attempt.

Ritter hit from 28 yards earlier in the game, but had a 29-yard attempt blocked in the fourth quarter after the Rebels had driven 70 yards.

That block snapped a string of seven makes for Ritter, who asked to be redshirted as a senior last year.

“He’ll remember that for a lifetime,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said. “He felt awful because the time before the protection was good. The snap was a little high, and he kicked a low liner. He felt awful about that, because it would have given us a two-score lead. I’m glad it worked out for him.”

The Rebels led 17-0 after Walton’s 2-yard run with 9:29 left in the third.

Mistakes

A Mathers fumble near mid-field and a muffed punt return by Korvic Neat at the Ole Miss 13 led to 10 points to fuel the Tigers (6-2, 3-2 SEC) comeback.

The Rebels’ defense produced multiple big plays in the first half, stopping LSU drives with a sack and three interceptions, two in the end zone and one at the Ole Miss 20.

Mettenberger had thrown only two interceptions all year and has now thrown five in two years against Ole Miss. Golson picked off two in Baton Rouge last year.

The Rebels’ emergency cornerbacks were strong in the first two quarters, limiting the LSU receiving duo of Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry to a combined four catches, three for 45 yards by Beckham.

It took the Rebels three possessions to move the chains once, but when they did Wallace hit a groove.

He was sacked twice, once when a blitzer was unaccounted for, but he was 16-for-23 passing for 200 yards.

Ole Miss outgained LSU 525-388.

“To God be the glory,” Ole Miss defensive coordinator Dave Wommack said.

“It was scary. I give the credit to our assistant coaches and the heart of our kids.”

parrish.alford@journalinc.com

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  • Killer_Beeze

    Hotty Toddy Gosh Almighty! Ole Miss is on a possible course to end up 8-4 or possibly 9-3 IF they can get everybody back–playing healthy–by the time Missouri rolls into Oxford.

    • Thile

      I’d say 8-4 or 7-5 at this point. Going forward with no tight ends (Evan Engram’s having season-ending surgery on an ankle he injured last night) is gonna be tough.

  • Kevin

    So I figured I make my crow-eating post. I certainly had no idea that this team had so much fight left in them after that three-game skid. And I certainly didn’t think the lead would hold up given that Ole Miss tried to ride the train to chokesville–the late-game fumbles and all. But in the end I was pleasantly surprised. Suck on that you LSU idiots!!

    Now I hope we don’t have a let down against Idaho High.

  • REB

    Kevin why not try out for a Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Clown? You are one anyway, might as well get paid for it. Want to come back and pretend you are an Ole Miss Fan again? Nobody wants you. Get lost.

    • Kevin

      It’s funny that you say “Nobody wants you. Get lost.” but at the very moment that I wasn’t on here after the LSU win you lamented my brief absence (I had to travel Sunday evening and Monday evening that made posting on here difficult). This goes to show that you’re really in love with me and it further demonstrates that my opinions voiced here make for interesting back and forth, flames, insults, and innuendo. In other words, without me on this forum, this site wouldn’t be nearly as interesting. It’d just be you Taliban types talking about how great a 4-3 team is with little or no discussion of anything–because you all agree.

      So the short of it, REB, is this–make up your mind–do you want me around or not? You tell me to get lost and then you complain that I’m not around. You don’t even know which way is up, do you? Oh well, we were all 14 and very awkward at one point in our lives. You’ll grow out of it.

  • Roger Davis

    Kevin, you probably figured I would be the first to post on here and gloat. However, I don’t work like that. The common goal is try and get the best out of Ole Miss. That’s why I think encouragement is so important – even when things seem bad.

    • Kevin

      I still think you’re a dimwit.

      • Roger Davis

        I’ll play your game, then. You’ve been a ‘sucker’ – your own words – all your life. No need to stop now.

        • Kevin

          Yes, as Ole Miss fans, we’ll always be suckered in by their mediocrity.

          • Roger Davis

            Due to your staunch criticism – you own that title all by yourself.

      • hhb

        I and think in the same sentence,,,,oxyMORON

  • Kevin

    It could have been my trash talking all week that motivated the team. We don’t need to be supportive, but we need to berate them so they’ll go out and prove us wrong.

    • Roger Davis

      You have the gall to think its something you said? And now you want to jump on the bandwagon since they won! What a fake!

      • Kevin

        I’m not on a bandwagon. It’s still likely we won’t win another SEC game. I just see the team as it is–not that good. That’s all. You all see way too much in this team. Does anyone need reminding about how we almost caved in the fourth quarter again? Fumbled ball, muffed punt, blocked field goal…good teams seal the deal and we didn’t do that until there was 3 seconds left. We got LSU when they were unprepared and it’s a fine win, but it won’t get us to Atlanta this year. Hopefully it’s a marker of better seasons down the road, I don’t know. But with all I’ve experienced in my 40+ years of following the Rebs, about 7-5 is the best we can hope for.

        • Roger Davis

          Who are you trying to convince – yourself? You are a piss poor excuse for a fan! All those sucky Ole Miss teams need to hang your useless, sorry tail in The Square in the middle of a heatwave and throw darts at you in 30 minutes intervals.

          • Kevin

            Gosh, that’s kind of harsh. I understand how you think though. You’re one of those idiots out there who cannot stand it that somebody disagrees with you or holds a conflicting opinion. You prefer that people holding a different viewpoint be tortured? My, you’re sick, Roger.

