Yes, it's that time of year again where we
write fluff to sell out for our advertisers because we've gotta make some money fill our offseason slate with optimistic prognostications for the future and nostalgic looks backwards, and this post will be an excellent example of the latter.
While the past couple of years haven't been all that enjoyable as a Rebel sports fan - strictly from a sports standpoint, that is - that doesn't at all mean that we can't find something in recent memory which excited us as fans, even temporarily. In fact, there are plenty of moments from which to choose. There's Senquez Golson driving in Bobby Wahl to take the series from #1 Florida this past baseball season. There's Chris Warren teardropping a late three to beat #10-ranked Kentucky in the Tool Pool two basketball season's ago. Then there's the offensive Dexplosion* against Tennessee three football seasons ago. And I'm sure there's plenty of exciting moments and jaw-dropping performances littered among those over which we could reminisce.
The highlight I want to share with you though is one that took place in Vaught Hemingway Stadium six years ago. It was the first game of the 2006 season, and Ole Miss was trailing Memphis 7-0 going into the second quarter. Ole Miss, though, led by Brent Schaeffer (lulz), was in Memphis territory and looking to catch the Tigers off guard with a quick strike score. A then-freshman Dexter McCluster, in his first game as a Rebel, was called upon to run a play drawn up by a then-little known assistant coach on Ed Orgeron's staff, Hugh Freeze.
The "McCluster Fluster" is what they called it, and it involved a silent snap to a quarterback crouching behind a standing (but set) offensive line. The ball was then clandestinely handed to the diminutive McCluster who was hiding in John Jerry's underwear or something. Once McCluster got the ball, he quickly skedaddled to the wide open weak side of the field and down the sideline for a touchdown - the first of his incredible Rebel career. To make this play work, Schaeffer, rolled out, behind much of the line, to the strong side of the field, moving as if he had the ball and a caravan of blockers. The Memphis defense was confounded, as was at least half of those in attendance. It was that effective of a trick play.
Here, give it a look (preemptive apologies on this video, which looks like it was recorded through a potato):
I like this play for a handful of reasons. First, it's against Memphis. They're the worst. Second, and this is worth repeating, it was the first touchdown of Dexter McCluster's career. Here he was, a guy whose recruitment most of us dismissed, showing the country that, in spite of his size, he's athletic and confident enough to play SEC football. Third, the story goes that Hugh Freeze drew this play up. The guy is certainly known as a coach who doesn't shy away from non-conventional football (I hesitate to use the term "trick" plays because such suggests something nefarious on behalf of the team running the play - they're within the rules of the sport, dammit, they're not "tricks".), and this play shows that.
So what are some of your favorite Ole Miss sports highlights? Share them in the comments.
*What I did there: you see it.