Well Ole Miss fans... wonder why 'game' is in quotations in the title? Games have a set system of rules, adhered to in the spirit of equitable competition. Then there was this 'game...' It started with 7 free points awarded to Wake. Apparently, it is a sound and legitimate strategy to push a punt return blocker into his returner after a fair catch, cause a fumble, and recover. Seven free Wake Forest points. Fine. Continue to the rest of the game, where Ole Miss beats Wake 28-20. No matter, however, officials to the rescue! Pass interference call on Marshay Green on Wake's late drive. Marshay has the position, and his eyes on the ball. Usually, pass interference on the defense does not occur in this situation, unless the officials have interest vested in the outcome of the game. 15 yards, automatic first down. Also, thanks for reviewing the obvious Ole Miss TD beforehand, just to make sure. Glad to know we're interested in the fair outcome. So then, with seconds left and 41 yards to the FG, Skinner drops back IN THE POCKET, throws the ball out of bounds, 15 feet over the receiver's head, and flags remain in pockets. While Wake fans are well-versed in rules involving double-dribbles and moving picks, they (and officials) might be surprised to learn that such a play is the classical rule-bending situation that constituted the inception of the INTENTIONAL GROUNDING rule. Penalty at the spot of the foul, loss of down. Instead, 10 free points. Wake (read: Duke basketball) fans may not be convinced, but Ole Miss wins this game with legit officiating 8 of 10 times. We are the better team. You have no Snead. You have no McCluster. You have no Bolden. You have no Hodge. You have an arbitrarily assigned pre-season ranking, protected as long as you are the only ranked ACC team. Enjoy it.
Ole Miss gets fucked out of a game a year, on average, and you've already cashed in.
While Ole Miss won this game on the field, here are a few observations that may have caused us to win by two or three touchdowns:
You have to wonder why we kept it in the Wild Rebel so often. Dex throws a stupid pick, we get stuffed a couple times... Also, why not run it more often on 1st and 2nd down? We have a clear physical advantage. We are better on both lines. Use it. Use Bolden to his strengths. Don't make Jevan win the game for us in the air. No doubt, Jevan did win us the game, but ended up losing the 'game.' Guess you have to play with the hand you're dealt, which meant giving Wake as few offensive plays as possible, even though we stopped them three times more than the scoreboard indicated (the personal foul kicker interference on Trahan was Busch League).
Tackle better. This is something that has improved more, but must improve more if we are to beat SEC teams. Watching Auburn today, the reason they won despite some turnovers was their sound tackling and quickness to the ball. We were lax in that department probably six or eight times, allowing a couple of first downs that shouldn't have been converted, and a sack or two that should've been wrapped up.
Whether you or an Ole Miss or a Wake fan, you have to agree: we have the players and the coach in place. This game was winnable, but, fair or not (I say bullshit), the breaks went Wake's way at home as the only ranked team in a BCS conference struggling for validity. Ole Miss will win some SEC games. Wake, an ACC title contender, would win three or four in the SEC.
I still feel good about the Rebs. Wake, enjoy your 'win' in this 'game.'