          • Roger Davis

            Idiot is too good for you! (Hint: Didn’t have class today, ‘Mr. Crabtree’. But you already knew that.)

          • Kevin

            You don’t even realize how ridiculous you are. You’re trying to get me to be more of a fanatic. You’re like a Taliban American…all over a mediocre football team, which will struggle against Idaho High School on Saturday.

          • Roger Davis

            No, you’ve been punk’d and WE are having so much fun!

          • Kevin

            Punk’d how? You all love me; it’s the only reason you come to the DJs website–to see what I’ve got to say–and then to assail me with insults and epithets. You all are so ridiculous, just like the Taliban, fearlessly quashing dissent and differences in opinion. And you all do it to the point that demonstrates your undying love and affection for me because without my controversial viewpoints stated here, you all would not congregate on this site to tell me to go get bent.

          • Roger Davis

            Yes, punk’d. We were going to end things after the LSU game, but you took the bait and devoured it…just like we knew you would. Are you on a break, ‘teache’?

          • Kevin

            End what things? This team is still mediocre and possibly even down right crummy. We’ll see what we’re really made of this week if we can pummel Idaho High heading into the open week. Then hopefully we’ll pummel the pigs and Troy State and then State College. While I might hold out a glimmer of optimism with those games, I don’t think we’ll be able to beat Mizzou. They’re just too strong. And, if Ole Miss’s past is any indication, then we could very well lose the remainder of our games and really suck.

            So I don’t consider myself punk’d at all. I’m just a guy who is sick of sucking and mediocre football teams for the money we pour into this sad program. I’ll be here routinely to voice my opinions regardless of how much you and your fans love me or not.

          • Roger Davis

            This is fun! If you only had a clue, you’d probably be real pissed. Are you done for the day???

          • Kevin

            This latest post doesn’t make any sense.

          • Roger Davis

            Exactly. You figure it out. You’ve got plenty of clues. We will say, you thought you were replying to Roger Davis. You were not. In fact, its a was few people. Shout out to Rog who is on a cruise. Again you were punk’d. For educational purposes, our identities will not be revealed. Adieu!

          • Kevin

            Regardless of whoever I was replying to, you’re all one in the same in my book–people who care more about insulting folks on the internet rather than talking about football.

          • Roger Davis

            Fortunately, there’s just one of you. Thank God for that!

          • Kevin

            The team is a public entity that garners public money and therefore they’re open to criticism, just like any public figure is in this country. If you don’t like my criticisms of the team, then tell me how my criticisms are incorrect. So far, you’ve just told me that I’m not allowed to criticize the team, but have failed to convince me that this is the case. To make such a claim means you’re a fanatic who must quash all conflicting opinions and that’s just downright silly. Also, you’ve merely insulted me personally when I could be all of the things you say about me or none of the things you say could be true–all of which has no bearing on whether this teams is mediocre, great, or horrible. It is for all of these reasons that I must conclude that you and the many multitudes of personalities that constitute Roger Davis are probably 14 year old kids.

            So I’ll reiterate my points in case you’ve forgotten: Ole Miss is a mediocre football team at best, and they may even drop 2 or 3 more games this season, based on the way they’ve performed to date and because of injuries and because of the JUCO members on the squad trying to compete in the SEC. The coaching staff has a lot to learn, but the LSU game has demonstrated that they can motivate this team to play above its level. Can they do that consistently? I’m not holding my breath.

          • Roger Davis

            Please, please hold your breath and see what happens!!!!

    • Killer_Beeze

      You’re ego surpasses your I.Q. :))

    • handy010

      You, sir, are a moron

  • REB

    Kevin you said ” we need to berate them so they’ll go out and prove us wrong.” That is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. That is like constantly screaming at someone that they are worthless and it will help them. You need to see a doctor in the worst way.

    • Kevin

      It’s what my coaches did to motivate my team when I played football and basketball.

      • Roger Davis

        And how many years ago was that? Forty plus years of sucking – you’ve been over the hill and down in the valley.

        • ostrogoth

          Roger-We have to encourage Kevin to call Paul Finebaum ESPN radio show. Best football talk show, and Kevin would be perfect. If you see this posting Kevin, it’s 1-855-242-7285.

          • Kevin

            As stated earlier, I work for a living. I’m not a teenager like you guys are and spend my days texting, shopping, and playing video games.

          • ostrogoth

            Kevin-I am 50 years old. Decorated Veteran of the United States Air Force. Bachelors and Masters Degrees from the University of Mississippi, where my father taught for 30 years, and I taught for two years, as an assistant professor. Truly, there cannot be any pity for felt you, as you have no honor, no dignity, and certainly no courage.

        • Kevin

          I know you’re probably only 14 or 15 years old, but someday you too will be old.

          • Roger Davis

            Your age theory is off-base. But suppose it wasn’t. A crusty, grown man engaged in dialogue with a teen for days. How does than make you feel?

          • Kevin

            So that shows how ridiculous you are–you consider this a “dialogue”? I get more dialogue from my dog than from the likes of you.

            What does any of this have to do with the mediocrity of Ole Miss football?

          • Roger Davis

            You’re the imbecile that mentioned age. What does that have to do with football? Bet that’s not all you get from your dog.

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