Unless you’ve taken steps to improve your life by checking out of Ole Miss football for the next, oh, three to four years, you’re aware that Ed Orgeron will return to the sideline at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium as a head coach for the first time since 2007. Unfortunately for Ole Miss, he will not be leading and tunnel-jumping in front of a team that will win one, two, or zero conference games.
While this year’s LSU team doesn’t have the Alabama Lite flavor we’re used to seeing, it has plenty of talent to crush* Ole Miss as if Ed Orgeron were still the head coach. However, the good news for Ole Miss is that Orgeron will not be in charge of decisions on its sideline, but, incredibly, on the opposite sideline, where many, many coaches stood and defeated him for three years.
*Film Review has a bye week because I, believe it or not, have things to do. The short version of film review is LSU will do everything possible to not have to rely on Danny Etling, and Ole Miss will look to scratch out enough of a running game against LSU’s pretty blah run defense.
To honor Orgeron’s return to Oxford in a non-assistant role, I want to review his last home game as Ole Miss head coach. That game took place on November 17, 2007, and was against the very same LSU Tigers he coaches today.
Before we jump in to LSU’s 41-24 win, and SEC loss number 20 for Orgeron, we need a little refresher on where things stood back then. The 2007 LSU game was the seventh conference game of the season for Ole Miss, with the previous six SEC games all resulting in losses.
In fact, the only teams Ole Miss had beaten at that point were Memphis, Louisiana Tech, and Northwestern State. It was at the Northwestern State game — the week before LSU — where the Orgeron era hit another staggeringly low mark.
Ole Miss won the game, 38-31 (the most points an Orgeron Ole Miss team ever scored!), but let’s eyeball that attendance:
I was not there, but if you ever talk with someone who was (you’re more likely to find an Alabama fan who is not #madonline about something Ole Miss did), they will tell you there might have been 10,000 people in the stadium. So, THAT’S where the Ed Orgeron era was as he went into his last home game as Ole Miss’ head coach.
If you recall, the LSU game was the first time Orgeron agreed to have DA USC OFFENSE ATTACK scrapped for a spread-based offense, which was supposedly thrown together by tight ends coach Hugh Freeze (whatever happened to that guy?). The spread-based offense played to quarterback Brent Schaeffer’s alleged strengths, while DA USC OFFENSE played 33 games in which it never scored more than 24 points against an SEC team (it only scored 20+ points four times).
And wouldn’t you know it, asking Schaeffer to not be under center and a drop-back passer turned out pretty well!
So how did Ole Miss only score 24 points?
As expected, the game opened with an Ole Miss punt (but they picked up two first downs!), followed by LSU taking its first possession 98 yards on an 11-play touchdown drive. Then the Red Bull kicked in.
Ole Miss, on its next possession, drove to the LSU 2 where it promptly fumbled the ball back to LSU at the 1 because having nice things is stupid. After three plays failed to gain a first down, LSU fired off a punt, which Ole Miss ran back for a touchdown.
Based on the rules of the game, Ole Miss had to kick off to LSU, who elected to RUN THE KICKOFF BACK FOR A TOUCHDOWN. AND WE’RE STILL TRAPPED IN THE FIRST QUARTER.
However, like anyone when the Red Bull starts to wear off, the game became a little sleepy in the second quarter. After a war of punts, Ole Miss decided right before halftime that it could be #WELLACTUALLY more incompetent inside LSU’s 10-yard line than it was before.
A Brent Schaeffer run set up Ole Miss with first and goal at the LSU 9. The Tigers jumped offside, giving the Rebels a first and goal at the 4.
Ole Miss responded to the generosity in this way:
Furious at Schaeffer for not getting the plays off in time (which was a problem earlier in the game), Orgeron replaced him with Seth Adams (SETH ADAMS) before the next play (BEFORE THE NEXT PLAY). Let’s take in that two-act play:
(riots until there is a curtain call)
The second half did not contain the same degree of performance art, as LSU imposed its will and waited for Ole Miss to screw up, which was inevitable, since it was an Ed Orgeron team. Once the clock hit all zeroes, it was time for one final Orgeron handshake at Vaught-Hemingway. I like to call this segment of the post DOCUMENTING HISTORY.
The final home game of Orgeron’s failure dynasty ended like so many other games during his reign — with a double-digit loss and a long, slow walk to a locker room filled with players who probably thought they were about to run through a 30-play, full-contact scrimmage to make them true WILD BOYS.