We continue with our weekly series that assesses my confidence, using a scale of one to five Cowboy Hat-Wearing Matt Lukes, in Ole Miss’ ability to win the remaining games on its schedule. For a refresher on how this works or if you want to remember a time before Ole Miss scored 44 points, gained 618 yards of total offense, and lost by four, click here.
In the first quarter of Saturday’s loss to South Carolina, Ole Miss seemed to be doing everything in its power to make sure Vaught-Hemingway Stadium was empty by halftime, minus the Gamecock faithful. The Rebels gave up a touchdown on the opening kickoff, stalled out inside the Gamecocks’ 10 on offense, allowed a touchdown on South Carolina’s first offensive possession, and turned the ball over inside the Gamecock 15 on the following possession.
It was the same ineptitude we’ve seen all year but crammed into about 12 minutes of game time for efficient consumption. However, a first-quarter fan departure was avoided when the offense came to life — trading red zone failures for touchdowns — as the Rebels would score 24 points in the second quarter.
For the two quarters following Ole Miss’ trash start, it appeared as though Ole Miss might be on the way to naming its score against South Carolina, which, considering the Rebels’ defense, probably would’ve been good for a two-point win. In that time, Ole Miss fans allowed themselves to believe the team was on the verge of a mini-breakthrough. A win meant a 6-6 season was locked in, or, for those who dared to dream, 7-5 was a very real possibility, meaning this season wouldn’t become the disaster it seemed to be.
HOW SILLY WE WERE. The sports gods, realizing they were dangerously close to letting Ole Miss survive the 2018 season without a painful collapse, took over, and mercy have they. After building a 10-point lead with just over 14 minutes remaining, which, as we know, is the most dangerous lead in football, Ole Miss would close the game against South Carolina with three punts and a turnover on downs, while the defense maintained their shit-show status.
The end result wasn’t just a loss, but the cold embrace of an impending Houston Nutt November™ and a 5-7 record, with no momentum heading into crootin’ season. The only way such a finish could be avoided is if the offense does better than 44 points and 618 yards of total offense against conference opponents. SEEMS LIKE A REASONABLE REQUEST.
I, for one, cannot wait until the day after the Egg Bowl, and the shuffling of the deck chairs on the Titanic gets into motion.
I know I keep repeating myself in this space each week, but I cannot emphasize enough how proud I am of my decision making in not going to this game. While I probably deserve some type of award, the real hero is me forgetting to buy tickets in August and September, which allowed me to see what Ole Miss really was.
Well done, August and September Gray, you idiot, and thank you for your lazy service.
Because there is no rating more fitting for this month, we bring back THIS-IS-FINE HOUSTON NUTT.
Here are some #fun stats about South Carolina’s season, because we need to back up a minute. Prior to the Ole Miss game, the most points Cocky had allowed were 41 to Georgia, and the most total yards surrendered were 490 to Missouri. If you recall some five paragraphs back, Ole Miss topped both of those efforts.
On offense prior to Saturday, the Gamecocks’ highest offensive output was 49 points and 557 total yards, both of which occurred against Coastal Carolina. Against SEC teams, the highest point total was 37 against Vanderbilt (30 against Missouri; defensive TD gave them 37) and the highest total yards number also involved Vanderbilt, as they collected 534 yards.
But tell me more about how blame should be shared equally between the Ole Miss offense and defense. Shame on the Rebel offense for not rushing for 350 yards and scoring 84 points. THEIR INABILITY TO DOUBLE UP SOUTH CAROLINA’S DEFENSIVE NUMBERS COST US THE DANG GAME.
Just want everyone to know that there are no rules or laws that prevent you from firing a defensive coordinator and at least buying yourself a few weeks of people not breathing fire down your neck.
Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck announces firing of DC Robb Smith. DL coach Joe Rossi named interim DC for rest of season— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) November 5, 2018